What do you do when your child does not want to attend an activity?
Children aren’t always self-motivated. So you may be surprised when your child doesn’t want to attend an activity they couldn’t wait to get to just a few weeks ago.
Truth is, when your child’s mindset isn’t in the right place, even the most fun activities for them can be a mini battle to get to.
Here are some strategies to help you through situations when your child doesn’t want to attend or go somewhere.
Your child may not want to attend an activity because of “You”
As a parent, be aware of how project your emotions as you get your child ready. We all have challenging days, and sometimes being stressed, rushed, or aggravated in any way will project these emotions onto your child.
A positive upbeat energy may create a different response instead.
They may not want to attend out of fear of criticism.
Be mindful how you respond to child’s overall performance after an activity. Placing too much emphasis on what they did wrong may incur negative feelings they carry over.
Limit criticism and focus more on productive conversations after class.
Your child is enjoying something fun now, and may not want to leave
This is a big one. Sometimes the objection to going to said activity is because they are currently having fun at something they don’t want to leave.
It is a good idea to create a routine or process each day you’re leaving for an activity. Make it so they are not perhaps at playground with friends, on a video game, etc.
Remember that children’s brains are still growing, and most of their development comes from positive stimulation and experiences.
In the same way set up exciting after class rituals they can look forward to. For example, grab their favourite treat on the way home if they attend the next three classes with appropriate behaviour.
These strategies aren’t difficult, but they’re often overlooked. As parents, we get caught up in the daily grind, so we sometimes forget that situations like these require attentive and intentional parenting.
Be intentional with your goals by communicating with your child’s instructors. The goal is to foster motivation. Let the instructors know about your struggles so they can better motivate your child before, during, and after class.
Don’t be afraid to ask for support! Good luck!