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Β· Freedom isn't free
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I am by NO MEANs an expert parent, but lemme tell you my only experience.

My present wife is a "do-it-all" kind of woman.. She's extremely outdoorsy. She was raising her son essentially solo when I met her. He was about 11 yo. He was 100% into the gaming thing. Good kid, bright, and straight As, something they struggled early on with until they worked out a good way for him to study and such.

She field trials, which she went out of her way to get her son into... They bought a camper, so they could "Train" dogs. Training dogs was from ATV, in open fields... Hunting Dogs (Brittanys). It involved camping in the camper, running dogs from ATV. Weekend trials started for them when he was about 12-13... which was from horseback, but if he didn't want to do horseback riding and running dogs, there was always an ATV to ride behind on, to watch hunting dogs.

To me, this was about as ideal an environment for a young man one could ask for. The wife also took up shotgun and shooting skeet..

During all of this, the XBox came as a portable unit... he always did what she asked... he helped clean up, got paid to help. Was always a gentleman to others at the trials... but it just wasn't his thing. He didn't want to do any of the "fun" in it, riding horses, running dogs, or the like. Even riding the ATV wasn't really fun for him.

He's 22 now. Still a great kid, now a honors student at college, just about got his degree now, and soon doing an internship. He still spends as much spare time as possible behind that controller. He drives a manual tranmission car that HE's paying for, holds down 2 jobs to keep $$ in his pocket... and he cannot have a job when he does his internship so he's saving $$ for that and so far he has a decent amount saved up. He does this all while going full time to school. He has a girlfriend... and looks to be nearly on his way... meanwhile we live on 30 acres of woodland. We now have 3 horses on the property, and 7 dogs (which some come and go for training a dog shows)... We likely will have puppies sometime next year (we do that every 3 years or so so not often)... again great experiences right? He's seen nothing much more than the driveway, and the walls of his room.

NOPE, he'd rather game. Good news though, he's taken up a career involving video editing, and LOTS of computer work. He has a certain talent for it for sure.....

MY POINT? Everyone is different. I am not saying rationing the Xbox is wrong, but ultimately you cannot always force someone to enjoy other experiences. Shockingly some really don't enjoy it.

I'd have bet anything a young man would love hunting dogs, horses, fields, ATVs, shotguns, hunting...

Oh and since this is a sailing site.... I HAVE taken him sailing twice... and it just wasn't his thing. I had my Capri 22 at the time and for one of the sails I lost my outboard, winds were up pretty good too, probably 10-15 knots... not a lot but perhaps a lot for a newb, I dunno... But I sailed into the dock with a following wind, which was tricky at best (too fast coming in if you aren't careful).. but we did great... textbook in fact. But nothing.

Again... as a parent, you try to show your kids different things. Give them a decent exposure to those things... if you have to, mandate they TRY them.

So my daughter is 11, and we are going through some of this with her. She's kind of headed the other route. She loves the dogs. She's spent some time showing dogs at dog shows, she's learned to ride a horse, and thoroughly enjoys field trials and watching the dogs from horseback. She even spent 4 hours with me in some of the worst weather ever (cold driving rain at 40 degrees), watching dogs run from horseback. But she doesn't like the guns or the shotgun stuff.

As for sailing, she's been with me during some of our wildest races in the last 2 years. She's not happy unless we're surfing in our 25 footer, pushing the boat to the limit. Anything over 8 knots gets a rise outta her, and she starts to giggle some. She's otherwise bored with it, and wants to swim/anchor. I get it, I hate sailing slow too.

Every kid is different, and I dunno you can ever get them to love something if they don't. Good luck... chances are 1 kid will love it, the other won't. Just how it is.
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