16 Year Old Boy Entertainment

Updated on June 27, 2014
R.M. asks from Fulton, CA
18 answers

What does your teen boy do for entertainment? When it's summer, and there's lots of free time, and he has done his chores, and has done his sport or exercise, and he doesn't like to read and has no friends available, what do you allow him to do at home? Do you allow him to use electronics all day if the aforementioned conditions are met?

Do you think it's fine for a teen boy to have no at-home interests other than electronics? If not, what does your teen boy do at home for fun? Ideas?

And if your teen boy has no other interests, (and the aforementioned conditions are met) do you feel fine letting him use electronics all day?


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So What Happened?

ETA, he has a very part-time job.
@Molly -- He does not find other things to do.
BTW - My kids are grown - this is a kid I work with.

Featured Answers



answers from Philadelphia on

As long as my 16yr old son has done what he has to do, he can spend every other waking minute doing whatever he wants. I would not be happy if someone told me I couldn't do what I enjoy in my free time.

4 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

I'd give him some work to do around the house. Do cleaning, yard work - whatever you don't get around to. You can pay him if you want or you can tell him that he does the work he gets to keep his electronics.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from San Francisco on

I find it sad that parents today feel the need to micromanage their kids, even teenage kids, free time.
Like you said, as long as work and chores are done, and he has gotten up and gotten some exercise, what does it matter if he plays video games the rest of the day?
When I was a teenager I worked and did plenty of extracirriculars (sp?) but I could also waste HOURS in my room, talking on the phone, watching TV and listening to music.
My husband is over 50 years old and playing video games is still one of his favorite ways to chill out.
Let the boy be. You may find video games pointless and dull (I certainly do) but he may also find some of your hobbies to be just as pointless and dull.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Austin on

Ride his bike.
That is what we did if we did not have our drivers license. Has he taken Driving lessons? Good time to get that over with.

Work, we all had summer jobs at the malls, or in their parents businesses.

Our daughter Volunteered for the first month of every summer at a summer camp for elementary aged children, then spent the rest of the time babysitting and taking art classes, swimming, going to the movies.. "flopping out", reading, coming up with menus for our dinners.

There are a lot of free events in town so she would research and then we would plan on attending these things. She would get together with friends. They played epic board games together.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

He has at-home interests, he likes electronics...

My husbands' parents had 4 kids. Only one went to college and finished, hubby. They insisted he study science. it was trinity college, so they had no computers. So he studied microbiology. While in school, he played games on his computer. After school, he ended up getting his masters after being a bike carrier, but just playing games and playing on the computer would have served him well.

Stop looking at it as electronics. he's studying to be an engineer, a computer scientist, a game builder, a programmer, etc. Does he program? if not, it might be time to acknowledge his interest and feed it for the future.

I let my kids have a lot of media time. i don't see it as any less worthy as books. We have thousands of books, and we have lots of computers, and tablet, and old phones with games, etc. No need to value one over the other.

I know my hubby spent all his time as a 16 year old reading. I drank and smoked a lot. (and i read a lot of marx). people do what they are interested in, hopefully, and they usually bloosom.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

No, I would not let my teen use electronics all day even after exercisiing and a very minimal job.

So you work with him at the "very part-time job" he has, is that right?

I think it's good of you to be concerned about this kid though he's not yours.

If you feel he's trustworthy, do you have other work you can offer him, such as doing a major yard cutting/shrub cut/cleanup at your home, one that would take a few days? Other major chores? If he seems interested, and does it well, you could suggest to him that you can see if neighbors want similar things done. Payment can be a big motivator to teens this age, and he won't know it, but at the same time he'll be building up confidence that he can do a good job and be rewarded for it. And it beats constant electronics.

Have you talked with him about any other interests he may have? What did he do when school was in session -- was he in any clubs or groups, on the newspaper or yearbook staff, did he take a language and like it, did he like books? Libraries need teen pages in the summer (unpaid but looks great on a resume for college or earns service hours, which some schools require). If he liked language, there might be a summer program that needs teens who speak that language to help communicate with kids who speak it....I'd see what interested him during school and see if he has even thought about using it in summer. If your job needs something extra he can do at home (maybe he can take photos for a brochure the workplace needs--?), give him that extra responsibility. Hard to be specific, not knowing if he has any interests, but you can gently check!

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Richland on

My older son drove at 16 so he hung out with his friends where ever. He also drove his 14 year old sister around. Sometimes he had friends over and played video games.

But anyway yeah, pretty much video games was the only thing they did at home. We are getting my dad's old pool table in a few month, pretty sure my 15 year old will take advantage of that when he has friends over. Oh the 16 year old son I talked about is 26 now so as to not confuse.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

All of mine had jobs. He should be looking to earn some money at this point He can be a busboy at restaurant, work at grocery store etc. mow laws, volunteer at animal shelter or hospital.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Video games are a big part of it. I try to have at least one project during the day, mowing, painting, cleaning the garage, etc. but if he has a job, that's good enough fo me. To each his own.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

If you feel like he is on the computer or watching TV too much, either ask him for more help (chores) or cut off access to electronics after a certain amount of time and let him find his own substitute. Maybe then he'll learn to like to read, lol.

ETA: I am completely positive my mom would walk into a room and turn off the TV while I was watching, saying "Go outside, that's enough TV." There was no real limit, just when she thought I was getting to be a couch potato, I guess.

ETA2: Just saw your response. I don't know then! Maybe more outside classes? Personally I wouldn't be comfortable with him using electronics the whole day, everyday.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Nope. Not this young. He'll do it after he leaves home. As far as having no other interests, he won't get any if he's allowed to use the electronic babysitter the rest of his waking hours...

It's nice that he has a part-time job. Now he needs to get a part-time interest that means something. Time to go to the library and research some. At least that will get him reading, though he won't even realize that this is what he's doing...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

My 16 year old is grounded and at the rate he's going, it may very well be all summer. Part of his grounding is that he can't use his phone or iPad so for electronics, that includes TV and video games and he has to compete for time on those with his younger brothers. Luckily he should be busy with work most days of the week starting in a week or two.

For now? His only hobby other than watching TV or playing video games is playing his guitar, which he'll do on and off all day. He also talks to his girlfriend on our landline. When he wasn't grounded, he would go fishing or meet up with friends somewhere.

This is his first week of summer vacation and his job hasn't started yet so he's been doing projects for me. This week he has learned how to patch dry wall, has prepped a wall for painting and has primed it, cleaned up the basement playroom and rearranged the furniture down there, organized all of the electronics, games, etc., purged his room of what he doesn't need, has helped take apart and clean out the pool filter, etc. That doesn't give himi much time to lounge around but when he's been done, he's free to do whatever he wants.

Sounds like someone needs to give this kid more to do but once he's done with his obligations, I guess how he chooses to spend his time is up to him. Summer vacation isn't that long and he'll be busy with school and sports again soon.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

I worked during the summer when I was 16.

My daughter is 16 but is keeping busy taking summer classes (her choice). She also has a lot of summer work to do to prepare for her junior year classes (AP Psychology and Honors English) therefore she does not have a lot of down time but she will come August. I hope you get some good ideas.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

i think his parents need to restructure his summer somewhat if he's really ending up with so much free time that all he can find to entertain himself is video games. my 16 year olds had jobs and chores and schoolwork, which took up a fair amount of time, but i always tried to leave lots of unstructured time in the summer. and they DID spend a few hours a day thumbing madly. but we made sure they had more days doing stuff with other kids than not, which really took care of the problem. it requires some scheduling forethought, and for them (not me) to make plans with other kids, and i'd ferry 'em around.
i guess it's hard for me to fathom a kid who has no friends and no interests. i don't actually know any kids like that.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Erie on

After all those requirements are met, my 16yo can earn time on the PS3 to play video games. The more chores he does, the more time he has to play, and I sort of? limit it? kinda? I'm also of the opinion that tech these days is not such a bad thing. My son WILL be in the IT field, he's already in school for it and next year will start an internship. As long as my kids are exercising and doing their chores and reading every day, I let them crack out on video games most days. Some days they don't play at all. My 16yo has been known to stay up all night writing code with friends for fun, how could I say no to that? lol! :)

If this friend of yours is bored, he needs a hobby or some volunteer work. Otherwise, if it ain't broke...

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Maybe he should take up building bird houses and feeders.
He can sell them on Craigs List.

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answers from Salinas on

Kids today (at least the ones I know) are so busy during the school year. I see no reason to overly manage their free time during the summer.

My 15 year old has 2 books assigned for English next year and she'll likely read at least one for pleasure. She is studying to get her learner's permit and will have a few tutor sessions for the ACT. She also wants to brush up on her math skills for next year so she'll spend a bit of time on that. She goes to the beach, lunch with friends, hit the mall or a movie occasionally, go to a party or bonfire or go hiking. Add to all of that lots of family time, chores, a couple trips and family social stuff and I think she deserves to choose what she does the rest of the time.

Nothing wrong with a few days of lounging, they are just kids. I say let them enjoy it while they can.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

I'd say a normal 16 year old boy would be out driving around going to friends houses or someplace he enjoys going to.

I'd let him do what he wants as long as its not physically harmful to anyone. If he's doing something he enjoys and has a job why limit him to any particular item for any certain amount of time.

1 mom found this helpful
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