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25 Things a Teen Boy Can Do Besides Play Computer Games!

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I know this is old, but I love Nan's list, especially the "worrisome" bits! As the mother of a 14yr old computer geek, it seems to me that the bikinis are the most dangerous thing listed.

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DS (16) gets 60 minutes per day.  Even that I hate, but it's a compromise.  If you live out of "civilization" then I assume he could do a garden or raise animals?  The issue with gaming is it creates a flood of chemicals to the brain to "reward" it for the work.... Then they get off the computer, figure out they didn't really DO anything, and there is a fall.  So they seek the rush again to feel good.  So the goal has to be NOT just passing time, but some tangible "do something" that creates a reward - something to be proud of, some accomplishment.

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No teens (or boys) here, but one of my friends who has a teen boy (15) had this solution. She had her son make his own list of how to fill up his summer days, but that could only include 1-2 hours per day of total screen time.

 

He had to include something involving outdoor exercise (swimming), indoor exercise (DDR/Wii), something involving work around the house (he's helping his dad redo the kitchen), something relational (he's in 4-H and another group), something involving math (he's taking an advanced course), and something that would help him keep up with his languages (he's working on Russian and something else). There was one other category, but I don't remember what it was. He also made a note on his list that read something like, "Monitor yourself to determine if you are becoming agitated during game time. If so, take a break." He knows that he tends to get addicted and too intense, so he's learning this summer to manage himself with it.

 

Anyway, he came up with his own ideas, and she just reminds him to check in with his list. Seems to be working. He's as happy as a Golden Retriever puppy! ;)

 

I think the key for them was to give him a limit on the screen time, not necessarily to come up with ideas.

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If you are that far out, I perhaps eroneously am assuming you have a bit of land. Boys like projects. Is it feasable to have him build a treehouse or other form of personal retreat for himself/sibs?

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My son is 17 and does not, nor never has played video games.  Why? Because I never bought him one, so he has no interest, I'm lucky!  

 

But I can make a few suggestions.  Sine he seems to be so hooked on them. What about if he spends some time reading about how video games are developed? Have him read about programming.  Khan Academy has computer programming. https://www.khanacademy.org/computing/computer-programming

 

Another suggestions is art. Have his draw some of the characters from the video games he plays. 

 

Doe she have any interest in flying or photography. Another suggestion is just limit his time.

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