What does your young teenager boy do?

(35 Posts)
Lua Wed 27-Jun-18 12:09:31

We are in a rut. DS, who is 13, does not seem to have an interest in anything else beside gaming. I believe this overeliance on virtual life is damaging to young kids (13 is still very young!) and do not give free access. However, one minute after coming home the begging for X box, you tube, or some other technology starts. Relationship with friend is through X box, very rarely there is any kind of face to face social. No interest in sports, or anything else really. I am desperate trying to facilitate some "real life" hobby. What does your son do? Any suggestions?

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MumOfDiamonds Wed 27-Jun-18 12:31:13

My DS has just turned 14. He's tried every club under the sun, football, rugby, swimming and athletics. He did mixed martial arts for a few years which he loved but the classes got to large and was no longer getting the training we was paying for. He then joined a local boxing club which again he really enjoyed and was only £3 a session. He's really big on Drama (he's been doing this since year 7) and singing so he's now chosen extra lessons in these over the boxing. He also goes to a small village gym to keep fit.

A lot of money was spent before a found what he loved. A lot of places do free trial sessions so maybe it would be worth taking him to a few different activities and see what he gels with?

Lua Wed 27-Jun-18 12:38:03

Mum of diamonds - He did every club under the sun last year, but something has come over him in the last few months. He literally cannot stop thinking about his games. Perhaps it is a real addiction?

Glad to hear some boys are not stuck in front of an x box!

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user1484247439 Wed 27-Jun-18 12:43:30

My son's 13 and similar. He has time limits on gaming and has a certain number of days a week that he's not allowed on them.

He rarely goes out with his friends maybe once or twice a month, they all seem to socialise online and at school.

I've tried him with lots of different clubs but he doesn't really enjoy them and gets to the point where I'm forcing him to go.

I was hoping when they all start to get more interested in girls they might venture out more often!

It's quite sad as I have fond memories of being out all the time with my friends when I was his age.

Lua Wed 27-Jun-18 12:58:27

Maybe we all need to plan a simultaneous no wifi week! If they are all off the gaming at the same time they might discover each other?

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BigBairyHollocks Wed 27-Jun-18 13:00:46

Just chiming in to say the same.It is sad and it’s difficult to stop it,because if you do it seems that they have no contact with their friends at all.Waste of a life and makes me want to throttle my nearly 13 year old.

Tinty Wed 27-Jun-18 13:02:38

My DS was/is a gamer but at 13 he joined Air Cadets and did that 2 nights a week and many weekends and holidays. He had a great time and still played his games on other nights.

There are also Army and Sea Cadets and in some places Police Cadets. Maybe something like this would be good for your DS to get him doing something else.


cloudtree Wed 27-Jun-18 13:04:28

Homework, swimming, fencing, piano, school activities like school play.

We don't allow computer games during the week though

Sparklesanddiamomdsforever Wed 27-Jun-18 13:04:53

My 15 year old is the same, and I have given up restricting his useage now.

He has a girlfriend, but even she just comes round and sits in his room on the computer confused

He has no hobbies, no interests and no motivation to do anything other than sit in his room

I am absolutely terrified about his future when he has so little interest in anything outside of the house sad

MrsBlondie Wed 27-Jun-18 13:05:22

My DS loves the PS too. But they arrange meet ups over it. So they also all meet up at a local park, or into town for a bit. Could your DS do this. They do get the social part on these games a bit ie talking to friends over them.

SuperLoudPoppingAction Wed 27-Jun-18 13:05:57

Air training corps
Nerf gun battles in the garden

He doesn't manage to go out much and he does use his phone as a coping mechanism when he's not doing well, but he does the above.

Lua Wed 27-Jun-18 13:12:06

cloudtree - Does your son accept the game limitations? I.e. does not spend every minute bugging you about it? Does he go instead in his phone perhaps, or does he actually move into some other type of activity?

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anditgoes Wed 27-Jun-18 13:13:58

Not an awful lot.

He does a boxing club which he enjoys, occasionally draws which I try to gently push more as he's got such talent and reads but not without moaning.

He loves gaming above all but I've recently banned it on school nights as he was getting so bad, now he doesn't ask for it except on Friday and Saturday evenings.

AvonCallingBarksdale Wed 27-Jun-18 13:18:20

He runs 3X a week in a club, has two after school sport activities and plays rugby September-April. He also does Scouts, which is brilliant. We have a basketball net and ball which gets a lot of use and he’s getting a new bike next week. So a lot of physically active stuff He also (to my mind) spends a lot of time on the Xbox/phone. smile

MinaPaws Wed 27-Jun-18 13:27:36

DSs went to music school at weekend - rock guitar and bass and keyboards. Also involved in local youth theatre. (Not heavily but over the summer) They went swimming and cycling with me at that age, and then just with each other. I made them fix up to go to see movies with friends abotu once every two months. They do seem to have a chrysalis phase where they climb inside their cocoons for a year and suddenly come out the other side at aorund age 13.Both my DSs did and so have the DSs of friends.

We just had non-negotiable weekend time as a family, going on country walks, swims or bike rides; going to cheap theatre shows or exhibitions that interested them (like Manga exhibitions or Damien Hirst's walk-through cows). I also made the most of them moping around at home to teach them how to cook a few simple dishes, and occasionally gave them money to go out and buy food they could cook for the evening meal.

You just have to remove them from the x-box for about four-six hours a day. That way, even if they are on it for hours, they've also had some fresh air, exercise and social stimulation. DS1 now rarely touches it. DS2 does, but he plays with mates he also sees socially and he has wide other interests.

poopsqueak Wed 27-Jun-18 13:31:31

To provide some balance, I will say that I hope you dont pressure him into 'getting out and about' or 'getting out of the house'

As a child/teen I felt very pressured to be like my brother who found it very easy to make friends, play sports and join clubs. I hated all of that and would rather stay in watching tv or reading books or drawing alone.I was very happy doing that. I was never allowed to feel that this was the 'right' way to be though.

It just never seemed to enter my parents head that some people genuinely dont want to be involved in that sort of stuff. I am now an adult who still hates this stuff and would rather stay in. I suspect that if I had been raised in an era of technology, I would have been like your son.

Please dont make him feel guilty for not wanting to go out.

I understand about technological limitations and the impact on children. but didn't they say this about the radio in the 40's, the television in the 60's the games console in the 80's and the internet in the 90's? As long as he is getting enough sleep, is active at school and is happy leave him be.

elliejjtiny Wed 27-Jun-18 13:33:57

My ds is 12 and he loves his computer games and tv. He also loves piano, nerf guns, lego, chess and playing in the park.

Twofishfingers Wed 27-Jun-18 13:42:03

We don't have a games console. He goes on his phone or tablet 20 minutes in the morning and about 45 minutes in the evening. We keep a very close eye on it and if he goes on it too much we take it away for a week. We have been very, very strict with this stuff.

He plays cricket, and football depending on the season, is in scout, plays two musical instruments. We go out cycling a couple times a week. He spends time at friends' and plays on their consoles on occasion. He does bug us loads, loads every week to have more games/consoles but we stand our ground on this.

WhoKnowsWhereTheW1neGoes Wed 27-Jun-18 13:43:09

Mine does hockey and football clubs, Explorers and climbing. He also goes out to the park to kick a ball about most days. He is happy to go to the supermarket on his own or with me, also to cook and bake. He doesn't meet with friends much outside his clubs (he has SNs and prefers structured socialising to just hanging out together). He spends a lot of time on his phone when he is at home but doesn't use consoles much. We still go out together as a family at weekends, often at his instigation, but he does reject a lot of ideas so it can be a bit tricky planning it. He is also happy to play board games.

cptartapp Wed 27-Jun-18 13:45:08

Football, cricket and scouts. Not interested in the Xbox but would spend hours glued to the iPad if allowed. Scouts in particular has been fantastic.

ineedaholidaynow Wed 27-Jun-18 13:50:35

DS(13) does Scouts, hockey, badminton and piano. During term time he is kept very busy with homework too.

He does like screens too, so do try and limit it especially in the holidays.

A number of his peers have joined Cadets of various types and that seems to keep them busy.

Lua Wed 27-Jun-18 14:06:09

poopsqueak - I don't force him to go out. I do tell him he needs to do find something to do beyond computer. Am I a terrible mum? blush

He still does scout, so that is not bad. He plays piano, but these days needs to be bribed to practice - and he is so good at it!

I think he is very depressed. But I can't figure out if he is withdrawing into virtual life because he is depressed, or is the gaming that makes his real life depressing....

I can imagine that being in a game being able to make all your decisions make him fill a grown up in control (which every teenager craves?). Thus, real life where he might not be the best, and have parents telling him what to do is utterly frustrating?

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Lua Wed 27-Jun-18 14:07:53

He does not do homework and is starting to get into a lot of trouble in school. He gets away because he is very bright, and his marks are still top. But I worry he will be in trouble if he continues like this.

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cloudtree Wed 27-Jun-18 14:27:51

cloudtree - Does your son accept the game limitations? I.e. does not spend every minute bugging you about it? Does he go instead in his phone perhaps, or does he actually move into some other type of activity?

They've always had the rule that the playstation is for weekends only. Right from getting it roughly 5 years ago. So no they don't bug me because they know the answer is no. I have two DSs aged 13 and 11.

11 YO doesn't have a phone yet. DS1 (13) does have a phone but it has to be in a charging drawer after 7pm and if he is caught playing games on it when he has't done his homework it goes straight into the charging drawer.

Mine also go to a strict school. No homework being done would have very serious repercussions at school and so DS1 is pretty diligent about doing it. They have a couple of hours a night.

AlexanderHamilton Wed 27-Jun-18 14:30:23

We had years of xbox addiction but then he discovered music and theatre.

He's done hockey & football sporadically in the past but now rehearses twice a week, does choir, singing group, dance class and practices piano.

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