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So what would be a typical good day for a tween/young teen?


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We had company over today and my 11 year old and 13 year old spent most of the day on the computer. I felt like they "wasted" the day, but I also want to give them more control over their own free time.


It got me wondering - what do you think is a good day for a tween/young teen? What would it include?  What kind of activities would you encourage? I kind of pictured:


- Some time outside  and/or active


- Some time with friends / social


- Creating in some way or hobbies (drawing, legos, etc.)


- Working / helping others


- Reading



One nice thing about homeschooling is I can incorporate these into our day Monday-Friday at least as part of our homeschool (for example, requiring a certain amount of exercise as P.E.). :)


What else would you include? Like if your tween/young teen did these things you would feel they had a good day (productive/good for their mental and physical health)? 

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This really depends on what all is going in their life.


For a kid that is super busy with tough classes, volunteering, family obligations/chores...


An afternoon zoning out gaming isn't really all that awful. I don't think it's any different than a mom who enjoys an afternoonncatching up on her favorite shows that she hasn't been able to watch due to being busy doing more important things.


My kids aged 11-13 typical weekday:


Get up, eat breakfast, dressed and morning chore. All this is usually done by 8:30am


8:30- lunch is schooling time




Afternoons are more chaotic. They could do any or several of these:

Finish up school assignments for the day if necessary.

Outside curriculiars, art, field trip, go to music lesson (this is 1 hour x 4 days a week for one child), help with The List (my neverending to do list. Such as clean out and organize garage.)


Around all of that, they read books, play legos or go to the park nearby, play heroclix with an older sibling...


They have lots of free time. But I don't allow electronics during the week or computer use at all at those ages. In the weekend they get limited use of gaming consoles. Sometimes during the week, but usually not until the weekend, we watch some tv. (Last night we watched the new Amazon release of The Tick!) If the tv comes on at all during the week, it's usually to watch wheel of fortune or Jeapardy.


ETA: for me the key to your post is that you had company. So did all the kids, yours and company, play on the computer together or did your kids basicly ignore company for their tech? We don't do computers at that age, but if we did, I wouldn't allow my kids to just go play computer and ignore company.

Edited by Murphy101
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If you're talking about non school days, mine were busy with indoor activities like art projects, legos, inventions, cooking, games, just hanging out and talking together, listening to different music, playing their instruments, eating, a TV show for maybe an hour, going outside and biking, biking to the pool if the weather is nice, playing tennis, sometimes hanging out with friends, walking to the little store for snacks or for something I need for dinner, walking to the library, coming with me to run errands sometimes, helping around the house, playing with pets, lots and lots of reading.  We allowed them 20 minutes every four hours on the computer, but that was when everyone only had one main desktop per house and that was it.  It's a different time now!

Edited by J-rap
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I think this is going to vary widely according to seasons in lives, kids themselves and their interests, and family culture.


We have a lot of days that end with the words, "Best day ever!" but they don't all look the same.


Typical weekday:


My DS is an extrovert.  His best days involve getting up at 5:30 am (yes, really, I have a teen who will. not. sleep. if the sun is up).  At 5:30 am he has alone time.  He makes his own breakfast, and starts projects.  Either he will start designing something to make - complicated plans and drawings involved here, but he does follow through on the making once I'm up - or he will work on his creative writing.  Some days, but not all, he will watch a show - usually Dr. Who or a superhero series on netflix.  Once everyone else is up and eating breakfast, he generally heads to the workshop area to start making.  He is not allowed to do sharps, hots or spray paint when adults are asleep, so waiting on us is a must.  He mostly does steampunk and cosplay creating these days.  At some point, I'll ask him to pause and do some chores.  


By 10, we're on to school work.  We stop for lunch and watch part of documentary while we eat, or listen to an audiobook, then finish up school sometime between 2 - 3 pm.  Finishing school always makes him feel happy and bouncy.  :)


After school, it's friend time.  We have loads of kids over every day.  Our neighborhood is full of nice, fun kids.  So on any given day we'll have 6 - 7 kids out in the yard.  I have nixed them using the workshop unsupervised - we reserve that for special cosplay event days - so they generally play basketball, zombie apocalypse, and they are often filming and recording video of epic films.  They take music out sometimes and record videos.  If there are only a few kids (and not the littles that sometimes come to play), they will go to our playroom and build with lego.  They'll do the trampoline, and often they will just hang out in our backyard - we have a an open gazebo type structure with seating and hanging egg chairs, it's a favorite for hanging out and talking.


Several times a week, we'll have close friends come over - and they are all allowed in the workshop, so there will be a maker day here, usually ending with kids in costume, filming their backstories.


If there are activities on a given day - Maker Club, Parkour, Archery, etc, we just take time out and go.


Weekends are about the same, sans school, and we might do s'mores on the fire pit to wrap up the night.  We're more likely to have friends over who are not from the neighborhood, with entire families visiting (adults, too).  


On weeknights, DS is in early - by 7 pm.  He showers, does his evening meds, and is in bed reading by 8 pm.  Yup.  It's true.  Weird for a teen, but there you have it.  He does get up early.  


We also occasionally have "family days" when the kids stay in pjs all day and I let them play on the computer a lot and watch movies.  This is rare, but I don't have any guilt over it. Those days also get, "Best day ever!" reviews.



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Generally for my 12 year old - we drop his brother at 8 am class and go to the nearby park for a short hike/ramble ...

When we get back he eats something them start school. School includes practicing his percussion.

He gets about 30 minutes of free time after lunch/chores.

Then back to school work. When we finish school he is free which sometimes includes a walk to the local park with me a bike ride with friends or video games or playing with his cousin (who is hete after school twice a week) or (once their school day is done ) hanging out with neighborhood friends...


Right now his week has a lot of evening commitments -

Monday evening Scouts 630-8

Tuesday evening D&D at the library 6-830

Weds karate 515-6, and youth group 6-8

Thurs is free but he sometimes goes to karate

Friday karate 515-645 ... no weekend commitments other than scout and karate events and sometimes Saturday karate class.


He currently says Tuesdays are the best day of the week as he has co-op (a writing class and percussion band) and D&D and gets to go the library. But this is probably heavily influenced by the fact that co-op lunch is almost always pizza lol


Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk

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As long as they weren't ignoring any kids that were company, I wouldn't find that a problem.   We have some days where they do "a lot" of screen time and other days where they do very little.  There idea of a good day is a lot of time spent on computer.  My idea of a good day includes screen free playing, creative time, exercise/outdoor time, reading.  We get a mix of both in our house, a little more of my idea because I make the rules and plan at least our weekdays.


I read something years ago that talked about showing interest in the things your kids enjoyed.  That constantly being told the things they enjoy are not worth doing or not as good as doing something else, it says something to them about their decision making and belittles them.  I didn't agree with the entire article, but that did make sense to me.  How would we feel if something we enjoyed doing (reading, sewing, scrapbooking, whatever) was dismissed as a waste of time by those we love?   How bad would we feel if we're constantly told that we are wrong to like what we like?

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