I'm 26, my younger brother is 13. He is spending almost all of his day on TV and computer. Common problem, but I am really worried about him.
I came back to live in my parents' house since it's close to my school.
He is a younger son, our parents are getting close to their 60s, and they don't really have any educational agenda, nor the discipline to apply one. They are tired of fighting with him. They have consulted with a psychologist which insists they have to let him do anything he wants, so he won't feel an urge to rebel. I think this is super-stupid and can prove it with my own life. Even his school has a stupid "democratic" approach which says all kids have to do only what they feel like doing.
He is an artistic kid, he can enjoy playing guitar, woodcraft, board games, hiking, climbing, etc. But it's getting harder and harder to make him participate in those activities. It's also hard because we don't have enough discipline as family. I've decided lots of time to make sure we go out of the house together at least once a week but found it really difficult to follow.
What I need is a plan. A well planned change, involving our parents. We need a long-term change. My main problems are:
How do I tell my parents about this? I want to get them alert, so they'll be motivated to make a real change, but I don't want to make them too worried. I thought of telling them everything, so they'll know they can't keep the situation as it is.
How can we restrict his TV and computer usage? I want to create alternatives but it won't work if he has totally free, unlimited access to TV and computer. I thought of a technical solution, but wouldn't it make him feel we don't trust him? (well, I don't..) And what is a reasonable, non harmful time for screen activity?
Alternatives: I can think of plenty activities, but how can we make him participate? I find rewarding systems problematic - at a certain time in your life you have to be able to do stuff only because you choose to, not because you look for the reward. Is there a way of creating an intense, committing activities agenda without using power or rewards?
Discipline - How can we make sure it won't be a few-weeks change, but a long-term change that will last for the rest of his youth? Knowing that we have a discipline problem as a family..