Help! My 11 year old son only wants to play Legos and video games!

Ashley - posted on 01/30/2009 ( 17 moms have responded )

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My son is 11. He is very smart, but not very athletic. He really only likes Star Wars, Legos, and video games. There are several community leagues for soccer, basketball, etc. I am wondering if I should make him do some of these other things. I keep thinking that if he gives other things a try, he might find some other outside interests. I just don't know what the right thing to do is. Does anyone have any suggestions?

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Jakki - posted on 11/30/2011

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Physical activity isn't just about competitive and team sports. There are lots of different activities which are good for your body like riding a bike, just going for a walk, playing at the pool with friends, taking a dog out etc etc which can get him out of the rut. How about horse riding or indoor rockclimbing or canoeing or just going out to some forest or whatever kind of wilderness areas or mountains you have near you and walking?

It took me until adulthood that I could just enjoy the feeling of these kind of things and not have the pressure of being in a competitve team.

Oh and do you have scouts in your area - good way to make new friends and try new things.

Jennifer - posted on 02/13/2009

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I kind of feel like the voice of the future. My son is 18 and just like yours. He still loves his legos, has the computer involved kind now, loves his computer and his wii. He's not athletic except walking to and from school every day (not too far) and in the summer, night games with his friends. He's in the band and gets A's and B's mostly. He usually likes to read, do photography and play with our puppy (18 month old Rottie). He's been like this for years. I used to worry a lot about him and whether he was going to do alright. Now that he is just months away from graduation and actually accepted into college (scary), I have decided I worried too much. We just established a few rules that seemed to make a difference 1- school work comes first - no missing assignments, nothing lower than a B. 2- No late nights during the week (for one thing it keeps his little sister up). 3- He must walk the dog for at least 30 minutes before he can play - good for both of them. But other than that, we just let him go and he's turned out pretty good, socially, physically and mentally. I wish you the best of luck.

Jennifer - posted on 01/31/2009

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My kids, two 9 year olds and a 10 year old; all love to play video games.  Sometimes I feel they play a little too much.  They are athletic and play sports; basketball, baseball, football, etc. and they still play games.  When my 10 year old is not playing games, he's normally playing cars in his room.  But, maybe there are other programs other than sports that you can get him involved in.  For instance, my 10 year old wants to be a chef when he grows up.  There are a couple options for him such as a cooking school that caters to children, cooking classes after school, etc; in my area.



Anyway, maybe he doesn't know what's out there.  Is there something else he is interested in that you could find an activity related?



Oh and for the video games in my house, you have to keep your grades up, complete the reading requirements for our Book It program in the school, and do any and all chores; withing reason, that I ask.  Because the first thing to go is video games.



Some video games have proven to be beneficial for my kids.  It improves hand eye coordination and that can apply certain techniques in to their sports that they've learned off of the video games. 



Hope that helps and good luck!

April - posted on 01/31/2009

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I have a 10 year old into legos, star wars, video games and reading. I make him choose 1-3 summer activites he like tennis and tried baseball and soccer. Every year he does swimming lessons. At least for the legos he is using his imigianation. Is he overweight? Healthy? I would be leary of forcing him to do a sport as he may resent it, but make it seem like he has an option of doing one. anyway worked for me! Good luck

[deleted account]

My son is not good with competitive sports and doesn't enjoy excercise because of that. But I found a local place that gives golf lessons and he is enjoying that. No one in the family golfs so in a way it seems kind of odd for an 11 year old. But hey! it works. You might have to be creative.

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Bert - posted on 01/03/2014

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The only reason children do not like sports is because they feel that they are good enough to play or practice. They need verbal reinforcement 24/7 and never tell him or her she is doing it wrong. You will lose them in a second. Proper encouragement, leaves the complains out of it.

Samanth - posted on 09/23/2013

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Try to get him to play sports and if he likes it great and if he doesn't don't make him keep doing it. But make sure he try's with a positive attitude or he wont like it, just make sure he gives it a good effort and doesn't just do it and tell you he hates it if he doesn't give it a real effort. If he doesn't really try he'll hate it no matter what.

Alice - posted on 02/14/2009

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Hi, I wish my son was like yours! At 11 it was all about girls and raging hormones. I dont know what your financial situation is, but the WII has video games that are quite physically demanding. Theres also DDR and others. Some children just arent that physically active. 11 is a tender age for a boy. It maybe he is smaller than his peers, heavier or similiar and is scared of not being able to hold his own. I would try some one on one, a hoop in the backyard, a group of family or fiends playing baseball or soccer just for fun, etc... Maybe if you pique his interest with fun he'll realize his potential on his own. Whats right for my son might not be for yours, trust your your instincts! good luck

Ileen - posted on 02/13/2009

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I have 2 sons 1 is 11 yrs old and the other one will turn 3 beginning of March. My oldest one is in ALL sports, Football, Basketball, and Baseball and he loves video games and legos like all normal boys but with all these sports he doesn't have time to sit around and play video games, or club penguin. My husband and I love having him is sports it keeps him fit and VERY busy. It's lots of work for you as well driving him to all sports but it is good. I see you have a little one too, it will keep him busy and tired too because he will get to play with other kids too. Good LUCK!!!

Susan - posted on 02/13/2009

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My son who is 11 loves his computer...too much. He has lots of friends but because they live a bit of a distance it's a little harder for him to get together with them. He does great in school dispite the endless hours on his computer but I'm wondering does anyone know of some great  and user friendly computer learning games out there?

Jennifer - posted on 02/12/2009

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Quoting Donna:

My son is the exact same way. He is not going to be a jock. He gets exposed to sports during gym class and overall has little interest.

So, I got hm a Wii Fit. Now, he plays video games and gets some exercise at the same time. In fact, he runs using the Wii Fit -- something he hates to do outside!



I got the same results from my daughter, she hates to run and exercise outside and loves on the wii, I was surprised to how it worked for her.

Jennifer - posted on 02/12/2009

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Sounds like your son is on the same page as my 10 year old daughter...lol she likes the same things. She is one to play on her own, not a real active or social child... only sometimes on her terms. I got the girls a wii game to get her off her hind end, seems to help some with the getting off her duff, there are lots of sports and exersise games on it and it seems to have struck some interest in soccer for her. Sorry, I don't have alot of advice, I am still trying to get her away from the game... even if it is getting her motivated in some areas, I just can't help but wonder how my kids would have made it growing up when I did with no video games and only an imagination to count on.

Linette - posted on 02/12/2009

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My son is 11 and he is the same way. About a year ago ihad a talk with him and it was agreed on that he would be allowed (on school nights) to play video games for the equivalent of time he reads. He went from reading his mandatory 15 minutes to actually reading 30-45 minutes a night! Also, if his grades go down, video games are the first thing to go until I see improvement. He's never been into sports, but I do sign him up for different activities at the rec center. That way he is only obligated to at least try a new sport or activity for a 3 to 6 week period of time. If he likes it, then great, but if he doesn't at least he tried it:) Hope this helps.

Andrea - posted on 02/09/2009

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My 11 yo is the same. He has never really been into sports. He's tried football, wrestling and baseball. The only one he wants to continue playing is baseball. His friends and he get together a lot but they play video games and play legos or cars the whole time. In the summer I make him go outside with his friends so he doesn't become unhealthy. I thinks it is normal for this day and age. Im not worried about him. if you make him play a sport that he doesn't like it will be hell going to practices every couple days and he will not try his best at it. It will make him resent you for making him do it. Maybe finding some other activity he will like can be good for him. This summer I plan on getting my son into archery. I figure if he likes it, we can do it together and it's not something he needs to be very athletic for. Good luck. Just let you son be happy. As long as he still has friends and is healthy he'll be fine.

Susan - posted on 01/31/2009

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Lay the groundwork for messing with your kid's routine by telling him ahead of time what's going to happen.  'You are going to play a sport this spring, you may choose soccer or basketball.'  Obviously, if you're met with consistent hysterical resistance then don't force the issue.  Instead suggest a musical instrument, or reading, or just limiting his video game playing.  Give choices (when available) once you've decreed that this is how it's going to be.  This is how i herd my 10 & 12 year old in the direction I want them to go. I get battles, but they're minimal & fought ahead of time. 

Donna - posted on 01/31/2009

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My son is the exact same way. He is not going to be a jock. He gets exposed to sports during gym class and overall has little interest.



So, I got hm a Wii Fit. Now, he plays video games and gets some exercise at the same time. In fact, he runs using the Wii Fit -- something he hates to do outside!

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