I have a 12 year old boy who recently decided he doesn’t want to participate in sports anymore (soccer and football). I’m trying to look at the big picture but he needs to do something with his time. My husband thinks I’m pushing the issue too much, but how have sports helped your kids? Hoping for advice from parents who have worked through this.
Why force them to do something they don’t want to do?
I wouldn’t force my kid to do something he doesn’t want to do. There’s lots of other types of activities
As a mom who’s raised 3 boys to adulthood and a teenage daughter, here’s my opinion.
Let them make choices on their own.
Making him play sports if he doesn’t want to, isn’t going to benefit your child.
He will find something he likes.
He has to want to do the activity. Not be forced.
Try and see if he want to do Another sport or karate classes or some other activities maybe the boys and girls club there’s many more things than soccer and football maybe he doesn’t like there’s any more
Find something HE enjoys. Something he wants to participate in. If he has lost interest then he won’t enjoy it and there is no point. Hobbies and activities outside of school time are to be enjoyable and fun for those involved. Best of luck.
As an adult, who was heavily involved in sports as a child, I wouldn’t push it. Finish the season started, but after that I would leave it alone. They just get resentful being forced to do activities they don’t want to.
Find out why first……the reasoning is important.
As a mom who went through the same I suggest let him choose his thing. Staying active is important. There’s a lot of inappropriate things he could be doing.
Don’t force him because he’ll end up hating whatever it is your trying to make him do and you for making him do it see if he wants to do something else and support it/him if not leave it alone
Don’t force it but if they are in a sport they need to finish before they quit is my rule. You joined a team and now are depended on. There are so many other activities a kid can do besides sports. Music, art, cooking.
If it is forced, it will not help.
No… don’t force him to do it . He won’t enjoy it. Maybe find him something else to do.
What does he want to do instead? Music? Dance?
Ask him what he is interested in doing. My girls always had to pick one activity to be in. They picked, and the rule was they had to do a whole season. If they didn’t like it then they could pick something else. They are the ones doing it so why not key it be something they enjoy?
12 is a touchy time for every kid…they are trying to figure themselves out. Let them know you support them. I get it not wanting kids to laze about but there are so many things they can do…just find a happy in between. I agree with others if he is already on the team tell him to finish out the season or have him talk to the coach and team about wanting to quit…it shows the consequences of leaving people high and dry. And he will be more confident standing up for what he wants…
I would see if there are other clubs at school he’d be interested in to keep him busy.
Sports aren’t for everyone. Most schools have a bunch of clubs to choose from though
My daughters 11 and she has been in sports since she was 6. She went through a phase where she didn’t want to participate in anything But like you said in my opinion kids need to be doing something in my household. So we tried put other things different clases not just sports. She finally picked karate and has stuck with it. But i would definitely keep pushing all my kids towards trying new things to keep them active and stimulated
Find out if he’s being bullied.
Its not force its called structure! Ask him is there a deeper reason such as lockroom bullies, could be depressed about a girl? As a athlete in school you never just quit its always something I promise.
He will hate it and not try to do well if you force it.
Mine wanted to ditch for games. We compromised with taekwondo.
I am 37 and my friends I still have as grown up were all my team mates from age 9.
If he doesn’t want to do it find something else don’t force it but don’t let him just wander around and play games all day lol find a ranch for him to work at or something interactive
I had five kids 4 played every sport out there but one had no interest in sports i never even would have considered forcing it theyll find other interests
Umm where do I start…… confidence, friends, competition, health, muscle building, team pride…. Etc
Try martial arts. See if you have something local that will do a week trial or something. My boys are big on sports and we were doing martial arts and the stories from other kids that it helped discipline, attention, and respect.
Playing sports and doing things should give him a chance to explore different things. I have a 12 year old grandson played 2 different types of football, did a year or 2 in karate. He likes fixing cars and trucks. With help of his pa fixed up a 1974 f 250 dump bed stick shift and can drive it . Sold it working on something else now.
Maybe try another sport. I put my daughter in martial arts. She has fun, and is learning to defend herself as well as gaining respect and more discipline than I could have done alone. Let him choose his sport though. You can’t force him to do something, it only.makes him NOT want to do it that much more. He needs to have a love for it. He didn’t find it challenging enough and frankly, with all the participation awards kids get nowadays I don’t blame him.
I’m curious what prompts your assumption that “he needs to do something with his time.” In the summer you can make the case for doing some sort of activity/club where he can be safe during your work day. But at 12, I’d argue it’s enough to be an active contributor of a household, go to school for 7 hours a day, work on homework for a couple of hours a night, and actually get enough play and rest time.
My son looked at me when he was 10 and said mom im not a sports kind of person. So we put him in a coding class, a science group, and Lego class. There are other things out there.
Ask him what he wants to do. My kid was never into sports, so I never made him do it. He’s been in band, archery, robotics, and art in school. But outside of school he discovered he loved restoring vehicles, building, working on and flying airplanes (real ones), building and piloting drones, playing guitar like crazy.
Is he interested in reading, chess, or something of the sorts? Both my sisters were huge with sports, so when I wanted nothing to do with them, my parents also didn’t know what to do with me. Figure out what he’s interested in. Even if it is games, maybe spark an idea to try develop his own game.
He may find something else. Don’t push it though. I gave up sports for band, art, musicals, scholastic bowl, and student council.
How about a different activity? In our area we have a wonderful drum line. Not all kids like sports. Find out what his nitche is in life
Maybe he just doesn’t like sports and you do. Is there something else he’s interested? Maybe he likes music or art.
I have a friend who never played sports in his life. In 2006 he sold a music streaming app to a Swedish business man for 24 million. He chose computers over sports and now the world has Spotify.
Don’t force him to play if his hearts not in it. Find what he does love and nurture that. If you don’t he will understandably resent you.
Sports absolutely helped my girls
Kept them more focused on school work and life in general. They are grown now and still play softball on adult leagues
They have made so many good friends playing sports and it keeps them out of trouble
Why does he need to do something with his time? Do all hours of his day honestly need to be filled with something?
For my youngest, she needed something she was good at. Something she could point to and say it was her “thing.” It also helped to keep my kids in shape, and allows them to make new friends. There are so many sports, I bet there’s something else out there he likes. Maybe ask about dance, skating, or rock climbing.
I told both my kids they had to be involved in an activity. My son choose Band and now he’s at a university in a music scholarship.
Not everyone needs to play a sport. I agree with figure out something to do with your time. But it could be anything. Reading, writing, STEM, a job if your old enough, art, working out, music, etc. find something that you love so your not sitting around telling me your bored even if it’s something different every week til you find your passion.
My daughter stopped gymnastics after 8 years. It was hard on me I think more than I thought. She was so good and as soon as I realized I was living vicariously thru her I stopped pushing. I encourage her to try new things… one sesh at a time but she loves Soccer and track and dance
Find something else and let him guide you
My daughter was tired of the commitment and wanted to try new things.
There are many different things can do. They don’t have to play sports.
Don’t force him to do sports your husband is right you’re the pushing the issue too much. If he doesn’t want to be in sports you shouldn’t force him.
Sports builds teamwork, fair play, sets goals, helps them physically, mentally develop problem solving skills, memory, and keeps them involved with others as well as busy. Unfortunately not all kids are interested or have the ability to play them. But I do believe you keep kids involved in a hobby or they will get involved with things that are not good for them.
Maybe the kid just wants to do something different. Maybe JROTC is his thing. Or drama. Or band. Or auto shop. Or any of a million other things. Maybe a part time job. Who knows. Instead of pushing your agenda on him talk to him. Find out what he likes and help him figure it out from there. I can promise you he will 100% be happier than if you keep pushing sports down his throat.
Leave it be. It’s not good to force sports if they don’t want to. I was forced to do softball. I hated it and often think about hating it and the arguments with my mother over it
Some kids just are not athletic. I agree with your husband. I think you’re pushing what you want onto your kid instead of listening to him. He will find his own thing. Let him explore a bit. Give him time to figure himself out.
Mine was the same. Played soccer for a while then just wanted to stop about 12 yrs old he’s 13 now. He won’t play right now he refuses. So i let him told him if he didn’t play something that’s ok but then he would put his time into something else. But he won’t be a do nothing kid.
This is an important step for your kid. He no longer wants to do something that was a big part of his life. Be there for him and encourage him to follow his heart. This is the time to teach him how to self reflect and move on to something HE enjoys. Even if it’s just laying in bed reading a book. It will help him later in life deal with moving on from adversity in general. Helping him learn to find hobbies in any capacity will help make him a well adult
What does he want to to with his time? Learn an instrument? Draw? Read? My mom forced me to do all sorts of things against my will. Not only did I grow up to hate those activities, but I also resented her (and still so tbh). It also taught me that I couldn’t quit anything. Including toxic relationships and jobs I hated. These preteen years are the perfect time to back up on the control and start letting them try different things out.
Maybe he’s burnt out. Let him take a year off and see if he still feels the same way. Or maybe ask him what his plan is instead.
Just like adults, kids get burnt out too. Try talking to him to see what he wants to do instead-maybe a club or an instrument. Understanding WHY he doesn’t want to do these things anymore is more important than why YOU want him to do them. Find a solution that works for not only you, but ESPECIALLY him.
If not sports why not a club or group that may interest him such as boy scouts, math club, drama what ever may peek his interest. Have u asked him why he doesn’t want to play these sports anymore? Is there a bigger underlying issue? I know my daughter quit dance last year out of no where and she lives it come to find out she was being bullied so I would speak to him if you haven’t already
My daughter dropped out of dance at that age. She had been doing it since 4 years old. I thought her being involved in something would help her stay physically fit but I allowed her to make that decision. I did the same thing at that age. I didn’t really know how to navigate a leotard, my growing body, and my period. Kids that age are going through a lot. I do agree though that continuing to engage with life is extremely important. My daughter was extremely involved with church so I wasn’t concerned with her isolating. If he’s not one to communicate, I would ask questions and help him explore his interests, even if it gets awkward.
Don’t force him to play sports if he gets injured you’ll blame yourself for the rest of your life a knee injury when I was younger put me on crutches for 6 months after a knee operation that lasted over 3 hours I wanted to play nobody to blame but myself
Sports are only fun and productive for those that want to be involved with them. Children should never be made to play a sport that they do not wish to participate in. Having said that, if they show interest, sign up and play for a bit then all of a sudden don’t want to play half way through the season, there is usually something else going on and it needs o be investigated.
What about golf, shooting team, running team, swimming? He needs to be active daily.
Leave him alone he doesnt wanna play in sports so dont make him.
Please don’t force your children to do sports if they don’t want to. I’ve seen all too often (being from a sports family myself) that forcing a child to do sports can completely ruin their love for the game. Sometimes kids just need a break. Let him take his break.
Don’t push. It will lead to him resenting you.
Don’t push him to participate, he will just be miserable. Maybe find other clubs or something for him to participate in.
Have him join the USNSCC.
Maybe ask what his interests are and let him join a different activity in school/spare time. Music? Theater? Art? Hiking? Exercise?
My son decided he didnt want to play baseball anymore so I told him that he needed to pick something else to do because he wasnt just going to sit around and do nothing. He picked Hapkido. He’s got a Brown belt now, but hes stopped that and went back to baseball.
Sports are awesome but don’t have to be the only socialization outlet for kids. In high school I played 3 sports, played in band, and was a member and officer in too many clubs. I should have narrowed it down a bit because it was way too much but I had friends from sports, friends from band, and friends from clubs. Don’t force him to play sports if he doesn’t want to but encourage him to try something else. It’s very healthy to be involved in something besides just going to and from school. Maybe that even includes a job? Babysitting or working on a farm are great options for 12 year olds!
I let my son try baseball, he played 2 seasons and was done with it. Now he plays guitar and is way happier
Maybe he wants to do something else. He doesn’t have to be in sports. Kids get burnt out to. Maybe talk to him see what he would like to do
It helped my son. He joined all sports. But he loved sports of all kinds. Breathed and slept it. I’m not sure if he wasn’t interested how it would have helped.
If you force your child to play sports, it may backfire on you and regret it later on in life…
Find something he is actually interested in! Art classes, karate… what does he like to do?
My oldest daughter started track in 7th grade.I pushed her hard bc I knew she had the potential to go big.She ended up getting invited to varsity a year early(she was in 8th grade and varsity starts in 9th grade)she made it to sectionals.
You mentioned 2 sports. There are many different sports and organizations to get involved with. Ask him.
I make my kids pick an extra curricular. I dont care if they don’t “want” to there will be plenty of things in life they don’t want to do. Being on a team of some sort helps them learn skills they wouldn’t normally learn. I think its important to keep them active and socializing as well.
Ten years from now…Mom do you remember when you forced me into sports even when I told you I didn’t want to. That bothers me to this day. There are other clubs he can do if he chooses.
Find something he’s passionate about it doesn’t need to be a sport. I did band in school and loved it because my mom made me do some kind of extra thing (if he doesn’t wanna do any don’t be one of those moms that forces it). He could want something that isn’t a sport. Band, drama, some type of club maybe?
If he doesn’t wanna play then leave it at that
He doesn’t want to…dont make him . My son hated football as a youngster… but played rugby from he was 7. Started Tae Kwon Do also and loved it. As long as he’s doing something he enjoys it really doesn’t matter what it is.
Find him a different activity? Martial arts? Musical instruments? Explore ideas with him…
You don’t have to play sports find something that interests him, music, playing a instrument or performing arts. Does he like to dance. Skiing has he had a go at that or swimming. Does he like the water. Athletics does he like to run short distance or long distance. Skateboards or bikes does he have one. Building models planes and other things.
My son decided he didn’t want to play sports anymore and I felt the same way as you. My son however is an anxious wee creature (10) and it turned out it was not sport as much but team sports were freaking him out. He didn’t feel he was as good as the other kids. He’s now doing swimming, piano and wants to do tae Kwon do. Maybe have a korero about balance, health and fitness. It may be the type of sports that are focused on in your motu.
They say that if you can play sports any type you are great to train. My sons are different to each other. One is very tidy and clean. He played soccer at high school and he works in a hospitality he is great in the kitchen. My other son is methodical and use to make models and building blocks. He can put a model together with no instructions. He made and built wielded a pit bike when he was at high school. He is great for pulling things apart and finding out what is wrong with it. He is our gatherer when we need seafood he can dive for seafood and loves to fish. My other son the youngest has a great memory and he is very sporty Rugby, softball. Great swimmer he is also one of our divers like his brother. My sons perform kapahaka but my oldest son is not too keen to perform. But they will sing do kapahaka if they have to they have been brought up around it.
If your child doesn’t want to play sports don’t make him. Maybe your child just needs a break from sports. Maybe your child will go back to playing sports. Maybe your child will not go back to playing sports. Pushing the issue is not going to make things better.
I don’t make mine play sports, there are lots of other activities that are not sports.
Robotics? Math league? Lego league? Other interests?
If you make a child play a sport that he or she is not interested in, you are asking for injuries. There are LOTS of other options for kids to try.
First of all, I would find out why he doesn’t want to participate in sports anymore. Did he lose interest? Has he been bullied? Does he want to take a break?
Second, I would not force your child to play sports. It will lead to him resenting you.
Finally, find him a different activity that interests him like play an instrument, swimming, martial art, reading club, play golf,
theater, art etc.
There are lots of other options outhere. Ask him would he would like to do
There’s so much I want to say, but my account is already on enough warnings
Friendly reminder that rest and self care is doing something with your time.
My son had to give up his sports after an accident, instead he found music, taking up playing the bass. He taught himself off the internet initially, then I paid for lessons and it did it for the first NCA level. There are other things he may enjoy.
Not been through it, but if he’s made his decision then not a lot you can do! As once they have had enough the passion has gone! However tell him you want to be keeping fit so if he doesn’t do football is there anything else he would like to try to keep his fitness up as you don’t want him to do nothing as he needs to be active x
He doesnt have to do sports at all, if hes decided its something he no longer enjoys and would like to leave let him. Its not upto you how he should spend his extra time he will find another hobby that he enjoys on his own without you forcing your wants on him.
I never really enjoyed extra curricular activities and we weren’t forced to do them either. If he doesn’t want to do sport ask him if there’s anything else he may be interested in doing
See if he’ll take up another sport? I was never interested in sports but did take up ice skating with my friends 2 times a week, when I was 14 ! If he’s not happy I wouldn’t force him
I love that sports teaches our children great work ethic. They show commitment, punctuality and responsibility showing up every week to trainings and games and they also learn how to communicate, problem solve and how to handle pressure.
You shouldn’t force him to play sports, that’s clearly not how he wants to “do something with his time”. Just ask if there is another club or activity he is interested in or even why he doesn’t want to play anymore. My sister was big in sports and loved it. I gave it a try because my parents wanted me to, it was terrible. So I quit and went into chess club not everyone wants to do sports.