Yes, you read that right.... it says GymBoy, not GamerBoy! Although you shouldn't worry, a GamerBoy tag still fits.
That said my boy has, with gentle persuasion, developed other interests over the past few years. Mainly through his extra-curricular activities, chosen for their therapeutic inputs. Activities with benefits, if you like.
It all began with the trampoline we bought for him about 7 years ago, well before the time when enclosures where included in the package! That trampoline has been in constant use over the past 7 years. Serving not just as a trampoline but as a calming device at times of stress. Like at homework time, for example, where a quick bounce between subjects restored the equilibrium and got us back on track or when a quick bounce before school got his 'engine just right'.
Nowadays this poor overused but much appreciated bouncing machine, that doesn't owe us a penny, lies unused, forlorn and worn in the front garden.
Having outgrown the equipment, but not the interest, we discovered a new class at an open sports day last year and he joined a Trampoline club last September! He adores this class and is progressing well. He even came 1st in his category at a competition last December. And, just like gaming, they have to pass levels and receive rewards for so doing....
(check labels above for a special 'disclaimer' ;-)
As friends and regular readers of this blog know, my boy also loves Tae Kwan Do and has been attending classes for 5 years now. His interest did wane slightly this year but thankfully we are now back on track. He has done a few testings and has earned himself quite a few belts at this stage...
He is now a brown belt which means he gets to wear a cool red suit!
Tae Kwon Do testing gets more difficult as you progress through the levels. It helps that he doesn't have to do sparring, it's not compulsory you know;-)
There's quite a lot of theory involved though and the higher belt you are the more the Master expects of you. I tried to overcome this by presenting the information to him in an easier to read, slightly colour-coded fashion with much reduced language for both the different belts....
(sample for 2 belts only, each heading is in the relevant belt colour)
and for the Aims (where I highlight and colour first letter of each aim forming CISMPI as an acronym)
and Pledges of Tae Kwan Do (where I highlight he crucial words)....
This, I believe, makes it much easier to process than studying the standard, stark handbook.
He has had other interests over the years, like Drama, Chess and swimming, that have since been abandoned.The latter because 'I know how to swim'! He does but I lament the fact that he gave it up, he had a rocking front stroke!
My boy has recently taken up yet another new activity, a further sign of his growing maturity and budding interest in his own well-being. Our local, progressive community leisure centre runs a teen gym, aimed at 11-16 year olds, 5 days a week and my boy attends once a week! Where he pounds the thread mill and rows like a master rower on the rowing machines and really enjoys it!. I just sit back and think of all that fabulous sensory input..... in a more grown up activity ;-)
What a great idea to prepare them for later life when most people 'go to the gym'.
All of the above is great preparation for secondary school when he will be presented with more activities (with benefits) to add to his ever-growing repertoire.
I wonder what he'll chose...
Now golf...that would definitely be an activity with benefits.....for me!
Oh yes, interesting times ahead!