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Tween boy play dates and expectations
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Thematic · 28/10/2021 18:13

I'm wondering whether other parents of tween boys have expectations their boys will do anything other than gaming/YouTube when they have friends round? We don't let our boys have a lot of screen time (just Friday after school and a bit of time at weekends), but we're always walking a fine line between what we want for them in private, but also not wanting them to be seen as the weird kid by their friends, so when they have friends round I always let them play games. But it seems that consequently ALL they then want to do is gaming when they have friends round. Sometimes their friends actually seem like they might want to do something different. I f the weather is good I might make them go and play football but if it's too dark or wet they just seem to stare at screens and it depresses me! So I was just wondering if it was the same for others? And if not, what sorts of things do your kids do on play dates and Is it self started or do you push them to do other activities? My son is 9 and in year 5. Thanks

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CatsArePeople · 28/10/2021 21:18

yep, gaming is pretty much the norm. Sometimes they play with Lego or RC cars but that novelty quickly wears off.

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waterrat · 29/10/2021 04:33

Hello I have a year 5 boy. I don't see this as the norm personally. I only let them have a bit of screen time if they have a friend over. I would ideally start with park trip after school so they have fresh air and kick about with a ball

We have a garden which I realise not everyone has but I make them go and play some football. Then they might sit and look at match attax cards which my son and friends are v into.

Can still get them playing with lego sometimes. I just tell them they have to do other stuff and they do eventually think of games.

My son and the boys next door love making movies on the tablet with a film making app they come up with silly plot ideas ..

I know the gaming desire is strong but I would be disappointed if my son went to a friend and all they did was game. They have such a sedentary day at school I think they need that push to be active at least for an hour or two

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waterrat · 29/10/2021 04:35

So..don't think your son is weird for not gaming all the time ! I don't know any year 5 children where the normal would be doing nothing but screens when seeing a friend.

BTW. With dark and wet weather if yoi can cope with it my kids love being out playing football in dark and wet Smile

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Thematic · 29/10/2021 17:35

Thank you Watterat! I don't want to be cringed at when I say 'go do something else' so wanted a sense check!

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Tiredmum100 · 29/10/2021 17:43

My son is in year 5 and yes they love gaming with their friends. I remember when he was younger and going to a birthday party with him, where the older sibling and his friend weren't taking part in the party just sat next to each other playing games on their devices. I was a bit horrified, how little did I know that was soon going to be my reality. For what its worth, my dc do 4 activities a week (rugby twice, swimming and cubs) so they are active as well.

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Confuseddotcom12345 · 30/10/2021 20:51

Just wondering at some stage when they grow older does it become the norm (unless they’re sporty/into football) for gaming to be the only way they socialise unless the parent arranged a trip out?

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Wondergirl100 · 01/11/2021 22:12

Isn't it possible the opposite is true @Confuseddotcom12345 - and as they get older they will be out and about more - ie meeting in parks to hang out or going to cinema etc? Im really hoping they develop independence by secondary school and parents wouldnt be arranging that stuff.

Sadly I think screens are literally slowing down that progression to freedom and outdoor time that were normal even a generation ago - ie. playing outside - I know there are other reasons (ie. cars) that kids don't 'play out' - but screens clearly play a massive part in that.

Anyway - I will be working hard to try and make sure my kids go out and about with friends or find shared activities that are not screens as they get older.

For a 9 year old - I can see from my own that they still get a huge amount of enjoying running around outdoors or doing imaginative play etc - think of nerf guns/ hide and seek outside, take them out in the dark with torches for hide and seek.

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Wondergirl100 · 01/11/2021 22:13

BUt I do wonder if once they are older - ie. secondary - and a friend comes over, I wont be able to have so much influence over what they do together - so if they want to 'game' I don't think Ill be able to suggest they do something else quite so easily.

I think my only answer would be to make sure they spend a lot of time out of the house!

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Iusedtobecarmen · 01/11/2021 22:19

The answer is definitely to be out of the house!!
In the house they will do everything to try and game/use phones

Mine sometimes moan about going out, but then they enjoy it.
Tbf, mine do list of sports too to balance and i try and watch some TV or films with them.
When friends come round they will quite often go in the garden or I will take them the park.
But I agree the gaming is so depressing.

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TheOrigRights · 01/11/2021 22:31

What you say sounds normal from year 7 up ie age 11 or so, not year 5.
At age 9 I'd def be making sure they were way more active.

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CatsArePeople · 02/11/2021 10:58

Sadly I think screens are literally slowing down that progression to freedom and outdoor time that were normal even a generation ago - ie. playing outside - I know there are other reasons (ie. cars) that kids don't 'play out' - but screens clearly play a massive part in that.

plenty of MN threads with "I'll dob you in to SS if i see your kid loitering outside unsupervised" - must be the screens.

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