I think you and his Mom need to explain to him that you guys need your downtime, too. And that is why he needs to go outside when the other kids do. Let him know that he doesn't need to hang out with them if he doesn't want to but he does need to give you (or his Mom) X minutes of time to yourselves. And he also needs to go outside so the other kids don't think it is unfair that he gets to stay in and they don't. He's 12, not 2. He should understand.
Actually, Ia gree with this.
and if he isn't enjoying the time at the park, why should he have to stay there? Can't he have control over his "leisure" time? All that matters is that you get what you want/need, and it really isn't "for him to be outside" or "for him to be at the park." It's "for him to leave you alone."
Or it's "for him to be out of your hair while you clean."
(heck, maybe he'd prefer to help you pick up stuff, or maybe he'd be willing to mop the floor. But he's only been told to go outside.)
I think grownups often decide the solutions for kids and then just dictate them. But it doesn't actually help that much.
It's also hard to "entertain yourself" for 30 minutes when you're at someone else's house. Your stuff isn't there (so, none of the books are yours, and if this kid is older, maybe there aren't any in the right age range; or if you start, you can't finish in the day). I think I'd have tried to suggest some alternate activities since he didn't want to go to the park.
- what I was asking is how to handle this with respect to the other kids who are perceiving the disparity in the rules.
It's just so weird to me that you think of this kid as "breaking the rules
" when he just didn't want to go to the park, and hanging around outside while *not* at the park was boring, so he came inside.
It just doesn't seem like "misbehaving" to me.
As for how to handle him--first truly define what you want from him. And then ask whether it's fair. It's not fair to tell him he has to go to the park. It's fair, perhaps to tell him you want some "no kids in the house" time.
And then, since he is a minor in your care, it's up to you to give him the equipment and **coaching** he needs to succeed at that. So tell him to go home and get a book and bring it back to read on the porch, or something.