T.M. asks from Memphis, TN on March 19, 2010
My almost 12-yr. old son likes video games and his cell phone. I would like to redirect his energy somewhere else. He also plays football, but the season will not begin until July. Also, he has recently gotten into Airsoft guns (like paintball), which I would like to change as well. Any suggestions? What do boys do? i have been working full-time and going to school full-time, but starting next week I will only work 3 days a week. Even though i will have more time at home with him, I don't want to smother him by making him spend all his free time with me.
1 mom found this helpful
S.H. answers from Honolulu on March 20, 2010
K.N. answers from Houston on March 19, 2010
find a place where he can volunteer in your community. Giving to others will help him learn that there are people out there who are less fortuneit.
At the age of 12, he can learn about himself as well when giving to others. Check with your local churches in your area for some age group that serves.
You will find that this may get him to look beyond the "stuff" and see the world for what it is. the earlier you begin the better for him.
1 mom found this helpful
M.S. answers from Memphis on March 20, 2010
At this age, the last thing you want them to feel is that you are judging them and feel their interests are bad. It will push them away. If what they are choosing is fun for them and not a "bad" thing then it is good he has something he enjoys. It might also be that it is something he feels he is good enough at to fit in. Very important at this age, as so much is going on inside them with hormones and their emotional changes. Sometimes, just being around in the same room while they play video games is as close as they want you. Boys play video games and a variety of sports. If he likes shooting, is there a trap team at his school?
K.R. answers from San Diego on March 19, 2010
a martial arts program. a good studio will offer classes with others his age, which will keep him busy, let him make friends, and have adults with good moral influence. and it's year-round, so he could do it all year or between football seasons.
A.T. answers from Wilmington on March 20, 2010
Martitial Arts is a wonderful idea and I agree with that suggestion. I think you might want to find out some of the other things he might like. If he is into video games, maybe he would be into computers and you could sign him up for a program on graphic design or something artistic if he likes that. My son is into art and most kids love anime. They are also into Japanese with anime and maybe learning another language/culture HE WANTS to learn would be good. There may be a school close to your that teaches a language you are interested in. Or contact a local high school as there may be someone there that does or knows someone. This is a great time to see where his interests are for upcoming college majors as well as developing a good relationship with your teen. Maybe do something with him long term or short....such as taking a class with him or just going to dinner alone with him weekly. You are going to have more difficult times as an adolescent ahead...If you are into the military, Civil Air Patrol is good too (Air Force Aviation Education). Hope this helps. Have a great summer and you are smart to be thinking now about it!
V.W. answers from Minneapolis on March 19, 2010
Just wondering, why you want to get him to stop his interest in paintball? You have your reasons and I'm in no way judging you for them, I'm just wondering because paintball is fairly decent exercise and it's fun. It's not violent. I used to go with a church group all the time. So I guess, I'm just curious as to why you don't feel it's a good thing?
Maybe get him interested in horses. Horse back riding is a lot of fun and it's good exercise (A lot of people don't believe me that it's exercise since the general impression is that you just have to sit on a horse, but trust me... You use a lot of muscles).
Maybe take him hiking. It's a lot of fun and the fresh air is great :)
What about other sports? Is he interested in joining other sports?
S.M. answers from Seattle on March 19, 2010
I would suggest a form of marital arts as well. Not only would it most likely appeal to him, but it is amazing the values they teach- respect, discipline etc. I have a younger son that joined last year and I am amazed every day at the influence it has had on his life (epecially with patience and concentration).
W.M. answers from Nashville on March 20, 2010
How about another sport that starts now. Or a musical instrument lesson, he may like guitar or drums. There has got to be some sort of club or camp he can join after school. See what is in your area. He shouldn't have too much downtime after school and homework. Limit the video games to an hour a day. Give him a week's notice that things are changing and then change them. Too many teens just sit and play and text all day and it truly is not good. Good luck!
V.W. answers from Jacksonville on March 19, 2010
My son (11 yrs) does Tang Soo Do and it is wonderful. Aside from the physical benefits they stress self-control, respect for yourself and others, perseverance and goal-setting. They also have some fantastic role models. Our son has been involved since he was 5 yrs old.. and EVERYone at his karate school is very respectful and encouraging, not just regarding his martial arts, but also his schoolwork and how he presents himself in the community, and how he relates to other people around him.
They have taught him how (and since he is a Black Belt, they expect him to set an example for and) to mentor the younger students and he really enjoys that.
The ages run the gamut, from 5 yr olds to 65 yr olds. But they usually group the kids under 7 in one group, and have a few classes that are for "adults". Everyone else is grouped by belt rank. So your 12 yr old could have 8 yr olds and 15 year olds in a class with him, depending on how the school sets up its classes.
Wonderful wonderful program through Pak's karate.
If you have on near you, check it out. If not, check out any other martial art school... they often are very similar. It was my husband's idea and it was a good one.
If you want something he can do at home... when we were kids, my brothers liked to build model cars. There are still hobby shops that sell the kits... they can be neat for that age boys.