What do your 12/13/14 year olds do in their spare time?

(53 Posts)
PrimalLass Mon 09-Oct-17 19:01:11

I have a very bright but very bored 12 year old. He was born bored. We've counteracted it by sport sport sport until now, but neither running his energy out nor high school is cutting it now.

He is very resistant to any suggestions other than hiding away with the XBox. Not the sort of mental stimulation that I'm looking for.

What do your kids of this age do to keep their brains going?

OP’s posts: |
autumncolour Mon 09-Oct-17 19:09:58

How about a bit of code breaking?


fairyofallthings Mon 09-Oct-17 19:13:56

Books books and books, how it works magazine, national geographic, programmes like mock the week and documentaries plus lots of sport.

PrimalLass Mon 09-Oct-17 19:16:35

He won't read. It breaks my heart. His dad is a software engineer but we've never been able to get DS interested. I think we might have to take everything else away to the point he is so bored that he will try anything.

OP’s posts: |
PrimalLass Mon 09-Oct-17 19:18:20

Something like code breaking could work. He's very good at maths and language (just stated reading without being taught). I think we'll have to insist he does more clubs at school. We've given him leeway this term to settle in.

OP’s posts: |
Christinayangstwistedsista Mon 09-Oct-17 19:24:23

I have similar and I think sometimes you just have to let them get bored and then find their own entertainment. I share your pain re the constant battle over xbox, we limit it to weekends only

weegiemum Mon 09-Oct-17 19:29:16

My 13 yo dd2 reads and reads. Takes the dog out (her dog) including obedience lessons.

She does make up - both face stuff and some fantastic liquid latex wounds/zombies etc, which she's taught herself and now is in demand at school with halloween coming up. Its her main hobby!

She also plays violin and piano and does 45 mins-hr practice each day.

And dances round her room in her underwear singing to her latest music!


chickenwing Mon 09-Oct-17 19:43:12

I'm having the same problem sad but I've done the whole taking everything off him in the hope that he would get his imagination back but it didn't work. Now he just either goes to his friends house or stays at my mums so he basically doesn't even want to be here now! Completely stuck

annandale Mon 09-Oct-17 19:47:43

YouTube. ..

Duke of Edinburgh
Rugby after school
15 mins compulsory reading a day
Youth club

Just had a go at ice hockey

It's a problem. I would keep inviting other kids over, even if he protests. Ds will sometimes sit through a family film night, we try for weekly or thereabouts.

Plummer88 Mon 09-Oct-17 19:58:17

My nearly 13 year old would just watch YouTube all day if we let her!

She does guides on a Monday, netball club on a Tuesday and school netball on a Wednesday. Then comes swimming with us on a Sunday.

MissBeehiving Mon 09-Oct-17 20:03:46

Sea scouts

Vintagebeads Mon 09-Oct-17 20:12:21

My 12yr old would be on the Xbox around the clock if let.
He doesn't get out of school until almost six as he stays on for supervised study.
He does football,watches a bit of TV if its dry goes outside ball,trampoline/plays with DD.
He swims once a week,footie training another and if he says his bored is given jobs.
During the summer I taught him to make some simple meals stir fry etc and he cooks once a week.
He still can be bored and you know what no harm.

thisagain Mon 09-Oct-17 20:15:28

Dances, plays piano and clarinet and sings.

allegretto Mon 09-Oct-17 20:16:50

Football, scouts, winding up siblings

ownedbySWD Mon 09-Oct-17 20:21:16

13 yo ds is not sporty at all, so enjoys things like reading, gaming, and the newest interest is table top games like Star Wars Whatsit and other complicated board games. He goes to a game shop to meet like minded individuals. He also volunteers about once a month.

Mommabear6914 Mon 09-Oct-17 22:00:07

I host family chess nights every Wednesday and Thursday night just to keep there brains ticking! The rest of the time they usually watch youtube in their room or go on social media (snapchat, instagram etc.). I always make sure they watch appropriate youtubers like shane dawson, idubbz and leafyisqueer.

Ktown Mon 09-Oct-17 22:03:06

Play the piano badly
Go wondering around galleries
Read read read
Watch the news
I was old before my time though

crunchtime Mon 09-Oct-17 22:05:33

14 year old here

playing his guitar
school drama-rehearsals about 3 times a week
swimming training
fifa on the playstation

LynetteScavo Mon 09-Oct-17 22:17:06

My 14yo takes parts of bikes, puts them on other bikes, rides the bikes (too much at the mo; I have to drag him in) oh, and takes bikes apart again hmm He also spends a lot of time filming himself riding his bike on his go-pro.



A musical instrument?

PrimalLass Mon 09-Oct-17 22:56:33

He does 4 X football and 3x tennis each week. Plus an instrument (but so far gets away with minimal practice). Hated cubs so we let him drop it but I think he'd maybe like scouts.

So hard.

Very much thinking about a dog as he loves my mum's and is old enough to take on the responsibility.

OP’s posts: |
PrimalLass Mon 09-Oct-17 22:57:21

Thanks everyone for answering. I really appreciate it. Will try and work on coding and think he'd like Enigma machine stuff and code breaking.

OP’s posts: |
PrimalLass Mon 09-Oct-17 22:59:47

The boredness is causing a huge problem as he is just so in need of a mental challenge. School is too easy and always has been. But today has been a wake up call.

OP’s posts: |
PrimalLass Mon 09-Oct-17 23:01:50

Cooking is a good one. I bought the Jamie 5 ingredients book. Will look at it together tomorrow.

OP’s posts: |
Ojoj1974 Mon 09-Oct-17 23:06:13

Started Sea Cadets in September and surprisingly he loves it. It is v well run, not too many kids, they learn new skills, have to be well presented and disciplined. It's been a real winner

ownedbySWD Tue 10-Oct-17 07:22:51

Getting a dog would open a lot of possibilities, like fly ball training etc. Teaching it loads of fun tricks would be a challenge.

Join the discussion

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

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in