Lisa @ School Family
Think it's great that you are trying to address this now. Once kids get to junior high and high school it gets harder for a parent to have a lot of influence over extra curricular activities. First a question: are you limiting his time on gaming, computer, etc? If not, would strongly suggest doing this. If given the option, most pre-teen and teen boys would play countless hours on screen stuff (sadly). Most computer and gaming systems have built in systems (or apps you can get) to limit and monitor your child's time. Here is an example: Xbox Family Timer
Asking your child what he is interested in is a great start - having an active conversation, and creating a list of his interests on paper would be a good next step. Once he brainstorms a list, tell you want him to pick one activity and you are going to sign him up for it and commit to the rest of the school year. Try to get him to think outside the box --i.e. does he love animals? Maybe he could volunteer at a nearby animal shelter. Hopefully whatever he picks will spark an interest. It's important that his activities reflect something he is interested in and not something you think he should do. Good luck!
This sounds very much like a friend of mine and now that their son is 15, he wont do anything but sit in front of the computer! However I have tried to point out to them that they are his role models and they have never done anything together as a family as Dad also plays computer games for hours every day and Mum reads or watches videos on her computer. So I'd say start with looking at what he sees you doing - if you dont do extra-curricular activities yourself, he wont see the point. Try planning a family weekend where you put everything aside for a weekend and spend the time together - the big thing to do though is to get him to plan the weekend. Give him a budget and let him go for it. Other friends of mine have done this one weekend a month for years - their two kids did the planning - often there was a very small budget as thats all they could afford, but they had a ball. If I rang my friend up and asked her to do something that weekend she would always say "Sorry that's our family weekend'. I really respected them for that. The two kids have grown into loving, well-adjusted adults.