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Lovesherboy

13 year old so negative all the time

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Lovesherboy

I'm at my wits end with my 13 year old son, he never wants to do anything, even asking him to put the washing on the line or bringing wood in for the fire is a massive argument. 

He is allowed to gave twice a day for a hour, I don't allow him to game all day however his PC is in his room and he watches netflix and youtube when he isn't gaming and chats to friends.

Everything annoys him, going to the park, having to go with hubby and myself to an appointment (we both work from home and require to go out for appointments)

He goes to my inlaws for school holidays to only complain about being there, my nephew had a hard time with his parents splitting up so he became really annoying and clingy to anyone, I agree he did become annoying at one point, last holidays my son ask not to go back. Apparently he has grown up a little now and isn't as annoying however my son still is having issues with him. I get conflicting messages from him and my mother in law so i don't know which story is true

My son hates his little brother (8) and I agree he can be annoying at times to, he talks all the time and can be a bit over the top however that is him and he needs to get along with him.

I don't know what to do to get him out of this funk that he is in, the negative attitude. He doesn't even want to go to my sisters house to hang with his cousin that is the same age and they game there. He just doesn't want to do anything and his negative attitude is wearing me down.. 

What do you suggest?

I have spoken to him about bullying and he said he isnt being bullied?

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BadCat

I suggest getting him to speak to a counsellor to see if there's something going on other than teenage bleugh.  There's a lot of crap in the world right now and he may be having trouble seeing the future as anything but bleak.

If it's just teenage bleugh, then the solution is as individual as the family.  But the key is to engage him in a discussion about how he wants to do his part in the family.  Make him part of the discussion rather than just imposing rules.   Of course you can, and probably should, try this while you're considering counselling.

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foom

I have no suggestions but I sympathise. I'd like to write more but it would turn into my own vent. Just wanted to say, you are not alone.

 

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Lovesherboy
8 minutes ago, foom said:

I have no suggestions but I sympathise. I'd like to write more but it would turn into my own vent. Just wanted to say, you are not alone.

 

Its horrible isn't it, hubby cant get past he didn't do this when he was younger so expects kids these days to do what he did. Just doesn't work like that these days. Gone are the days we can leave our kids to wander the streets and the shops

I don't live near any hobbies and everything I suggest he says no anyway.. We are quite isolated from his friends being a 45 minute drive so he cant just hang out with his friends

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doubledelight

Can you arrange to have some friends over for a sleepover?  It's fairly typical behaviour for his age.  I found that explaining to mine that they are at the age where they need to pitch in, they don't need to like it but they do have to respect the family enough to do it.

Is there a reason he needs to go to his grandparents for the whole holidays?

 

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Lovesherboy
1 minute ago, doubledelight said:

Can you arrange to have some friends over for a sleepover?  It's fairly typical behaviour for his age.  I found that explaining to mine that they are at the age where they need to pitch in, they don't need to like it but they do have to respect the family enough to do it.

Is there a reason he needs to go to his grandparents for the whole holidays?

 

we do this regularly, all he wants to do is game with them and im not keen on a full days worth of gaming....

We both work and its hard to juggle the kids taking them to appointments with us. Its only 2 nights so its not all week like we use to need to do, we changed our office plans so we could be home more school holidays. Mother in law likes having all 7 together, and I would suspect he will be at age soon he will refuse to go all together but he will be old enough to stay home when we do have to work

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Dadto2
Posted (edited)

So he games 1 hour a day or 2 hours a day? And on top of that watches TV? I've found with my kids too much screen time destroys their motivation and enthusiasm. They love the beach, but try suggesting a beach trip to them after they go on their ipads......they look like you've suggested they eat dog crap for lunch.  It's really that obvious, a complete change in behaviour. So we don't have ipads, games Monday  - Friday and usually just in the arvo at the weekends, so mornings we do stuff and afternoon they chill. 

I would start looking at reducing screen time. Maybe nothing in the morning at the weekends?

Edited by Dadto2
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CrankyM
Posted (edited)

Organise for him to talk to someone? Some counselling can't hurt and sometimes it's useful to open up to neautral 3rd party. Badcat has given some good adice.

 I will say that if he's also watching a lot of screens as well as gaming as Dadto2 said, I found it makes mine extra grumpy. But they are also at an age where that feels like it fills the boredom because they are not little kids anymore so playing outside seems naff. Add in it's harder to see friends and it can get frustrating. We have a similar scenario here (live 25kms out of town and its a giant pain for kids wanting to socialise). Maybe oragnise a sleep over or beach trip or something like that but make sure they realise it is not just for gaming etc. Or pull out some board games instead so it's not on a screen. I err might be good at tossing mine outside to sleep in a tent with the neighbours kids every so often. I will say fresh air is defiantly helpful in making them happier. Mine oldest is only 6 months younger then yours...

As for chores, we have regular conversations about how everyone helps contribute to the household chores. And that being responsible and useful means more time with parents or doing fun things or getting things paid for...

Edited by CrankyM
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Lovesherboy
12 minutes ago, Dadto2 said:

So he games 1 hour a day or 2 hours a day? And on top of that watches TV? I've found with my kids too much screen time destroys their motivation and enthusiasm. They love the beach, but try suggesting a beach trip to them after they go on their ipads......they look like you've suggested they eat dog crap for lunch.  It's really that obvious, a complete change in behaviour. So we don't have ipads, games Monday  - Friday and usually just in the arvo at the weekends, so mornings we do stuff and afternoon they chill. 

I would start looking at reducing screen time. Maybe nothing in the morning at the weekends?

Yes he plays for 2 hours in total, 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon

We are 2 hours from a beach, we live in rural WA.

The problem I have is what else do we do with them if they arent watching tv etc. Being so far from the city really limits what we can do

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foom

2 parents working at home here, on computers all day long. Evening, parents want to stream content via the PS4. Trying to get my DS off computers / ipads / youtube is a losing battle when all he sees is his parents on them constantly, unless I actively engage him in something else. But right now I can't face travel or going out much so we game together. 

I agree with BadCat about getting him to speak to a counsellor - he may tell them what he won't tell you. 

I have no answers ( I spend my days trying to keep everyone on an even keel) but I'll throw out a few ideas.

Is he mostly an introvert or mostly extrovert? Remember introverts can be quite outgoing but need time by themselves to recover. If he is naturally an introvert, all the ISO stuff we've been through might have made him more used to being alone, making being out with others feel more dangerous. Communicating via electronic means may feel safe to him. Trying to get DH and DS out of the house to anywhere they interact with people face to face is really hard at the moment. The only place my son wants to go is a mate's place to game - he made the comment to me that he has been home and school only for so long, he has forgotten the fun places to go.

Can you get him involved in anything screen based that is more than straight gaming? Video editing to produce content, learning programming to make mods for his favourite games, putting together playlists for family members with their favourite music. Did he used to like Lego - would he take up a new challenge like building LEGO GBCs (Great Ball Contraptions). Does he have an instrument - would he like to learn to play some of his favourite game music on the instrument?

I like it when my son has a friend or two over for the day. Yes they game but then I kick them out of the house before lunch and tell them to go amuse themselves outside to the bush behind out house for half an hour or so, taking mobile phones with them. Usually they are in a much better mood when they come back and knowing they are together makes me feel they are safer.

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Dadto2
5 minutes ago, Lovesherboy said:

Yes he plays for 2 hours in total, 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon

We are 2 hours from a beach, we live in rural WA.

The problem I have is what else do we do with them if they arent watching tv etc. Being so far from the city really limits what we can do

Yeah we have mates in rural WA and not a lot to do... that's a tough one, would be easier in the city. I can understand your plight. 

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Lovesherboy
15 minutes ago, foom said:

2 parents working at home here, on computers all day long. Evening, parents want to stream content via the PS4. Trying to get my DS off computers / ipads / youtube is a losing battle when all he sees is his parents on them constantly, unless I actively engage him in something else. But right now I can't face travel or going out much so we game together. 

I agree with BadCat about getting him to speak to a counsellor - he may tell them what he won't tell you. 

I have no answers ( I spend my days trying to keep everyone on an even keel) but I'll throw out a few ideas.

Is he mostly an introvert or mostly extrovert? Remember introverts can be quite outgoing but need time by themselves to recover. If he is naturally an introvert, all the ISO stuff we've been through might have made him more used to being alone, making being out with others feel more dangerous. Communicating via electronic means may feel safe to him. Trying to get DH and DS out of the house to anywhere they interact with people face to face is really hard at the moment. The only place my son wants to go is a mate's place to game - he made the comment to me that he has been home and school only for so long, he has forgotten the fun places to go.

Can you get him involved in anything screen based that is more than straight gaming? Video editing to produce content, learning programming to make mods for his favourite games, putting together playlists for family members with their favourite music. Did he used to like Lego - would he take up a new challenge like building LEGO GBCs (Great Ball Contraptions). Does he have an instrument - would he like to learn to play some of his favourite game music on the instrument?

I like it when my son has a friend or two over for the day. Yes they game but then I kick them out of the house before lunch and tell them to go amuse themselves outside to the bush behind out house for half an hour or so, taking mobile phones with them. Usually they are in a much better mood when they come back and knowing they are together makes me feel they are safer.

He just wont be open to anything at all. Loved lego, wont try a instrument, tried with that 

We have 4 acres but he wont even go outside and entertain himself there, given up on asking

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Lovesherboy
23 minutes ago, Lovesherboy said:

Yes he plays for 2 hours in total, 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon

We are 2 hours from a beach, we live in rural WA.

The problem I have is what else do we do with them if they arent watching tv etc. Being so far from the city really limits what we can do

All programs are over a hour away for travel and then we need to make sure it goes with his school as he gets on the bus at 7.00am and off at 4.30pm. Turning around and driving a hour back down the hill to something usually would make us late and miss half the session. Its just finding something else he can do that he enjoys. I dont feel he is gaming that much its all the other screen time and not wanting to do anything else but sit in his room that frustrates me 

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XieXie

Not up to you to find something he enjoys or even entertain him. He needs to build those skills for himself. It definitely sounds like he is spending way too much time on screens and I think you need to take the screen away completely for a week and see what happens. No gaming, no movies, and no chatting to friends until he smartens up.

He'll go outside eventually. When he's bored enough. Being bored is good for kids. He can go outside and look at the ants.

I know it is hard taking screens away and clearly he won't like it, but nothing else is working. It is for his mental health.

(Your post has actually made me realise I need to get my own son off the screen more again! It is creeping in now that we are home more and it's a vicious cycle, because the more they are on it, the more they want to be on it. They become addicted and can't think of anything else to do. I've seen that pattern over and over again over the years i.e. too much screen time = rage/bad mood, but still need reminding).

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Lovesherboy
1 hour ago, XieXie said:

Not up to you to find something he enjoys or even entertain him. He needs to build those skills for himself. It definitely sounds like he is spending way too much time on screens and I think you need to take the screen away completely for a week and see what happens. No gaming, no movies, and no chatting to friends until he smartens up.

He'll go outside eventually. When he's bored enough. Being bored is good for kids. He can go outside and look at the ants.

I know it is hard taking screens away and clearly he won't like it, but nothing else is working. It is for his mental health.

(Your post has actually made me realise I need to get my own son off the screen more again! It is creeping in now that we are home more and it's a vicious cycle, because the more they are on it, the more they want to be on it. They become addicted and can't think of anything else to do. I've seen that pattern over and over again over the years i.e. too much screen time = rage/bad mood, but still need reminding).

I know its not up to me but he isnt choosing anything other than the screens so i am unsure what else to suggest. 

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CrankyM
Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Lovesherboy said:

Yes he plays for 2 hours in total, 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon

We are 2 hours from a beach, we live in rural WA.

The problem I have is what else do we do with them if they arent watching tv etc. Being so far from the city really limits what we can do

Rural (well remote really) WA here too. The lack of things to do for kids over 10 is a particular bug bear of mine. I will say, removing screens and changing the Wi-fi connection so it wouldn't connect to my kids devices outside of set hours did help. I've told them that I honestly don't care what they do as long as they do something that doesn't involve a game or screen.

They have the tools etc. to formulate other types of entertainment. I'm happy to organise for friends to come over for all day, but they need to put in effort too. Have you actually talked to him about the impact screens can have and how sometimes they just make you feel worse? I sat down with my kids and we talked about this, how I wasn't restricting access because I want to be mean but that there was an actual reasoning behind it and that part of my job was to give them the tools to learn that screens and gaming is not everything. It helped a little bit. Sometimes it takes forcing the issue unfortunately.

What will he do if the screens are taken away? Sitting around being bored will push him to do something sooner or later. But unfortunately it comes with pain and so much whinging.

Edited by CrankyM
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XieXie
5 hours ago, Lovesherboy said:

I know its not up to me but he isnt choosing anything other than the screens so i am unsure what else to suggest. 

Take the screen away. You don’t have to suggest anything. 

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Prancer is coming
Posted (edited)

If my kids are whinging and complaining, or telling me how horrible I am, I will tell them I will give them something to whinge and complain about.   Lots of him looking after his own care (washing, meals etc) and not going out of my way to do things for him.   I would also limit screens.  Lots of whinging would result in me getting rid of them all.  And when I was reintroducing, maybe a timed amount on gaming, but no more Netflix or whatever after gaming.  Or the need to do x jobs and x amount of steps/physical exercise before screens is an option.   We try and encouraging tv watching together in the evening, as then we are socialising with each other.  We have managed to find some shows everyone in the house enjoys.

 

if he is bored, give him jobs.  This will discourage him telling you he is bored.  Mine find things to do.  Spend time with outside pets, muck around in the garden, make things with tools, cook, my grade 6 kid has gone mad learning to tie knots from a knot book.  Take him to the library to borrow books, particularly non fiction making/doing type books.  I also think positive connection is important.  Take him somewhere and do something fun - movies, ice cream, hot chocolate, roller skating - what ever is easy to access and might bring enjoyment.

 

Edited by Prancer is coming
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MsLaurie

Do you have somewhere he could set a campfire? Fairly physical work getting it ready, rewarded by toasting marshmallows.

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Freddie'sMum

We have a 15 year old and 12 year old here - both LOVE their screens esp Miss-12 who would have her phone surgically attached to her if I let her get away with it.  I second simply taking the screens away and letting him be bored.   Instead of you suggesting stuff he could do - let him figure it out.  I know it was a million years ago when I was a teenager but listening to music and reading magazines / books helped get me through those horrible years.  I get the feeling you think you need to provide entertainment for him but you don't.  He's 13 now not 3.  See if he improves with the screens / devices taken away.  Good luck !

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Lees75

OK, so I would take a different approach altogether to most - lol! Have a chat with him and do a deal. Offer him more gaming time, on the proviso that he has less screen time overall to help with his health. My daughter is 13 as well, and it is a hard age, because they are not quite old enough to be out and about independent all the time, but too old to play with toys, etc. Most 13 year olds that I know spend half the holidays gaming - I don't think 2 hours per day is all that much. Neither of my kids are gamers, thankfully, but the 13 yr old daughter sure spends a lot of time on the screen. But we have a deal in the school holidays that she has to also go outside for a walk every day, cook or make something, play the piano and do some reading (her chosen activities). I will buy her books, craft supplies, etc, whatever she wants.  

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seayork2002
Just now, Lees75 said:

OK, so I would take a different approach altogether to most - lol! Have a chat with him and do a deal. Offer him more gaming time, on the proviso that he has less screen time overall to help with his health. My daughter is 13 as well, and it is a hard age, because they are not quite old enough to be out and about independent all the time, but too old to play with toys, etc. Most 13 year olds that I know spend half the holidays gaming - I don't think 2 hours per day is all that much. Neither of my kids are gamers, thankfully, but the 13 yr old daughter sure spends a lot of time on the screen. But we have a deal in the school holidays that she has to also go outside for a walk every day, cook or make something, play the piano and do some reading (her chosen activities). I will buy her books, craft supplies, etc, whatever she wants.  

This is pretty much us with ds tomorrow he is allowed to stay home and game for a bit himself as long as he comes out with us on Sunday for a bit.

So we negotiate as we go (to cut a long story short)

 

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Not Escapin Xmas

I would have organise to have friends over very regularly. We are doing every second day with DD9 and that is working well. And you’ll soon find out which friends are fine to have while you’re working from home and which aren’t! 
 

He’s a teenager, he needs his mates. If they then spend all the time gaming, at least they are together. 
 

and don’t send him to his grandparents. I’m the oldest grandchild, that sort of thing used to p*ss me off no end. So utterly boring and pointless.

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Redchick2
8 hours ago, Lees75 said:

OK, so I would take a different approach altogether to most - lol! Have a chat with him and do a deal. Offer him more gaming time, on the proviso that he has less screen time overall to help with his health. My daughter is 13 as well, and it is a hard age, because they are not quite old enough to be out and about independent all the time, but too old to play with toys, etc. Most 13 year olds that I know spend half the holidays gaming - I don't think 2 hours per day is all that much. Neither of my kids are gamers, thankfully, but the 13 yr old daughter sure spends a lot of time on the screen. But we have a deal in the school holidays that she has to also go outside for a walk every day, cook or make something, play the piano and do some reading (her chosen activities). I will buy her books, craft supplies, etc, whatever she wants.  

I totally agree with this. I don’t think 2 hours a day gaming is that much for a 13 year old (for younger kids it is a different story). I have the same issue with my boys not wanting to do anything else but as we have strict rules about gaming during the school term I am happy to let them game more during the holidays. But they have to do chores first (washing, vacuuming etc) and have regular screen breaks. They also regularly game online with their friends (as some of them are not close by). They also have to come with me to do grocery shopping and other errands. 
 

i also agree with Lees75 about having a conversation to work out something that is acceptable to everyone. I feel that teenagers are often a bit like toddlers - you need to give them choices so they have some control (that wasn’t meant to sound manipulative) and have a space to make good choices. 
 

of course this all works on a good day. By later today I will tearing my hair out because I am getting eye rolls because I have asked for some help with something around the house and it interrupts some sort of game 😆.

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onetrick

I agree with Lee's. I think I would limit total screen time rather than gaming time. Gaming he is at least doing something, Netflix is just staring at the screen. He can chat to his friends while he games, so they dont have to be two seperate things :)

You said he enjoyed lego... does he still enjoy it? Could you get one of the more complicated sets for him/ get out his old collection and see what he does?

My DH is 36 and still plays with lego... and does the gaming thing too. Otherwise, others have suggested there are card and board games with similar strategy ideas as the online games. Could that work? We used to enjoy 'risk' with friends, and that's one other family might enjoy, but there are plenty of others :)

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