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16 year old and nearly 18 year old boys

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
so mama's i need help.

i just moved in with my roommate who has older teenager. my dd is just 7.

they are a product of divorced parents just like us.

my roommate is still recovering from his marriage ending and desperately needs help with parenting. he appreciates any comments i can share with him. just to be clear i have no intentions to date roommate.

the key here is i am trying to get to know the boys. they are both good boys. but with issues. plus they are not hanging out with great company so that is not easy either.

and i want to build trust with them.

what kind of activities could i do with them to build a relationship. irrespective of helping their dad, i would really like to know them.

all they do these days is play video games and watch tv. their friends come over and they all do the same thing. they are typical mainstream kids. pizza and video games. not sure if they like music. doesnt seem to play much.

do you think they might enjoy volunteering? doing things like river cleanup? or hiking. i asked the youngest son and he prefers backpacking to hiking because with backpacking he gets to do more. he finds car camping kinda boring because of the lack of things to do.

one of them is ok with work, the older one does not like doing any 'work'.

i was not raised in this country so i kinda feel i do not know or relate to the teens here.

i borrowed jared diamond's guns ... and steel to watch together. would that be a good idea?

are there any good parenting books to read?

any words of wisdom? i would mucho appreciato.
post #2 of 9
If there is a big city nearby - I'd go out and spend a day there.
Going hiking sounds like a great opportunity for everyone.
Also, since TV is what they like, I'd sit down, and watch some of the shows they like that might appeal to you as well.
If I were their dad and wanted to connect, I'd also probably try playing some of their video games with them.
How about playing cards?

Now, as his roommate, there is only this much you can do without pushing yourself too much onto their company. Teenagers sometime seek space (I know I did), and having dad's roommate trying to make friends may kind-a annoy them, kwim?
post #3 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by meemee View Post
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all they do these days is play video games and watch tv.
I would start with this. Do you know anything about the games they play or the shows they watch? Ask some questions--do they play on a closed system where it's just them playing against each other or are they playing mmorpg? Ask if they'd show you how to play. Start with getting to know them the same way you'd get to know anyone else--by talking with them about what they like.

You might come up with other things through these conversations that you could invite them to--maybe you'll find that they're into comic books, or skateboarding or want to try rock climbing or see a particular movie and you could propose an activitiy related to that. I wouldn't just suggest volunteering or hiking out of the blue unless they've given some indication that THEY would be interested in those things. I would first meet them on their own turf, so to speak.
post #4 of 9
I agree with Oriole's point of view.

I don't really consider us to be a "typical, mainstream" family, but my boys also like pizza and video games.

They also like hiking, the beach/lake, laser tag, martial arts, board games, role-playing games (RPGs), movies, documentaries, and going out for ice cream.

We have done volunteer work in the past, but I've found it more difficult to do volunteer work in the city on a regular basis. We moved to the city four years ago from Small-Town USA. It seems that organizations here are far more concerned about liability, and mostly want adults-only for volunteering. Now I have an adult child, but he's no longer very interested in volunteering. I guess you can only get shot down so often before moving on to other things.
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Oriole View Post
Now, as his roommate, there is only this much you can do without pushing yourself too much onto their company. Teenagers sometime seek space (I know I did), and having dad's roommate trying to make friends may kind-a annoy them, kwim?
Yeah, this. My kids (16 and 18) would find this just.... weird.
post #6 of 9
this is my first time on this site; i was curious about the woman (or man) who has 16 and 18 year old boys; i have 2 boys...one will be 17 on sunday and my oldest is 18, just graduated high school last week and is leaving for college next month...i am having serious separation anxiety....
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by tangela View Post
this is my first time on this site; i was curious about the woman (or man) who has 16 and 18 year old boys; i have 2 boys...one will be 17 on sunday and my oldest is 18, just graduated high school last week and is leaving for college next month...i am having serious separation anxiety....
Not sure if you're talking about me... I have a 16yo daughter and 18yo son - who is going off to college next month as well. Feel free to PM me, if you'd like.

I know life will be different when he goes, but it will also be very exciting. As a parent, I feel it's been my responsibility to help him learn to spread his wings and fly - and that time is here for him. I look forward to watching him soar, while still providing a cushion if he needs one to land on for a bit. He's ready.
post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
thanks mamas.

no i get their space thing.

i am in school so am out of the house most of the time.

one of them enjoys cooking so he joins me in the kitchen sometimes.

thanks for the hint about not coming up with ideas. i did make the mistake of doing that and they refused. and of course there is the thing that one brother enjoys one thing and another something else.

you guys are right. just joining them is the best strategy now.
post #9 of 9
I have a very close relationship with my own twin boys, almost 16, and if I want to spend time with them, we play video games together or watch something on TV! We do a lot of other things too, but it's a lot easier to slide into their world than to try to drag them into yours (even gently, as you suggested).

Throw out oddball things too. Paintball, rock wall climbing, go-carts - they might be interested in doing something out of the ordinary.

Last year I took my sons to the Minnesota State Fair, and we had a blast!
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