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What do I do with teen at weekends??(43 Posts)
When DS, now 13, was younger, I used to take him out and about everywhere. We live in London and had easy access to parks, theatres, attractions, events, museums, exhibitions etc.
We are in a bit of a funny in between phase at the moment. He isn't quite there yet with making his own arrangements with friends to go anywhere. But he is becoming less impressed with going anywhere with me.
If it was down to him, he'd play Fortnite 24-7 and so I still feel I need to make the effort at weekends to make sure he gets a bit of fresh air, exercise (or movement at least!) and just experience real life. But here I am spending money and time on taking him out when he'd rather not be there at all.
Tomorrow for example, I have offered to take him to the cinema (which I'd combine with a walk along the Thames and coffee/cake somewhere), and even then he was like "meh, whatever." So I'm thinking, am I really going to spend £25 on cinema tickets watching a film of his choice when he's not even bothered or doesn't make him happy??
Or do I just make him go out on his bike to get a bit of exercise and then leave him to it for the rest of the day and I just get on with something I enjoy?!
What with the xmas hols coming up, I normally have lots of days out planned but just not sure how to go about it this year.
Experienced mums of teens please advise!
I wouldn't / didn't expect mine to want to hang around with me when they were 13, no.
At that age mine would do things as part of things they belonged to, or they would tend to stay at home. They do go through an age / stage when they can't quite sort themselves out to arrange to meet their friends, but they are too old for their Mums to arrange things, and that's ok - it is a normal stage.
It is also a normal stage to not want to be out and about with their Mums.
I really wouldn't be making him come out with you.
I would, however, encourage him to join / be part of something that gets him out of his room.
One of mine is 13. She does arrange some things with friends. More in the holidays than at weekends. She goes to a drama group on Saturdays and what with that and homework there isn't a huge amount of time for outings. We like walks so we now go sometimes and leave her at home (her choice). She's on social media or watching TV usually. Not wildly active.
Thanks, good to know. It just seems strange this year...not so xmassy as in previous years where we've gone to xmassy events!
BackforGood - thanks, nice to have it confirmed that it's all normal. I am trying to get him involved in some activity that gets him out of his room. It's not easy as he is not particularly sporty. He likes swimming but again...needs to do that with a friend, not me.
Sundance2741 in my experience, girls tend to be a bit better at meeting up with friends at this age. Great that she goes to a drama group too. Does it concern you that children are meant to get an hour of exercise a day? Because my DS certainly gets nowhere near that currently.
At that age I used to send mine out for at least an hour with a pound or two. Even if they were just walking/scootering to the shop to buy cheap and eat it in the park, they were out in the fresh air. I had the advantage of having two a year apart though. It's a struggle and mine are still not social at 18 and 17. We always do a Christmas movie night and meal out and the boys and I do panto as well but DH won't go since he's the grinch.
Mine is 14 and not really interested in hanging out with us at all unless it’s a special
Occasion or going for a meal sometimes. He does a lot of chatting online to friends, he has a couple of hobbies which he does although not a club, sadly. He’ll be doing Silver duke of Edinburgh too. Also works reasonably hard at school and has friends.
It is a weird age as boys are t great at getting together unless they’re particularly sociable or popular types. All seem a bit glued to Fortnite and other games or just chatting online. He will meet up usually once in a weekend with someone but not always. He seems happy enough and it’s quite obvious to me when he isn’t.
Tricky at this age.
It was easier for Ds1, because he was off out playing football with school friends. Your ds doesn't have that.
Could he build up friendships more at all?
Get him to sign up to something that he wants to do, outside of the house. There are so many options today, there's really no excuse. One of mine who would happily stay glued to electronics all day, joined an athletics club for example. If you pick the right one they don't have to be really good or even compete, they just have to go to training 2 or 3 times a week. Local universities/colleges with sports facilities are a good way to start if you are stuck.
DofE is a good one too as apart from the expedition, they have to volunteer, learn a new skill and commit to a sport once a week.
It's normal for them not to want to spend time with you (esp boys). Don't take it personally
Good to hear other's experiences. I'm finding it a bit strange to be honest...after 13 years of my life revolving around DS I suddenly find myself at a loose end. I work and have an interesting job and I do have friends, but I am a lone parent (ex dp not in the picture at all) and I'm single. Most of my friends are either busy with their own families at weekends or on the other end of the scale - going out a lot and basically on the hunt for a partner. Feeling a bit deflated and sad actually! Think I'll start looking for a class to join at the weekends, that should help.
sayatidaknama I have tried. He is just not interested in anything at the moment. Last weekend I told him I'd given him lots of opportunities to get fit but as he hadn't taken any, WE were going on a jog. It was quite an angry jog! We then met a man at the park who was volunteering on a community project by gardening at the park and was needing volunteers, so I volunteered DS. He was meant to go this morning, but the idea was so unappealing to him that all of a sudden, he "was quite up for going for a jog" (by himself). So I suppose there was some success there.
I have a similar 13 year old too. He has no choice at the moment as he has younger siblings so I need to get them out. He’ll be a bit ‘meh’ about it too but does end up enjoying it.
We do tend to go to central London quite a bit or a park. I took mine on a ghost walk from Bank station which he really enjoyed.
He plays football every Sunday so I don’t mind him chilling out all day Saturday but I don’t want him playing fortnite all day. It’s tricky.
ILiveInSalemsLot you're lucky he plays football, I would be happy with that at the moment, but DS has never played. I think in a way it helps to have siblings too - going out on a family day is not QUITE as embarrassing as JUST going out with your mum I think.
I totally get you. My DS is 12 and not at the stage of arranging things with friends. He usually plays a couple of hours if tennis at the weekend but that's off now due to weather. He's probably going to spend the whole day on Fortnite today.
Perhaps we should get all our preteen/teen boys together and do a MN mother and son London meet up! Although they'd probably all stand around grunting at each other and not interact at all.
Atlhough when I look back to what I was doing at that age - hanging out in shopping centres with my friends looking at boys. Not exactly the most active or culturally rich activity either!
dimsum123 well I think that's a great idea but if I pitch that to DS I know exactly what he'll say: "CRINGE".
13yo boys are "meh" about everything. It doesn't mean they are not happy or enjoying themselves, it's just a "meh" stage!!
Also, much as we all hate it, fortnite, snapchat, insta etc are the modern day way of communicating with their friends. The same as when we would spend hours sat on the phone chatting!!
Currently on holiday in the Caribbean with a 13 yo "meh"ing despite the fact I know he is loving every minute. He just can't verbalise it. He is 14 next week so hoping he will regain the ability to speak!
A few of my friends have signed their ds up for cadets or explore scouts to try to get them more active and involved in something. Is that something that appeals?
This may be a bit harsh, but it sounds like you haven't prioritised getting him involved in something of his own (a sport or music etc) because you have been using him as your entertainment.
Personally, I would make at least one hobby non-negotiable. Preferably something that will give him social capital as an adult.
Could you draw up a list of all the age appropriate things available locally (there must be loads- apparently this is the point of living in London) and tell him he has to choose something?
Air Cadets, Sea Cadets, Army Cadets you get my drift.
Or Scouts or any other kind of group is good for gaming boys, who aren't keen on sports.
My DS did Air Cadets. Out two evenings a week, lots of weekend camps and holiday camps.
Your DS will probably say boring, but tell him that my DS learned to drive a 4x4 off road at camp (with an instructor) at 14. He flew a plane, learned to shoot and did archery amongst other things. He was also in the Cadet band, played the drum, he had never played an instrument before in his life.
He also did a Btech in Aviation which was equivalent to 2 extra GCSE's, only tell him this if he interested in education. .
He was also a gamer but he loved the things he did at cadets and it opened up lots of opportunities for him.
And DD 13 joined a year ago and flew a plane this summer at 13 and 4 months at summer camp. She was absolutely buzzing.
"Meh, whatever" is code for "it's fine, thanks". No would be no.
Do parkrun in the morning then you can both chill out for the rest of the day
I was going to suggest Park Run, if he is willing to 'go for a jog' and 'get up on a Saturday morning.
Although, if he is doing his Silver DofE, the surely he is doing some physical activity each eek, and volunteering and a skill, so must be out and joining in things 3 x a week ?
yumsy I can just imagine your DS' review on Tripadvisor: "meh."
4point2fleet forget harsh, your analysis is just completely inaccurate. I am more than capable of entertaining myself thanks - definitely don't need child-themed activities to keep me amused, I've actually been waiting for this moment for many years. It's time for ME! By the way DS has done loads of things in the past - swimming, archery, trampolining, etc.
I appreciate all your ideas, but these are all things I've thought of before and he just doesn't want to get involved in organised activities. He was 'willing' to go for a jog this morning because the alternative was to volunteer for community gardening. I think he's got the message: get out and do something or I'll find something for you to do.
BackforGood it wasn't my DS who was doing DofE. I definitely have that on the back burner though, perhaps he might be ready to do that in a couple of years.
Not everybody is into organised activities. My ds has never been keen, but as soon as he was old enough to start moving around on his own, he walked long distances, never took a bus into town, went places of his own volition to see what they were like. That's exercise too. Then he joined a gym, again exercise, though not a communal activity. I was quite surprised the other day to find he is now playing regular five a side football- must be the first organised activity he's done voluntarily in his life, and he's 18.