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Parents of ADHD Teens and Young Adults

Need a hobby

My 12 1/2 year old son has no hobbies except video games and those you tube videos.  He used to be an avid reader, but he barely does that anymore.  He never wants to try things that I suggest and can’t come up with his own ideas.  We are trying to help him learn how to find something that he likes, that he won’t know until he tries something if he enjoys it.  We want him to understand the difference between trying to not do electronics, but about finding other things to fill his time in addition to electronics.  Any ideas?


My son likes to build with a Lego Robotics kit

Posted by bigmidget on Jun 10, 2017 at 11:16pm

It’s not uncommon for kids his age to have electronics as a primary interest. It’s fun and engaging! But, it’s important that he have unplugged time too. Do you limit screen time? One idea is to say that “from x to x o’clock, screens are not allowed, but reading is” and you could plan an outing to the book store so he can pick out a few books that look interesting. If he was an avid reader before, maybe all that is needed is a new author, genre or series to rekindle his interest.

Another idea is to create an"summer bucket list” where you as a family brainstorm a list of things you want to “do, learn or make” this summer. Then, when it’s no-screen time, he (and you) can pick something from the list that you all created. There are lots of bucket list ideas on Pinterest.

By placing a daily moratorium on screens, he will have much more incentive to find something else to occupy himself.

Joyce Mabe
Parent coach, school counselor, mom of adult son with ADHD, author

Posted by parentcoachjoyce on Jun 12, 2017 at 12:20am

I had the exact same problem with my son. He started refusing to go to summer camps, stopped doing other things and focused only in video games.

What I worked for me is to start having a crafting time every day in close proximity with my son, so he was doing his video gaming but he was able to see what I was doing. At the same time, I got tools and materials for him to try and I gave let him ‘transform’ his bedroom with graffiti.

He still likes video games more than crafts, but he likes to explore different techniques and sometimes he spends entire days on certain projects.

Posted by najn on Jun 12, 2017 at 4:16am

***I highly encourage you to post this question to ADDitude’s new discussion forums, as well. I think your question would get a lot of attention in the For Parents forum: ADDconnect is transitioning over to this new forum now.***

The trick is to find ways to expand on and enrich the interest in video games. Lego Robotics Kits are a good one, as mentioned above. There are also Robotics clubs all over now. My son participates in Robotics Club at his school and loves it (he would also like to do nothing but gaming all day every day). You can often find classes for kids on technology, electrical circuitry, mechanics, and other subjects often enjoyed by kids who are into gaming and tech. And what about things like geocaching, where you combine tech with the outdoors?

ADDitude Community Moderator, Author & Mentor on Parenting ADHD, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

Posted by adhdmomma on Jun 13, 2017 at 1:10pm

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