My 5 year old doesn't enjoy being active ?!!

Kelly - posted on 08/02/2013 ( 15 moms have responded )

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My son is almost 6 and has been diagnosed with ADHD, believe he has mixed receptive-expressive language disorder and he has some autism qualities about him as well.
He is a good problem solver but would rather be inside and playing with toys, watching tv, or on my phone, computer or playing a game.

When I was younger my parents couldn't keep me inside! My nephew who is one month apart from my son enjoys being outside, running, playing etc and my son will literally say after a while its to hard. He's not as coordinated but he just doesn't want to try. He also gets so easily embarrased, for instance he wanted to give up throwing the ball back and forth between me, him and my nephew because he couldn't catch it or throw it well or as good as my nephew. He pays attention to things like this and will quit before he'd continue and keep trying. When he gets upset over something small like this hell walk off go into his room and come back out when he's cooled off, usually pouts/cries.

I want him to be more active and enjoy doing so, but I also know being harsh doesn't work with him and don't know how else to get him
To do things and enjoy it. Is this just who he is? I feel if I try to shove it on him then it will cause him to back away even further from enjoying things that cause him to enjoy being outside and active. We took him fishing and he couldn't get it down after the first 2-3 tries so he gave up :/ its just things like this that I don't know how to help him want to keep trying, just zero motivation. I literally have to MAKE him and he will but he won't 'try' anymore he just does it cause I said so.

Does anyone else have a child like this and if so what did you do? How can I make him enjoy things like this? I know I can't and should not compare him to myself as a child or his nephew, I just don't understand honestly. I also realizes he has some problems but idk that motivation is being affected them. Thanks for getting through this and letting me vent a little.

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Laurie - posted on 08/06/2013

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Some children are introverts by nature, they enjoy being alone most of the time. Introver'ts social skills are lacking compared with those who are extroverts. One isn't any better or worse than the other, it may not seem normal because extroverts outnumber introverts. Also if your son doesn't have skills come naturally to him that are required for team sports or games he is going to get frustrated. If your nephew isn't good at computer games and people kept trying to make him play them even though he would never win he would be frustrated too. Try and find things for him to do that don't require him to compete against others. He might enjoy the computer because he know there isn't anyone around to laugh at him if he makes a mistake and he can learn games at his own pace. It sounds like he needs to know that he is good at something(s) and needs to be encouraged and praised for what he does well. This could improve his self esteem and then he might become willing to take an occasional risk playing something he isn't good at, but remember we all like to succeed at something.

I say much of this from my own personal experience. I suffered from an extremely poor self-esteem all of my child-hood. I was on medicine growing up which caused me to be clumsy and not as sharp as other kids. It was very frustrating, and the meds I was on didn't help my attitude (mood swings), but I survived and am married with children. Although I still enjoy being alone I'm not anti social and can really enjoy being around people, just don't ask me to be competitive. I hope this makes sense I'm typing it on my phone so it's hard to read it all in this little text box. Hope you find this helpful.

Amanda - posted on 08/04/2013

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My son is definitly like yours. He is 9 and still gets emotional when things don't go his way. He enjoys playing with younger children because he has an easier time relating to them. He gives up or tries to change the rules if he isn't getting it or winning.

I spent years trying to get him tested for the right things, because his pediatrician suggested he had ADHD. My mother's instict said not the case because he could sit in a structured environment without attention issues. My son has anxiety disorder, very high intelligence, and his social/receptive skills leave him just under the autism spectrum. He starts displaying hyperactive like symptoms when he becomes anxious and doesn't know how to cope with the environment (much like an autistic child might).
He hates trying new things, including activities, foods, and going to new places.

We tried all the different sports and told him he didn't have to do everything but needed to pick something to do. He has choosen to continue swimming lessons and football. Swimming wasn't a choice, because I felt he needed to be able to swim, but football was his choice.

Trying to change the person he is will only cause relationship problems between you and him in the future and possibly self-esteem problems for him as well. Use the electronics as a reward or negotiation tool. He needs to spend x amount of time playing outside and he can have an hour of game time at the end of the day. Or if he doesn't cry over something silly throughout the day he can play something he wants.

I'm not the best parent in the world, I get frustrated and yell sometimes still, but compromising with such an opposite personality to mine is the only thing that has kept us close and have a good relationship while still handling his newborn and 4 yr. old siblings.

Susan - posted on 08/03/2013

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My son is 13 and went through the same thing , my son was adopted, and came with 'baggage'. and has many disorders. He just isn't the athletic type. Doesn't like P.E
. He is not so much lazy, as just not interested. Trying to hard to make him more active only made it worse. You have to use your creative skills to get him active. Get a dog and go to the park to walk it.If you can't have a dog, borrow one and take it for a walk. walking around the block is good, but to close to home, half way they want to go home. ( I'm tired,) go swimming at the local pool! Let him help wash the car. it will get better! when my son started middle school he surprised us by making it on the basketball team! It was just the C team but we were so thrilled he tried and made it on his own! we went to every game.

Chet - posted on 08/02/2013

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Have you tried outdoor activities that don't require specific skills? I'm thinking of just going for a walk, going to the beach, playing at a playground, playing with trucks in the dirt, blowing bubbles, drawing with sidewalk chalk, feeding and watching birds, etc.

Joanna - posted on 08/11/2013

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My son is 7, has an older brother, nearly 9. The elder is outdoorsie, enjoys football and cricket, doing well in school. The younger has ADHD, elements of autism and also auditory processing disorder. He had delayed speech and communication skills and although he is now a chatted friendly boy he is still behind in social skills. Turn taking is hard for him, so he is behind in school and combined with the hearing problem (in the brain not the ears so does perfectly in hearing tests) he can't participate in the team sports that his brother loves. He will stay inside playing lego while his brother plays outside. He is happy with solitary activities but the family get frustrated. Find a happy medium, allow him to do what he enjoys but also push him to develop his skills. Others have suggested finding something he enjoys, I agree- it will be a great incentive to share his abilities. My doctor said recently that he will find his niche, there is a place in the world for him and he can find success and happiness. Good luck. X

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Janine - posted on 08/09/2013

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Hi Kelly, I have 2 sons both have ADD, the oldest, 20yrs is introvert and youngest, 17yrs is extrovert. When they were little, the youngest used to save his brother from bullies. He never had any friends and just never could keep the ones he had because he prefered to stay at home weekends and be doing his own thing like playing computer games etc. We also tried to stimulate him making friends, getting out. Now he loves exploring internet for scientific adventures, flights to the moon. Hes good at this so we encouraged it. Its not that your son doesnt like fishing, but his consentration, does not allow him to sit still for so long. We incouraged my son by buying not just lego, but interesting lego creations that comes with a book That helps him build it step for step. You probably find your son will be above his age in this stage of his developement . So he feels so good about himself, for instance he will be doing an 11yr old graded lego while he is only 6. My son used to hop from lego to computer to tv, and be quite happy. My friends son who is adhd started her son with swiming as he just did not enjoy team sort because he felt that everyone was better. He did so well. My son went to OT, we were taught to do a scrub method. It helps the nerve system to function beter. Especially when they are children sensative to sound, light and touch. My son is now in varsity, and we will get through this one... will let u know how one day! One step at a time. Just remember to make time to let go sometimes and let him be himself and enjoy those moments. Time rushes by because we so busy trying To solve the problems, but infact they are only opertunities to create new memories, make them memories that he will want to remember. Oh the other thing we used to do so we can do things together was to do big pussels together. That was real fun. You can do it mom. You are doing just fine!

Rochelle - posted on 08/08/2013

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Autistic kids are special. I have a grandson who hates loud noise. Give him something that peaks his interest, like legos, paint or clay and see what happen. He is possibly trying to work it out. Get him to a speech patholgist. Itll help.

Laila - posted on 08/07/2013

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My best friend's son was also recently diagnosed with ADHD and he is 5 and a half. My friend was at her wits end before the diagnosis as she felt she couldn't get him focused. I know as a parent it can be difficult to get your children to participate with outdoor activities whether your child suffers from ADHD or not. My children play with my friend's son and they all enjoy playing games on the iPad. In particular, my friend has found that there are learning games on the iPad that have helped. She has found a few apps useful that have kept her son's attention. Both my friend and I have a few favourite apps. Appy Animals teaches children a new language and early development skills, Brainquestand Luminosity helps with brain training too.

I hope that helps!

Jenna Paige - posted on 08/06/2013

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Try getting toys for him or get a disc he likes maybe try ABC-mouse.com it'll get him to play and learn but it's not easy here's a story my oldest Jaidonna she always would not wanna play or watch TV or eat candy or drink milk I have a kid that is 19 and she is lack toast and tollar but... She's really not she acts like she's a vegatairian but she's not and Jaidonna is 20 and she is happy that my 19 yr old her name is Jewell and she is SO DAMN PICKY she says eww to this ewe to that she said " Brussels sprouts ruin your digestive system " but no I say no you are being a picky tricky eater and she says back GRRRR and slams the kitchen door on my face I sit on the counter with my head down bursting into tears saying STOP THIS MADNESS JEWELL you are being offel today she says that's a lie and I say wanna go in your room she says that's a threat and puts a meaning to everything I say help is not the answer or key to this solution

Joni - posted on 08/06/2013

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My son is 6 and has a lot if the same issues. We are working on getting a diagnosis for Asperger's, he already on meds for ADD.

If he does 't like outside find an indoor activity that still gives him excersize. My son was in karate for awhile and loved it! It also helped him as he was more focused and better behaved while he was taking the lessons. Unfortunately we had to pull him out due to financial issues. We tried him in Tball and he just couldn't get into it.

I know it can be hard to keep your patience but try to be understanding. My plan at this point is to find out for sure if he has Asperger's and then ask the Dr's what activities are best for him.

Andreafleming1972 - posted on 08/06/2013

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Like many others who responded, I see many similarities with my 7 year old son. He's always been a tip toe walker, which has always made me wonder about aspbergers or autism. He's very social though, has no problem with eye contact, etc, and our doctors have always said no. After 9 months of PT, we casted both legs, which helped for about a month. They now say its OT. His first grade teacher could only say how high he was compared with the other kids, and just that he talked out of turn a bit. Then 2nd semester, we didn't even have a conference. I wrote about an OT eval, concerned about his motor skill development, and thought for sure I would hear back, as I know the state only has 6 weeks to respond. I got a letter asking if they could pass it on to a specialist and then nothing.
I'm frustrated, but I will keep at many of the activities others have listed. He loves swimming lessons, and tolerates soccer. Often he'll want to stand at the fence and play Nintendo with the neighbor boy-is THAT common of this generation??

Alicia - posted on 08/05/2013

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Gosh...it seems as though you described my son to the T!!! He just turned 6 in July and his cousin is 6 months older than him and is very athletic and loves being outside. I have a very hard time getting Luke (my son) to play outside...even a short walk to the store by our house ends up with me fussing at him because half a block away from our house he is complaining that it too hot or his feet hurt! Its very frustrating!! He recently saw that his school got some new playground equipment and after reading one of the other posts about "getting a dog" I decided to take him to the school to play! He loved it! We took his scooter so he could ride on the sidewalks and for the first time in a long time he actually had fun outside! I guess it had something to do with me listening and remembering that he wanted to go check out the new playground...but honestly..the type of kid he is, we could go back tomorrow or two days from now and he would hate it or find something to complain about. Luke LOVES gymnastics..we do that twice a week during the school year..and I have been thinking about putting him in boxing or some type of martial arts..may not be outside but at least it gets him up and moving! We've already tried soccer and basketball but because of his ADHD he just loses interest before he can fully acquire the skills necessary to participate on the same level as the other kids! Sorry...I know my post isn't very useful but it helped me to know that there are definitely others out there dealing with the EXACT same things as me...so just know that you're not alone! I hope you can find something that interests him to be more active! Good Luck!

Emma - posted on 08/05/2013

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Sometimes a child wants you to play with him I know that my son is that way. I have learned to take the time to let him show me his interests. Spending 1 hour out of your day with him and listening to him made such a difference. I would watch tv if that is what he wanted to do and made sure I let him know he had my full attention. Laughing with him while watching a cartoon or helping him build a toy. Certainly I don't know everything, but it helped my son a lot. Best wishes for you and your son.

Mindy - posted on 08/02/2013

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I agree with Chet MC, try other options. If he is having gross motor issues with coordination and/ or motor planning(which it sounds like) these physical tasks are "too hard" for him. I work with a lot of kids as a therapist who can't do these physical tasks, but may enjoy bubbles, walks, side walk chalk, etc. you can even get him involved in other extra curricular non sport type activities like Boy Scouts, theater, chorus, etc that he may enjoy and thrive in. Good luck.

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