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Working parents, childcare and pre/young teens

(9 Posts)
okitoki Tue 27-Oct-15 11:41:18

Hello. DC1 who is 12 is starting to bemoan holiday activity clubs. He attends a great sports camp with his siblings and they cater for children up to 14 years old. My son would like to stay at home from next year. Technically I have no objection, he's very sensible boy, uses his initiative well and can prepare himself a basic meal. My problem is left to his own devices he'd be sat on the sofa with PS3, iPad and phone ALL DAY LONG, EVERYDAY. I've told him I will only consider it if he ropes in friends for daily activities i.e. swimming, bowling, movies, football up the park but I just don't believe he'll do it without me standing over him. So working parents what do your pre/young teens do during the holidays?

CarrieMathisonsTrouserSuit Tue 27-Oct-15 12:17:25

To be honest he is approaching the age where all those holiday activities cease to appeal, regardless of whether you are there or not.
Also what makes it more difficult is that at 12 + organising their social life is no longer something that parents do and getting teenage boys to organise themselves is like herding cats.
The good news is that it doesn't matter.

clary Tue 27-Oct-15 12:27:04

Well I work in a school so I am off too.

But on inset days etc they just do their own thing. Sometimes go to town with their mates, sometimes go kick a football around with each other, sometimes make cakes, sometimes loaf about the house.

It's all fine, honestly.

okitoki Tue 27-Oct-15 13:53:10

Lol, I'm hearing staying indoors staring at screens all day is fine?

CarrieMathisonsTrouserSuit Tue 27-Oct-15 17:10:38

There will be the novelty factor if they are normally micro managed, but it wears off.

clary Tue 27-Oct-15 21:46:01

Well if you want to, give them some tasks to do, eg simple chores (hang washing out, get it in again, hoover, chop veg for dinner.

Ring him up every couple of hours to check what he's done.

What else are you going to do? Are you going to "stand over him" every hour of his life? Call me controversial (I know I am with my radical views on leaving children alone) but I think a 13yo should be allowed to organise their leisure time, with suggestions and ideas from you of course.

Florriesma Tue 27-Oct-15 21:52:36

Have you any gp he can go and visit for a bit?
Leave money for him to go cinema with friends?
Leave a shopping list for him? Tbh i would prefer them to be on ps3 etc than aimlessly hanging around the streets, at least you.know what's he's up to.

mintysmum Wed 28-Oct-15 07:27:00

I have a 15 yr old & a 10 yr old DS - the older one manages himself and I suppose that started a couple of years ago, around 13/14. If I am out all day as I was yesterday I do leave him jobs to do in the hope he will take a break from the computer. He walked the dog (he told me it was a 90 minute walk hmm), tidied his room and answered the two texts I sent him! Other times I've left him to start on tea, I left ingredients for a bacon, tomato & pepper pasta sauce on the worktop and asked him to create something tasty - he liked that much more than just putting a pre-made shepherds pie in the oven. I've left him washing to hang out etc, I think they need to be left to their own devices with a few household jobs to get done.
The 10yr old is happy with camps as long as they're the 10-3pm type not the 8-5pm type which makes for a short working day, so my next step is to allow him to travel back on his own after a 3pm finish and let himself in the house/make snack/watch TV till I get home.
In my experience it works best where you gradually increase the responsibility they have over themselves so it's not a huge step each time and you're developing your trust in them while they're developing their decision making.

okitoki Wed 28-Oct-15 11:52:46

13yo should be allowed to organise their leisure time, with suggestions and ideas from you of course - thats exactly what I said in my post
is happy with camps as long as they're the 10-3pm type not the 8-5pm type which makes for a short working day - good idea actually
Thank you ladies you have given me some useful suggestions, I appreciate it.

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