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How do I get them to leave the house/ get fresh air??

(35 Posts)
Gameboy Sat 25-Oct-14 18:11:15

Two DSs - 13 & 15.

Have had a week of half term already and they have barely left the house!
DS1 went to a friends, but I had to drive him as 10 miles away.

DS2 permanently glued to his laptop.

Neither is sporty, so no football/rugby etc
Not really a culture of 'playing out' here (and probably too old for that anyway).
Their groups of friends aren't really the sort who hang out at the park/ in town etc - just go to each others houses and cinema etc

Seems a really difficult age? When they were younger I would have dragged them off to places - woods, exhibitions, beach etc, but now they just don't want to go anywhere with me sad and whenever I suggest something the first questions are: "Do we HAVE to come? Why are we going? How long will it be for? What time will we get back? Can't I stay here?"

I feel like a parenting failure... I can't bear to see them holed up in their rooms all the time. I'm getting quite worried in particular about DS2, who seems to live, breathe and sleep Minecraft and YouTube these days. hmm

Am seriously wondering if we should get a dog, or join a group to borrow someone elses?! smile

Anyone else have the same problem, and any ideas?

smashboxmashbox Sat 25-Oct-14 18:13:34

Ach come on they're teenagers, that's what they're supposed to do smile

Leave them be, they eventually come out of hibernation when they are about 19 smile

Gameboy Sat 25-Oct-14 18:17:50

Is that really true? confused

Shouldn't I be insisting that they at least run round the block once a day or something??

smashboxmashbox Sat 25-Oct-14 18:19:54

Well, I just left DSs to it and they turned out ok. Far too much fifa something or other football manager and some dreadful thing that involved killing people stealing shit and swearing.

They're fine upstanding members of society now. And even do exercise. And they don't live in pigstys ;)

Send them to the shop. For milk. Or bread. On foot. If you're that worried.

ihatethecold Sat 25-Oct-14 18:21:48

Turn the wifi off grin

Moid1 Sat 25-Oct-14 18:24:59

13& 11 been in rooms for a week, left for the odd meal, one cinema trip and today walked into town where we did family lunch.

Starting early

DottyDot Sat 25-Oct-14 18:29:35

My nearly 13 year old has been in the garden with a friend all afternoon and is utterly happy because I've let them spray paint the shed grin

He's obsessed with all things graffiti and we're having our shed pulled down next Spring as it's in the way of an upcoming extension, so we went shopping today and he got a few cans of spray paint from the pound shop and has been sooo happy - him and his friend printed off some stencils so our shed not only has lots of rubbish on it but a Banksy panda grin

We tend to have screen breaks every so often at the weekend if we're not going out. Agree it's really difficult to get them out on family walks like we did when they were younger (2 x ds's aged nearly 13 and 10) because they're completely miserable when we try to, which ruins the day for all of us.

Other than being a graffiti artist today, ds1 has played on Minecraft and watched TV - it's pretty much all he would choose to do... But it's been a long half term and the Autumn term is the one when they're the most tired so I'm fairly relaxed about it as long as they have some breaks in between.

YouNerrNoothinJonSnerr Sat 25-Oct-14 18:32:17

Don't, whatever you do, get a dog unless you want one and you want to walk it. They will not start spending all weekend on long healthy walks just because you bought a dog, and you'll be stuck with doing it all alone.

Mind is the same age. This is pretty normal to be honest. Annoying, but normal.

TeenAndTween Sat 25-Oct-14 19:13:45

With my girls we have always insisted from when they were small that they must do some exercise / fresh air every day at weekends / holidays. We get moans but it is more or less non-negotiable.

Broadly speaking electronics are not allowed unless exercise has been done (or occasionally agreed and scheduled for later).

Arranging for friends to come too, and including a café seems to help.

3catsandcounting Sat 25-Oct-14 19:17:34

This all happens in my house too OP; 17 & 15 here, so had a few years of it!
I occasionally venture upstairs to see if they're still actually there.
If I do call up to them I get a gruff 'yus' and a reluctant stomp down the stairs in order to eat. In silence.

Travelledtheworld Sat 25-Oct-14 23:21:01

Yep, DS 14 is exactly the same, indoors all day moving only from sofa to forage for food or occasionally shower ( phew).

But two of his friends have just gone away for the week. He has no one to play online games with and he has just agreed to go for a walk with me tomorrow and visit an Iron Age hill fort up in the Downs.....

Caorunn Sat 25-Oct-14 23:24:24

Get a dog. Link walking said dog to any cash provided. Job done.

wingcommandergallic Sat 25-Oct-14 23:25:21

Another vote for turning off the wifi!

Can you not find some half term or Halloween activities you can do together?

Caorunn Sat 25-Oct-14 23:26:04

Or any other useful chore to be fair - grass cutting, sweeping up leaves, car or window washing, bits & bobs of shopping etc.

lljkk Sat 25-Oct-14 23:37:42

Money (sigh). Offer to buy them things, even if it's just cafe food.

Yarp Mon 27-Oct-14 06:08:34

Mine are the same (14 and 11).

I send them out on short shopping trips, we go out for lunch. I expect we will go to the cinema, and sometimes the computer has to go off in order to incite them to do something else.

myotherusernameisbetter Mon 27-Oct-14 14:53:17

Mine are 14.5 and 13.5 and are the same - it's a trial - they do have term time activities in the evenings which they do, but it is difficult to get them to do other stuff. We have a no screens rule every afternoon until after dinner though and they stick to that but do pressure for an early evening meal smile

I generally make them go out on their scooters or something round the block for a while. If DH is here he sometimes locks the door so they cant get back in! Sometimes if given small amounts of cash they will scooter up to shop to get a drink and crisps and eat them in the park.

Eldest would go swimming with very little encouragement but youngest wont and it leaves him with no-one to go with.

The only way we get away with the no screen afternoons is that it has always been the rule so they have accepted it - don't think it would be easy to introduce now at this age.

Bowlersarm Mon 27-Oct-14 14:56:41

Ds2 is like that, ds3 also like that but does go out a bit more than his brother. I don't care. They have long terms at school, so a week or two of that is fine IMO.

Asteria Mon 27-Oct-14 14:59:58

I change the wifi code regularly. If DS doesn't do his chores and walk his dog and ferret regularly then he doesn't get the new code. He is out walking with DH at the moment - he tried to evade it for days but the dangle of fish and chips at the end and "how can you possibly play rugby if you can't even walk" was a good motivator. He had no idea that it was a 6 mile walk grin

secretsquirrels Mon 27-Oct-14 17:07:04

Mine are the same. There was a time when I sorely missed the old school holidays with all the things we did.
Now I'm with the leave them to it camp. Cutting off wifi, forcing sports or exercise is the sort of thing to cause resentment and friction and unlikely to change them into outdoorsy types. I don't believe in confrontation for the sake of it.

MarmiteMania Mon 27-Oct-14 21:14:21

I have the same problem ds 14 obsessed with gaming my whole half term is spent begging, screaming, bribing to no avail.

I disagree with the view of just 'letting them be teenagers', as in my ds's case (not yours perhaps), this is a proper addiction just like gambling. Weekends are the same.

Ds has so many different screens if he's not on one it's another so it's hard to control.

Wish I had an answer. I honestly think it takes the place of relationships and stops them having interest in anything else. Please don't imagine that if you get a dog your sons will walk them.. It won't happen!

myotherusernameisbetter Mon 27-Oct-14 23:11:08

We have an afternoon ban and always have had and it doesn't breed tension and resentment. On a weekend morning or at holiday time, they will get up and go straight on PC/console. If we aren't doing anything in particular, I'll leave them until 11ish and tell them to get off and get a shower/dressed etc. then no more screen until after dinner. Can't say we are always successful in getting them outside without bribery, but they will then do their chores and laze about reading magazines or books and catch up on homework etc.

If there is something special on. i.e. they are going to the cinema or have a new game and a friend is only able to come round in the afternoon, they can trade some morning and evening time for a bit of afternoon screen time but w etry to make that an exception.

This weekend was absolutely miserable so we sat in and played a board game and watched a programme on tv.

I think the secret is that they have always had the down time in the afternoon and we are prepared to be reasonable and accommodate special cases so up to now they have simply accepted it.

I still think they get far too much time on games but can't really complain if I am also on the computer.

Wolfiefan Mon 27-Oct-14 23:17:38

Wifi off
Take up opera singing
Start drum lessons
Bellydance round the house
Invite all your loudest friends round
Cuddle them
Get out the baby photos and share them with your kids. Be sure to go all misty eyed!

Any of the above would drive mine out. grin

Or find something fun to do together outside!

Yarp Tue 28-Oct-14 06:49:25

I also worry about gaming addiction. I don't mond if they loll around all day, but I will limit computer time.

secretsquirrels Tue 28-Oct-14 09:47:51

I think the secret is that they have always had the down time in the afternoon and we are prepared to be reasonable and accommodate special cases so up to now they have simply accepted it.
I think it depends how old the teenagers are. Up to about aged 14 I did all of the things above.
Limit screen time to a couple of hours a day. One day a week off altogether, and it worked in that it kept them off screens and doing other things.

The trouble was that they just spent their time longing for the next screen session. They both said they truly resented my rules even though they abided by them. I have some sympathy with that. I wouldn't like those rules myself.
So, I decided to let them have freedom to do screens whenever they wanted, provided they did homework etc.
I figured that it was important that they learned to self regulate. I wasn't going to be standing over them at 17 or 18. It has worked really. DS1 is now 18 and at uni. He would play the odd game nowadays but very rarely. If he has no work to do he watches Youtube vids.
DS2 is 16 and plays LOL too much for my liking but not at the expense of school work or other things.

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