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What does you preteen do in their down time?

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#1 decisionsdecisions

Posted 15 June 2019 - 04:26 PM

My DS12 is fairly active (swimming, surf lifesaving, tennis & volleyball) which takes up about 10 hours each week, every week of the year but at home his hobbies seem to be limited to watching you tube and annoying the dog or his sister. He just can’t find anything else to amuse himself.

What hobbies do your preteen & young teen boys have?

He has all the usual things.....loads of books (big reader but usually only reads before he goes to sleep), LEGO, basketball ring, remote control cars, bike, skateboard, electronic sets, nerf guns, Xbox, board games, backyard big enough to kick a footy & a dad happy to have a kick, even access to a workshop in the shed and loads of timber he could nail together or saw in pieces if he wanted to but none of it seems to interest  him. He even has LEGO sets, jigsaw puzzles and building kits which he received as gifts for his birthday 5 months ago that are still unopened.

In comparison my DD9 can entertain herself for hours with arts & crafts, skipping, trampoline, cooking, etc.  Any spare time I have outside of paid work, doing housework stuff or running the kids around is spent in the garden or taking the dog for a walk.

Do I just accept that his spare hours on the weekend and afternoons when he’s not out of the house are YouTube hours?

#2 Expelliarmus

Posted 15 June 2019 - 05:11 PM

When DS was 12 he was often outside with the basketball or soccer ball, on his skateboard or playstation.

At 12 he probably still did lego on occasion and sometimes helped my dad in his carpentry workshop.

I wouldn't accept YouTube endlessly at 12yo and it is at this point I might entertain the notion of restricting screentime even though that isn't usually my thing.

#3 Octopodes

Posted 15 June 2019 - 05:46 PM

DS12 is endlessly busy, always has several projects on the go at once. He is really into making Lego stop motion movies on his ipad atm. He also does a lot of craft, origami, drawing, he makes his own comic books, plays with his Lego, beyblades etc he also likes to teach himself all he can about science and maths, play xbox, listen to music on spotify and reads for several hours at a time. On weekends he might also watch a movie, either by himself or with DH and I. We often play board/card games together on weekends also. He is almost never outside, he prefers to do inside stuff.

He is never doing nothing, there's always something going on in that busy little brain of his, it usually manifests into some amazing physical creation at some point.

Edited by Octopodes, 15 June 2019 - 05:47 PM.

#4 decisionsdecisions

Posted 15 June 2019 - 06:05 PM

View PostExpelliarmus, on 15 June 2019 - 05:11 PM, said:

I wouldn't accept YouTube endlessly at 12yo and it is at this point I might entertain the notion of restricting screentime even though that isn't usually my thing.

I currently do restrict it to an hour then tv is off. I redirect him to all the things he has that he could be doing but none seem to last more than 20 minutes or so before he’s finished & annoying the dog or his sister.

All of his school friends seem to be on their screens all the time but not something I’m will to accept. So looking for interesting hobbies that other boys this age might be into that might pique his interest.

#5 Elizabethandfriend

Posted 15 June 2019 - 06:10 PM

My DD is 12 and trains in swimming 10 hours a week, plays an instrument, is in two choirs and an orchestra and involved in musical theatre.   She also has weekly homework.  To be honest, any other down time is spent on screens - a combination of talking to friends and youtube.    I don't love it but she clearly has a balanced life and is extremely fit and active.  In the school holidays I try and ensure she finds a few projects to occupy her in other ways.

#6 kerilyntaryn

Posted 15 June 2019 - 06:45 PM

Art, or computers etc

#7 amdirel

Posted 15 June 2019 - 09:51 PM

Youtube, games on phone, reading, listens to music, sometimes tv/playstation if the tv hasn't been taken over by DD. He's quite physically inactive in his downtime.

#8 Grrrumbles

Posted 15 June 2019 - 10:00 PM

Mr almost 9 is the same. He won’t spend any time in his bedroom before bedtime and doesn’t read until bedtime.

He will play cards, boardgames etc with one of us but how do you manage that when you have just walked in the door from work and need to get dinner ready.

I spent a lot of time playing in my room and reading after school as a child. My mother would have laughed if I expected her to amuse me and I really didn’t want/need her to do anything.

We restrict computers, tablets etc during the week but they will watch YouTube on the TV. It is too cold to go outside here after they get home from school, last time DS did he wanted to leave the sliding door open, turning the house into an icebox.

#9 Tyrannosaurus

Posted 16 June 2019 - 01:21 PM

My  9 and 10 year old boys plays "roblux" on the computer pretty much all the time, and reads too.

#10 Babetty

Posted 16 June 2019 - 02:35 PM

My 10 year old DS is similar. He'd spend every spare minute on a screen if we let him, so it's almost no screen time Mon - Wed and limited other days. He will read in his room, go out and ride his bike and if he can't find anything to do, we generally give him some chores - not in a punishment sense but the response to "I'm bored" is usually "You can help me with X then".

We have been watching MasterChef as a family (recorded) which does mean more screen time than usual, but is also family time.

#11 *Nasty*Squeekums*

Posted 16 June 2019 - 02:46 PM

We must be pretty lax here lol
Dd is 9 can do what she wants at home, no screen restrictions. Hell we just put a tv and wiiu in her room.

She still chooses to read, play on trampoline, her cubby or bike, plays with her multitude of toys in imaginary play.
Unrestricted access to screens hasn't changed her love of playing games or being outside

#12 Melbs2010

Posted 16 June 2019 - 03:29 PM

Mine may not be a popular opinion but if doing 10 hours of extra-curicular activities (which are all sports) is having downtime watching YouTube that bad? I mean, if he's complaining of boredom and acting up as a result then maybe but I figure kids need some downtime the same as adults do.

I sometimes have to remind myself that if I were going to school, doing after school/weekend sport, doing homework etc that I would want the chance to lie on the couch and relax a bit too.  Maybe that's the introvert in me talking.  My 8 year old is pretty active and more often than not gets bored after a bit of YouTube time and swaps to something more engaged.  He doesn't live on a screen but I will let him do it as a "rest" activity so long as he's done the important things

#13 Babetty

Posted 16 June 2019 - 04:37 PM

View Post*Nasty*Squeekums*, on 16 June 2019 - 02:46 PM, said:

We must be pretty lax here lol
Dd is 9 can do what she wants at home, no screen restrictions. Hell we just put a tv and wiiu in her room.

She still chooses to read, play on trampoline, her cubby or bike, plays with her multitude of toys in imaginary play.
Unrestricted access to screens hasn't changed her love of playing games or being outside

With DD I could do unrestricted screentime - she would self-regulate and do lots of other stuff - she doesn't watch nearly as much screen time as she could! DS is a different story, hence the need for limits.

#14 BeAwesome

Posted 16 June 2019 - 05:03 PM

My tween DD has a fairly busy schedule.

Violin (1 lesson + ensemble), and practices a couple of times a week.  
Choir x 2 (school and outside of school)
Musical theatre (2.5 hrs per week)
Taekwon-Do x 2 / week.

She typically gets homework done in one afternoon after school, very rarely needing to finish off anything on the weekend. She also goes to OOSHC 2 afternoons a week, but just hangs out with friends there.

She self-regulates fairly well with tech, she'll occasionally watch YouTube for a short while, or program on Scratch, or play Nintendo.  

Non screen time things would be playing/reading on the hammock swing, Lego, drawing, origami, organises her Pokemon cards, listening/singing along to music, tumbling/stretching, riding scooter.  She watches a fair bit of TV, I've never really counted that in screen time, as she's usually drawing or doing something else at the same time.

#15 mayahlb

Posted 16 June 2019 - 05:13 PM

I think screen time is dependant on your children. Some kids seem more capable of developing regulation and others need it enforced. YouTube is banned here because my kids get obsessive over it and behaviour goes downhill.

The 10.5yr old like LEGO and k-nex. He also is nagging me for a robot building kid he saw me looking at for his brother. He’s quite interested in electronics and electrical things so likely we will end up with a small workshop type space in the garage where they can build stuff.

I’m mean and kick them outside once it’s 3.30 and before 11 on weekends. They have a soccer pitch, pool, and copious amounts of space to run around on.

They also love board games and we have a fair stack of board games and card games now. (Gameology is awesome for different ones beyond monopoly etc.) actually they spent probably 3 hours today just playing those.

#16 ExpatInAsia

Posted 16 June 2019 - 05:13 PM

My son would spend every minute on PS4,tv and YouTube if we let him. We are quite strict about limiting screen/tv time. I think children need to learn to amuse themselves without mindlessly spending hours on screens. Plus with  the amount of rubbish content on YouTube we don’t want him on there for extended periods.

He will whine about it but we just hold the line. Excessive screen time is not good for tweens/teens or their social skills.

#17 *Nasty*Squeekums*

Posted 16 June 2019 - 08:55 PM

View PostBabetty, on 16 June 2019 - 04:37 PM, said:

With DD I could do unrestricted screentime - she would self-regulate and do lots of other stuff - she doesn't watch nearly as much screen time as she could! DS is a different story, hence the need for limits.

I'm gunna add this to my list of why only one kid LMAO
Easier to manage different personalities if it just me, dp and dd. Plus if I had that issue I'd have to restrict MY use to model the behavior.......
hmmmm that would be an issue lol

But yeah that would make it hard if one would be ok but the other would take advantage

#18 CallMeFeral

Posted 16 June 2019 - 10:31 PM

My  DS9yo seems to find it hard to self entertain too. Mostly he reads (thank heavens he's willing to re-read books) and gravitates to the computer. They have restrictions on entertainment-type screen time so he sometimes does the various math/spelling apps I've downloaded and sometimes looks up random things on the internet (usually along the lines of "would a tyrannosaurus beat a triceratops in a fight? Would a megalodon beat a krakan in a fight?")
His little sister is actually the one who draws him into more imaginative play.

DD 10yo is starting to gravitate to the computer now too, she used to be the biggest one for imaginative play but is starting to default to the computer and looks up celebrities and reads about their lives, which is a bit urgh. Sometimes she writes stories. I feel like it's my fault, they probably see me on the computer all the time and it's become their default.

#19 lumack

Posted 16 June 2019 - 10:42 PM

My 11.5yo ds is very busy and doesn't have a heap of down time.  He gravitates to youtube watching when he has access to his screens.  Without a device in hand he enjoys reading (he is loving ya dystopian fiction from the 80s and 90s currently, and inhaling books to such an extent i struggle to keep up), going for bike rides, running, nerf battles, board games and card games.

#20 RuntotheRiver

Posted 16 June 2019 - 11:15 PM

My nearly 12 YO DS will go outside. Trampoline, help with lawns / whipper snip (big yard, he enjoys it lol), lego, paint, scooter around. Play is guitar.  Read for an hour.

We don’t do screens during the day. Late arvo OK - Mainly on Minecraft.

He just has tennis squad, lesson and sat comp & guitar, for activities.

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