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16 year old boys and computers

(7 Posts)
theredhen Tue 11-Feb-14 13:02:20

Ds is nearly 16. Is is technology mad, a star in his electronics class, has built his own PC, volunteered for a year at age 14 in local computer shop for a couple of hours a week. Will fix anyone's computer etc. you get the picture?

So it's not just an gaming addiction but he spends all his waking hours in front of the screen, sometimes gaming, with or without friends online, sometimes on you tube, recording gaming to go on you tube, researching the latest chip for this or that but it's all in front of the computer screen.

He never seems to go out anymore and only joins the rest of the family if "forced".

He spent all weekend on PC this weekend and complained bitterly when I made him come off to eat, wipe up or get ready for bed.

I had two discussions with him where I explained that I am allowing him to make his own choices but I will not compromise on the bare minimums of eating and sleeping! He says I'm unreasonable to switch off the Internet to his room at 8pm even if he has been on it constantly since 9am.

He's never been sporty but used to attend a swimming club once a week but stopped going in September. He also used to have friends round more often but that seems to have stopped lately too. I've suggested he get a part time job after his gcse's but this is met with a moan. He constantly moans there's not enough hours in the day to do all he wants to do on PC.

I just can't seem to get him motivated to do anything else at the moment and I'm torn between letting him do what he wants with me nagging to do the essentials or coming down hard and treating him like a 10 year old. I've explained this to him and that I'd like him to start showing me that he can manage his time but he looks at me like I've asked him to climb Everest! wink

Horsemad Tue 11-Feb-14 21:10:21

Snap! My 16 yr old is exactly the same. He was even planning to take his laptop to my 50th party at my mum's this weekend just gone!

He was in a right strop when I made him leave it at home.
If yoiu find a solution, let me know what it is please.

theredhen Wed 12-Feb-14 09:28:08

It's very frustrating. My ds has tried to take PC to my friends etc too!

He's doing really well in school and his mock exams were mostly above his targets, so he argues that he should be allowed free reign.

Sigh.

NeoFaust Wed 12-Feb-14 09:36:01

He's laying a foundation for a professional future that he will find both lucrative and enjoyable. He's very lucky to have a hobby that he is both really into and can be turned into a well paid job! The more he's mastered it, the more secure his future will be and the more time he will have to socialise in RL. I'd be celebrating!

Horsemad Wed 12-Feb-14 11:32:53

Neo- you sound like my DH.

JCDenton Wed 12-Feb-14 16:33:55

I was that kid! What NeoFaust said is part of it. I've done well out of my computer based hobbies, have a good job doing the sort of thing I learnt mucking about on thePC and earn untold brownie points fixing the projector or producing some awkwardly formatted document. So it is good that he has a passion with positive applications. On the other hand, he needs to socialise with people other than his best friends and learn some balance - nobody would ask me for help if I never spoke to them.

I agree with Neo, but think you're doing the right thing in trying to give him some balance as JC says. DS1 (and 2 and DD, and probably DH too) would be on the PC full time if they could (and my laptop is on pretty much all day even if I'm dipping in and out rather than on it full stop) so we have rules - not hard and fast ones, but still rules. Try not to go on PC before lunch, at least one non screen activity a day, dinner time is up at the table and screen-free, holidays intersperse days out of the house with days in (even if they'd prefer to be in). They've been warned that if they get so obsessed with anything to the extent that it upsets them to the point of bad behaviour/attitude/tears (DD) to stop then they need a break until they get perspective. Never really had to do that though as the threat is enough to keep teenage angsting well out of my earshot smile

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