I agree with others that it may just be that he isn't as interested in some of the activities you have chosen.
Also even though he may have been swapping houses between you and your ex for some time now, he may be going through some issues with the exchanges and learning to adjust to this as he gets older and more aware of how the world works.
Some suggestions that may help (if you don't do so already)
Let him take as much time as he needs when he arrives at your place to settle in, go to his room and feel comfortable with the change of houses before beginning any major conversations or discussions on what the day holds.
Just give him some quiet time to settle and let him know when he is ready he can come and have a chat and hug etc.
(A little like when you arrive in a new destination on holiday, you just want a minute to put your bags down and gather yourself before you jet off to a day trip etc)
Perhaps ask him to help you write out on small note paper some ideas and activities you can do together for when he comes over. Just some ideas..
Movie day at home
Kicking the footy
Planting herb garden
Making a 3d model
Going for a walk
Go out for hot chocolates
Shopping for clothes
Playing wii games
Visit to library
Watch the planes come into land
Visit pet store
Wash the cars together
Collect bugs in a microscope/bug catcher
And of course some of his ideas on what he likes to do and has fun with.
Then put all the notes into a jar. Each weekend before he goes home, he gets to take one note out and that's something you will do the following weekend he comes over.
Theory being that he has a bit more ownership of what's coming up since he helped to plan and chose the activity as well as gives him plenty of time to prepare himself (and hopefully get excited) for what's coming up.
Hope things start to settle for you so you can all enjoy your time together a bit more!
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25-07-2014 09:43 #11
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25-07-2014 09:48 #12
Definitely been there with SS @DonM77 so I feel your pain and frustration. What other posts have said is right - the things you've chosen to do with him simply may not be things that he's interested in and that's OK. Mind you, it's great to open their eyes to new things as well.
We went through this with SS at roughly the same age and we just kept trying different things until he either got used to them and started to enjoy them, or we hit on something that he really liked. It was hard because DH and I are outdoors people and SS just wasn't accustomed to doing a lot of the things that we love to do.
For example, SS hated camping the first time we took him (and we love it) - complained the whole time about no TV/computer games and that he would prefer to stay in a resort. But the next few times we just chose more interesting or different locations where there was likely to be kids his age that he could spend some time with, or there was wildlife for him to watch. We take the time to learn a lot about the places we like to go so we can tell SS about them in advance and get him excited about going in the lead up, and he has grown to love it.
He was a little bit the same with bushwalking but with gradual exposure and really taking the time to engage him in his surrounds, now he and his Dad are planning overnight hikes together (he's 13 now).
At 7, SS was really into Indiana Jones so we'd try to take him to places that were interesting for him to explore - caves, creeks, rock formations, waterfalls. That was how we first really got him enthusiastic about bushwalking - there's a national park near us where you can walk under a waterfall. Of course SS would love to stand under the water for ages and get soaked through, even in mid-winter, but seeing him laughing and having a great time was worth carting around a complete change of clothes and a towel.
He also loved dinosaurs and fossils so we've taken him fossicking a few times and we've been lucky enough to find some pretty interesting specimens too.
If we asked SS what he'd like to do he'd say - go to the museum or the movies or play a board game or go for a bike ride. And that's fine too. We also used to play a lot of tiggy and hide-and-seek at the local playground/park - got DH and I quite fit in the process.
Ask him what he wants to do and do some of the stuff that he likes but also mix it up by trying different things as well. Some kids say they don't like particular things even when they've never tried them. SS was very risk-averse/anxious so trying new things that put him out of his comfort zone was tricky. We had to do a lot of upselling of activities in advance before he'd eventually say, yes, he was willing to try it. We've had to take it slow but he's gotten much better in that way over the years.
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25-07-2014 09:49 #13Senior Member
- Join Date
- Feb 2013
I'm of two minds with this, part of me thinks maybe choosing activities the seven year old likes to do but on the other side of the coin sulking the entire time because it's not what he wants isn't ok either.
Maybe try middle ground and choose something your son likes to do and then choose a short activity you want as well so your son is learning he sometimes has to things that you like as well?
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25-07-2014 09:55 #14Senior Member
- Join Date
- Jan 2010
What about movies, a video game/laser tag centre, go-karts? Have you tried taking him without your girlfriend, maybe he wants some quality time alone with you?
25-07-2014 11:17 #15
My DP and I are a blended family with 5 kids between us....imagine trying to find activities that all 5 enjoy!! Haha, not a chance. DP's 13 year old is a little bit like your DS. He's into intellectual stuff, he reads heaps and sometimes plays his iPod (we limit time though, he can't just play it all day).
When we take all the kids out, we invariably have at least one or two kids not totally enjoying it as they all have different interests. I'd try and find an activity he enjoys as it sounds like he's not the outdoorsy type.
25-07-2014 11:29 #16
I'm not saying it always has to be just you and him, but each weekend it would be good to plan some time that's just the two of you. Hopefully your girlfriend won't be offended.
Also agree with @crystal4431 that sulking because he hasn't gotten his own way is not OK. That used to do my head in when we'd worked hard all week and just wanted to spend some enjoyable family time together. It's finding that happy medium - balancing what he wants to do with what you want to do.
25-07-2014 12:00 #17
My 7 year old is the same at the moment. If he isn't in front of a computer, he isn't happy. It doesn't matter if we are at the beach, at a museum or at a birthday party. However, I am not going to let him sit in front of a screen all weekend, just because that is what he wants to do. He gets his set amount of time each day and then he has to join in with what the rest of the family want to do. As I have told him before, "It can't always be about you".
25-07-2014 22:05 #18
25-07-2014 23:36 #19Junior Member
- Join Date
- Jul 2014
At this point, I can't allow him to play games all weekend. Im trying to show him there are many things in life aside from games. I try getting him involved in sports, but he's simply not interested. Unfortunately there isn't much left to introduce him to.
Last edited by DonM77; 25-07-2014 at 23:39.
26-07-2014 09:42 #20
Well, he can't accuse you of not trying!
I think it's great that you're trying so hard to entertain him, but don't be afraid of having quiet weekends where you just bum around relaxing and not doing much. I think sometimes kids need to experience boredom which makes them create their own fun. We often just let the kids play (no tv, no games). It forces them to get creative and think for themselves. I don't think we need to CONSTANTLY amuse kids.
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