Unschooling Teens and Life - Page 2
That is quite the statement. My USed children are ahead of their peers in many ways. I am not going to argue that is the case in all USed children. I imagine USer run the gamut socially and academically...just like youth everywhere. Saying many public schooled kids are light years ahead socially and academically is a sweeping generalisation (and probably unsubstantiated...do you have any data on this?)
OP...I think your answer lies in your first post.
Aggression, weight issues, lack of initiative/drive...there's ample evidence connecting these issues with gaming.
As a PP stated, your sons are doing what society expects of them right now.
Boys Adrift is an excellent book on the topic of what the heck is happening with boys in our culture.
I would want to stop the aggression right off. Some type of physical activity should help with that and the weight. In the least the new kinect xbox system would get them moving. Walking or bike riding.Maybe they could build a backyard track.
For the future they will need to find ways to make money,so at this age it is a good time to start thinking about that and DOING things.Books can only take you so far.
Hope you find something that works for them. I know I would be upset if my kids were 20+ and still playing video games all day. If they earn their way(and I am not asking they get a 100k job) then they can do what they want after work.
I was 16 when I started caring for 20+ eldery in a nursing home after school. It was super hard work,but hey I couldn't expect my mom to suport me forever.She never pushed me to work but I knew I needed to do something.
Do your boys realize their time to step up is coming soon? Are they preparing for that? Guide them by offering them the options/information they need to get themselves ready.
I actually came to the Mothering site because of my past experience here. Regarding breastfeeding, attachment parenting, and keeping boy babies intact, this is the place to be. Raising happy teenagers and homeschooling, not so much. IMHO, of course. For example:
Unless you want your adult son living with your forever playing video games, it's time to have a talk and have him make a plan.
I don't see that sitting on the couch eating and playing video games is blazing a path. I think that it's part of a parents job to help kids find their path and give them a little push in that direction.
Originally Posted by mlesoing:
Tigresse, as this forum is called Preteens and Teens, I posted here looking for support from other parents of teens. There was no indication that many of the people in this forum are recovering unschoolers, so I do apologize for that apparent blunder.
I think many of us who are parents of current teens (as well as former teens) have faith in our kids. Unschooling, home schooling, public schooling... All rather moot, to be honest. In each of those groups, some kids excel and some flounder. And some just ride the wave.
So - what ELSE do your boys do? Besides being siblings (that's what the fighting is), playing video games and watching movies? Where do they - especially your 17yo - see their lives going? What do they see for themselves in the future?
I'm curious to know just what trail your son is blazing? You haven't mentioned anything that seems particularly unique or inspiring, to be honest. The picture you've painted is of two overweight kids who sit around al play games or watch movies. There's got to be something more going on for trailblazing....
As for not having faith in our kids? My boy got a free ride to study Math or Physics at several top-notch universities. He chose to go to a conservatory to study Music Composition. Yep, it scares me. But I know he can do it if he puts his mind to it. So... there he is.
I did think of a book that you / your son might like to read if you can get hold of it - it's out of print but worth getting hold of if you can find it:
I was thinking last night that the problems I am having, which sound similar to the OP's are due to not trusting him / recognising that what he is doing is learning. We had a long talk last night, and although he doesn't know what he wants to do long term, there are things that he would like to do, so I'm going to try to facilitate that a bit more.
Hi there. I am the very proud mother of an unschooled 19 year old young man who spent several years on the couch (and floor, and bed lol) playing video games. And eating. ;) He's just rented his first apartment with a roomate and is working full time at a store. He manages his own finances, has a checking and savings account, cooks his own food, gets to work on time (except that one day I called & his alarm had been set to am instead of pm! oops) and generally is a really cool smart guy.
Unschooling, and particularly those for whom unschooling is also part of family life rather than just an educational approach, sees that we can follow our desires and still learn and develop into healthy people.
The main thing is to not give up. The next thing, IMO? Talking. Friendly, honest, and casual discussion about things that you are concerned about. I think it's one of the most important tools in parenting, and one of the most often overlooked. Inviting their input is so so important, and taking it respectfully even when it's something you wanted to hear or that you agree with.
Regarding weight and exercise I would tell them your worries as gently as possible. The last thing you want is to make them feel embarrased or put down. Maybe tell them you're interested in a physical video game and wanted them to play with you? Ask if there is any sport at all that interests them? Ask if they'd be at all interested in helping cook with you? (I think I am echoing a prev poster or two there...)
Hang in there! Un :)