Advice on my 15 year old son

(15 Posts)
owenbrenn Sun 09-Apr-17 15:36:07

Hi all, my 15 year old son is generally a really good kid except for the usual teenage sulks every now and then. However, he is pretty much addicted to his xbox, barely leaves his room and his school work is suffering as well as his health. I have tried removing it but he just gets depressed as all his friends are on it so he feels like he is missing out. I have tried scheduling times for him to use it but he sneaks on it when I am in bed. He has been out with his friends once since he started secondary school. I can barely get him to eat properly again he just gets money off his father (been separated since he was one) and buys junk food. He looks severely malnourished and unhealthy, I have tried contacting the school for help but got the impression they thought I was overreacting.
My partner (of 7 years and father to my daughter 3) has suggested bringing his xbox downstairs for him to play which might be a good idea but I just wanted some advice if anyone has been through it.
He is as I said generally a good boy, he wants to be a forensic scientist and I know he is capable of doing so well at school, he just isn'y interested in doing homework or revision and I am receiving emails from school regarding missed coursework.


OP’s posts: |
JustDanceAddict Mon 10-Apr-17 14:02:35

wow! My 13 yr old is pretty addicted to PS4 but we insist he spends time on other things and also sees his friends in real life too as well as interact with them online. We are the parents and we have control ultimately even when he moans, etc. he eats normally and sits with us for dinner. He will never have it in his room - I would bring it down straight away if I were you.
At 15 it might be harder to implement time restrictions but you still can - esp if he is missing his deadlines (is he year 11) and won't pass GCSEs. Are all his friends going to fail their exams too?

BackforGood Mon 10-Apr-17 21:22:48

I agree with bringing it out of his room and setting time limits. If he breaks them, then he loses it for a week or the rest of the month or whatever you decide. He's plenty old enough to know that actions have consequences.
We too always eat meals together. It is a point of contact each day, as well as the chance to feed a healthy meal.

buddup Wed 19-Apr-17 08:30:51

Owenbrenn - this could be my son you are talking about. My son lives for YouTube, lucozade and doritos. I had to work away for a couple of days and his dad(who isn't as strict as me) said he literally just stayed on his games for 48 hours) he doesn't want to socialise, eat or even get out of bed. He says his tech are the only things he enjoys.

. I have moved his Xbox and pc downstairs but now he just stays in his room on his iPad. He won't eat his meals because he has just drank a litre bottle of pop on his way home from school and he isn't hungry. Etc etc

So I have now chosen to become a control freak which a lot of people on here won't agree with but he is my son and I am seriously concerned about his health and wellbeing. I now insist that his grandparents give him his spends via me so I can control the amount of junk food he is consuming. (It's still a lot because he is a teenager after all but it is no where near as much as it previously was) I insist he comes down for mealtimes even though it almost always involves a battle. At 9 o'clock I take his iPad and phone off him and make him watch a family film etc with us. I also make him walk the dog with me once a day so he isn't getting some fresh air and he will occasionally open up to me on these walks.

None of the above make me very popular and I am riddled with self doubt that I am not doing the right thing but my instinct tells me he needs this extra support so this is the method I have chosen.

Let me know if you find any better solutions

SweepTheHalls Wed 19-Apr-17 08:33:21

Budup, have no self doubt, you list sounds exactly what he needs flowers

Babyroobs Wed 19-Apr-17 22:10:58

I have just started a new thread about my son, almost the same. if I had seen this thread first I wouldn't have started another !
My ds3 s spending so much time on the playstation, I wish I could just throw it away. He doesn't speak to anyone. The only time he comes out of his room is to eat and even then he shovels his food down and doesn't speak to anyone.

WicksEnd Wed 19-Apr-17 22:47:58

Do you know you can cut of wifi just for his devices? All my teens devices get cut off so they can't play on it all night.
Mine are bad for it but they do go out too. That's worrying. Does he have interests? Friends at school?
To be honest if he's only been out once in 4 years, I'd not be moving it downstairs, I'd be taking a hammer to it.


WicksEnd Wed 19-Apr-17 22:52:10

I'm making out like mine are perfect. I've just had to text my 15 year old to get home hmm so get em off the Xbox and they take the mic staying out late.

BadToTheBone Wed 19-Apr-17 22:56:25

My ds is 15 and he spends a fair amount of time in his Xbox but he also does two different sports a couple of times s week and goes out with his friends on a weekend, sometimes to just hang out and sometimes they meet at the school 3G pitches. I'd be worried if all he did was go on his Xbox. I found telling my ds that although there's always a friend on Xbox but it isn't always all of them and that they all have time away. Get him to think about the friends who aren't on the Xbox at any given time and get him to think of what they may be doing whilst they're away.

BernieKosar Wed 19-Apr-17 22:59:32

I've also posted on Babyroobs thread. There's a basic rule with changing behaviour. If you remove something (xbox), you must replace it with something else (Boardgames / sport / shopping / cooking / reading / cinema / etc).

It's hard to do, but not impossible, and definitely worth weathering the storm for.

Garlicansapphire Wed 19-Apr-17 23:05:08

My DS is similarly addicted, but he does meet up with friends and go out too and will come out for walks or meals, chat over dinner etc.

But his PS$ is not in his bedroom and when I get fed up with it the wifi gets switched off.

millifiori Wed 19-Apr-17 23:10:47


He sounds addicted. I suggest you wean him off it in small doses. I tell DC that at weekends they absolutely MUST spend 1 hour outdoors in the sunshine every day for their health. They can ride bikes, walk, run, help in the garden, or just laze around on a blanket. They also MUST spend an hour a day doing exercise of some kind and they MUST help out around the house - usually with cooking, laundry, gardening, cleaning, building flatpack furniture etc. They also have to eat at table with us, no screens allowed.

If they do these four things, they're allowed to spend the rest of the time glued to screens. But while they do those four things, we have lots of fun. We listen to music they like and discuss it, then check if any gigs are coming up. We chat a lot and make plans for other things they want to do. E.g. visit Lego Superheroes sculpture exhibition in London, or go to a comic book store and look for manga. Then we make plans to do these things and do them as soon as possible. That way, weekends tend to get busy with doing stuff and I mind less that they are addicted to screens during the week after school. Gradually, this has stopped them from being too addicted.

For my DC being strict or banning screens wouldn't work. I prefer sneakily getting them interested in other stuff so they barely even notice they haven't been online for a while. But they do know the other stuff is non negotiable. If I say we're going for a bike ride, they know the bike ride will happen, however much they whine. And they also know they can have screens, no fuss, when they get back from the ride.

TryingToFigureItAllOut Sun 30-Apr-17 21:20:58

We also do not have game consoles in bedrooms. Learnt that lesson when DH caught DTS1 playing at 4am when he got up to go to the loo. He was about 13 at the time and it was a school night!

We have a TV in the corner of the dining room so I can monitor what they are playing (little buggers try to download 18 games) and switch it off if they are on it too long, or argue about it or backchat. Wifi is turned off when we go to bed.

They have to get dressed/washed, make beds, clean up breakfast stuff before midday on weekends/holidays and I make them do something else at regular intervals if they aren't going out.

I have delicious fantasies of smashing the consoles and their phones with a hammer on a regular basis!

DeanKoontz Mon 01-May-17 20:37:16

I have delicious fantasies of smashing the consoles and their phones with a hammer on a regular basis! Me too grin

Iamabuyingbootsaddict Tue 02-May-17 15:24:30

I have a 16 year old DS and he has been like this since he was around 10. I've tried rationing tech and other activities all undertaken in a strop or full on depression. He never went out and I worried myself sick about this. Everything changed as another wise mum who had an identical version herself said when he turned 15. Now I have a job to keep him in to do his revision. He has also developed a liking for takeaways at friends houses and last week suffered a bout of food poisoning as a result. It is a roller coaster but all I can say from personal experience is that don't give up hope that something suddenly will change. For my boy he discovered girls and wanting to get a girlfriend spurred him on to get out there. He's had 3 since November. Now I'm worrying about a whole different set of things!!

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in