What do you do when your teenage son tells you he doesn't want to go to college?

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[deleted account]

BEST REPLY OF ALL BRENDA BASINGER! KEEP IT SIMPLE AND AS HARD AS IT IS TO NOT BE ABLE TO DECIDE FOR THEM...IF YOU RAISED THEM TO BE RESPONSIBLE DECISION MAKERS...THEY WILL KNOW WHICH ROAD TO TAKE AND IF IT HAPPENS TO "NOT" BE THE RIGHT ONE...AT 1ST, THEY'LL TURN AROUND WAY BEFORE ITS TOO LATE! SUPPORT THEIR DECISION WHATEVER YOU DO! THAT'S USUALLY THE KEY THAT KEEPS THEIR MIND OPEN...AND NOT LOCKED!

Linda - posted on 11/28/2009

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Don't MAKE him go...he has to want the education, or it will be totally wasted. Sometimes college is better when you're a little older, and it is your own choice!

Cetta - posted on 11/28/2009

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Start doing college tours with him and take him to all the step shows you can find. Start him to dreaming about what he really loves to do and find the field of study that will lead him there along with some college boys who are already on the path. He needs a connection - find one for him.

Denise - posted on 11/25/2009

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You should give him time to find himself. He may prefer to work for a few years first because he may not be sure of what he wants to major in. But you should continue to explain the importance of a college degree in today's HARD world.



I would also expect him to pay some sort of rent (a small percentage of his take home pay) if he decides to work instead of going to school, so that he becomes aware of what it will be like out there in the big, bad world. Explain to him that in life he WILL have to pay rent, car insurance, telephone, etc., all by himself!

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Barb - posted on 12/17/2009

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I'm from a family of 7 kids. The two who didn't go to college are the most financially stable, hardworking, and happy. College isn't for everyone, but it certainly opens more doors for people and that's important during an economy that we are having now. But guess what, my friend who is looking for a job just told me she is going to remove her masters in Business from her resume to open more opportunities! Tell him College is a big expense that should only be spent on people who are commited to it. Tell him you will always love him, but you might not always be there financially and he needs a plan for when that happens.

Michelle - posted on 12/13/2009

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Give him the other options 1) To stay here, you have to work and follow the number one rule- you'll do what I say. 2) You can join the military 3) You can leave and find your own way, if you don't like option 1 or 2. College will sound allot better believe me, I have two sons in college due to the alternate choices. Best wishes to your college bound son!

Linda - posted on 11/29/2009

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There is always hope. My oldest is 31 and is finally going to school. He is doing it online, which is working out for him, but he is going. There are so many more options for college. It will come.

Linda - posted on 11/29/2009

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You keep talking, but sometimes you have to step back and let them find out for themselves how much they need college. I have found out that this is the hardest part of being a parent is letting them make their own mistakes and suffer the consequences. But I keep talking not matter what, listen to what they have to say but also express my opinion. good luck

Diamond - posted on 11/29/2009

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Hello kimberly,



While reading your response, It reminded me of my 22 year old son who stated sometime ago that he did not want to attend college. However, after spending a lot of time conversating with him and praying. I decided to make a change for myself and return back to school hoping he would follow suit. Although, it took a long time before he made up his mind that attending college was benificial to him and in addition, would allow him to become self sufficient; he recently enrolled in a college in Texas, and I know within my heart that prayer changes all things! Therefore, pray about the situation, and give it to GOD. I guarantee HE will work it out. HE's an ontime GOD.

MARY - posted on 11/28/2009

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I wish my son would just go 2 school! he`s heading dwn the wrg road...and he`s only n the 10th grade..

Stephanie - posted on 11/28/2009

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Hello: Kimberly My name is Stephanie. Don't make him do anything he don't want to you will be just wasting you money. Because he will go but willn't do what he is suppose to be doing. Give him sometime an pray to the GOOD LORD that he will change his mind. My son said the samething all his friend went off to college he would go up there on the weekend then they drop out an he decide that is what he was going to do go to college. The bad news is it took him 2-year to grow some comsents. Hope it doesn't take your baby that long......(smile)

Lana - posted on 11/28/2009

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Kim,
You didn't say what he wanted to do. My son is nervous about college he went on tours with his sister a few years ago. But he has talked about going to Vocational School he wants to be a Pastry Chef. He has looked into going on Job Corp and regular Culinary Schools. He has looked into a Small community college that someone from our town went that has a Culinary school on the curriculum.
So ask him what he wants to do he may have a plan

Michelle - posted on 11/28/2009

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Kimberly,
We just had our almost 16 year old mention the same thing. Once we talked about it, he was just so concerned about living somewhere other than our home. We told him about community colleges, off campus housing at smaller colleges, and now he is more interested. I don't know if maybe that is some of the issue with your child or not. Hope this helps!

Shelley - posted on 11/28/2009

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ask him what he does want to do with his life? and where will the money come from to pay his way in life. HEHEHE not fun. but when they turn 18 they are on thier own for it all. makes them think a little bit harder. what would he do if Mom and Dad where not there??? to pay??? good luck done it two time one more on the way she is 16 both of my older ones went to collage.

Andrea - posted on 11/28/2009

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Hi Julie, let your son know you love him, support him and respect him first and foremost. I had a time in highschool when I was discouraged about finances not being there for college. As I worked to pay for clunker as a waitress, I saw paths that some of the older girls took. They spent their money on clothes, apartments--sharing them with others in order to afford it of course, and then locked themselves in to a life where they had left home, didn't want to return and were NOT happy. I envisioned that path or the broke student, plucking along at the local college, putting five dollars in at a time at the gas pumps since that was all I could afford, but then saw the path my college peers were on. There were a lot more doors and better role models. I finished my difficult nursing degree, bought a house on my own by age 29 and by age 32, had used that hard work ethic to have 30 grand saved in mutual funds. I'd run into the waitresses I used to work with later. They looked old, still apartment living and still not happy. Only then, they usually had a child, were single and really struggling. All for what? To get out of the house and buy jeans? Tell him that story, but change how it would be for a young man. Maybe it will help. I hope so. Take Care, Andrea

Angela - posted on 11/27/2009

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Dont get crazy about it...ask him to write down what he would like to have in his life (material things, married, kids as well) and then ask him to write down how he plans to achieve them moniterily. After that, ask him if his job or profession would require college or if it would allow him greater success. If he isnt willing to do this then use the old standby; sure if you dont want to go to college make sure you are prepared to work at least two jobs just to pay the minimal of bills. If he states he would live at home and you are willing to allow that then make sure he understands that as long as he is working full time and paying rent and his portion of electricity, food etc... then fine but no matter what he does, he needs to understand responsibility is going to happen.

Demetra - posted on 11/27/2009

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You sit down and talk to him about his "plan." If he is not going to college then he has to have a plan...life after high school. If he doesn't have one I would insist he comes up with one...a detailed one and one that makes perfect sense. If he can't come up with anything I would sit down with him and explore his options...insist on a plan! There are a lot of very successful people that never attended a day of college, however they did have another alternative; a plan and they followed until completion...goals!

Lisa - posted on 11/27/2009

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Kimberly - I am lucky in that I haven't had to face a child who didn't agree that college is a necessity these days (I have two in college and one in high school) . We never talked about "if" our children would go to college - rather we talked about "when" they would go to college. But I don't think it will do much good to force a young person to go to college if their hear is not in it. A friend of mine forced her son to go to college and he , of course, did nothing but waste the time and money invested in that year! He is now in his late twenties and has returned to college on his own after experiencing the struggle of making it without a college education since then. I am not saying you need to support your son in his refusal to go to college. If he is not going to college he will have to go to work. I would lay down some ground rules about what will happen after graduation from high school. I.E. How long he can live at home after graduation, what the rent will be (and there should be some) , and what the rules are for living at home. Also give him the information about what you can offer in the form of help (if anything) should he decide to go to college. And I suggest putting restrictions on any assistance for schooling as well. For instance , if you pay for tuition and room and board a certain GPA should be expected and I think all kids should work for their fun money. Just be clear about all stipulations and don't give in on any!
Good luck!

[deleted account]

College is not a necessity in life, though many will have you believe it is. What are his interests? Would he like to go to a trade school to learn a certain vocation? Really, being a responsible, hard worker, and wise with your money can take him just as far as someone with a degree. I have seen so many times. It's not how much money you make,,,but what you do with it!

Sue - posted on 11/27/2009

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College is his choice. What your rules for continuing to live at home after turning 18 is your choice. Must get a job or must have some plan of action, or must take over household chores. I found that after 18 my boys didn't want to be restrained by my rules of the house. It kicks in their natural desire to get out on their own. it did take some time for them to find their way.

[deleted account]

Don't just ask him, listen to what he says. He may have some ideas of his own. Help him by guiding him to the right people and places........and if all he wants to do is menial work then help him find a job that he wants. There is more to life than college and his whole future depends on his choices now. The more you push the more of him you'll lose.

Linda - posted on 11/27/2009

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I gave my children a choice.......college or military of their choice for two years. My daughter went to college, recieved her degree then went to work for McDonald's. My son has gone off and on for the past 10 years with no degree. Keep in mind that if they don't want to go they won't do their best until they are ready. It really is up to them.

[deleted account]

It's a hard one because my husband and I both own our own businesses and I only have 2 years of college and no degree and my husband has 2 degrees but owns an entertainment company (completely unrelated). So my kids see that money can be made without a college degree but I have already told them that they need at least an associates in business before they can even think of taking over our businesses. So, I guess my advice would be to encourage but don't think it's the end of the world if he doesn't really want to go.

Patty - posted on 11/25/2009

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Get him a crappy job like dish washing for a busy restaurant or scooping poop at a kennel then have him pay you rent etc..soon he'll get the picture, my son did..he's in college now!

Eloise - posted on 11/25/2009

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You listen to his reason. College is not for every child. If he's not ready he's not going to do nothing but waste your money and his time! I bet you in a few years he'll change his mind. But you let his butt know he got to find a job! LOL!!!

[deleted account]

Quoting Ellen:

give him choices instead like enlisting in the service. I know it seems like you will lose him but think it of it this way, he will come back more grown up and get paid for it too.


I had a child go into the military. When you say they will come back more grown up, well, maybe. IF they come back. How many people have had their children lose their lives?? How many children with good morals were totally corrupted? Many on both accounts, and I mean many. 


 

Ellen - posted on 11/25/2009

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give him choices instead like enlisting in the service. I know it seems like you will lose him but think it of it this way, he will come back more grown up and get paid for it too.

[deleted account]

Let him tell you his plan, his intention for the next step. If he doesn't have one, guide him to people he respects who can offer ideas and perspectives other than your own, and give him a time limit to prepare his plan and share it with you (2 weeks, a month...). Let him know you love him, and you don't have to agree with his choices in order to support his right to make his own choices. This would be a good time to share some of the choices you have made and how they turned out and informed the rest of your life...

[deleted account]

Most people think we are strange but we do NOT encourage our children to go to college. It is estimated that 80% of college graduates end up not using their degrees in life anyways. We do not encourage it because 75% of the children that attend college lose the faith that they were raised with. The first statistic I read a few years back. The second was a scientist/pastor. Out of our 15 children (12 grown) only one has attended college and no, he isn't using what he went to school for. The others are all happily married and have good paying jobs. That is all that matters to us. If your son really doesn't want to go just back him in his decisions. He may regret it later and go then.

Vickey - posted on 11/24/2009

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My oldest son is 34. He was really into the drug and alcohol scene in high school and it was a very hard time for us. He went to college right after graduation from high school and ended up dropping out. He spent more time socializing than he did in the classroom. We lived in an area where there were plenty of factories that would hire him. He has always been a very charismatic guy and it worked for him. However, the factories started moving away to places like Mexico where they could get cheaper labor and left him high and dry. He finally went back to school and got an associate's degree in plastics engineering and graduated with a 4.0. He said it makes a lot of difference when you want to be there. Now he is working in management in a plastics factory and is back in school working on his bachelor's degree in business. Thankfully, many of his credits transfered from the other school. The point is, whatever your son chooses, he's going to be alright. He may not feel capable of sitting through more classes now, when that's all he does everyday in high school. Once he gets out of that school setting, he may change his mind. Love him, support him, and let him be responsible for his own stuff. My youngest is 22 and still lives at home. He is dyslexic and had a terrible time in public school so we did home school with him. He has, over the last four years, become agoraphobic, which makes his situation somewhat unigue. He gets SSI. No matter where his money comes from, he still has to pay a portion of the rent, utilities, and so forth. Every kid is different. We need to just simmer them in love until they are nice an juicy and ready to move on and appreciate them for who they are.

Elizabeth - posted on 11/24/2009

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you want the best 4 him but he needs to wanted too! ya can lead a horse to water but ya can,t make him drink it that the same with u'r son hopefuly he come to his senses or not if he does,nt want to u be wasting u,r money!

Debbie - posted on 11/24/2009

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Not everyone is college material. Both of my sons are grown now, but neither one went to college. They got jobs and learned on the job or got technical training on the job. Find out what their intentions are for supporting themselves and help them with options.

User - posted on 11/24/2009

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if he doesn't go to collage he needs to get a job mine worked & went to collage he needs to realise that he is responsable for himself if he leaves full time education

Juliette - posted on 11/24/2009

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I agree with Laura, and I fear that pressing the issue will make him want to do it even less. You can tell him that doing nothing is not an option; he can choose a vocational school, he can get a job, he can go to college, he can apply for a training program of some kind, maybe if you could afford a year abroad program that you approve of, he can research and apply for that...he just can't sit around at home and be fed and cared for like a child anymore. I actually think 18 is too young for most people to go to college and that they would get more out of the experience if they were a bit more mature.

Laura - posted on 11/23/2009

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I'm of the mind that college is not for everyone. Like Ann, I would talk with him and find out what he does want to do after high school. (Part of that talk would include the ground rule that if he is not in school, then he is paying rent somewhere, even if he is still living at home. This is to prevent him from not doing "something" after school is done.) Many trades - like welding, plumbers, construction - do not need degrees but do better with a short course. The company I work for is always in need of welders with good work skills/ethics.

Ann - posted on 11/23/2009

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Hi Kimberly, I sort of have a similar problem. My husband works for a community college and our children get their tuition paid for (books and supply's not included).

It would be crazy to send our daughter to a 4 year college when she could get paid tuition for two years and than have her transfer. I guess I would ask your son what exactly does he plan to do with his life as far as getting a job goes. Maybe he see's himself doing some skilled work that requires a few weeks of training?? Some companys won't even read your resume unless you have a 4 year degree, so tell him that college will help him be the best that he can be, and he won't be overlooked for jobs. He should at least take a few classes and try it out, he might actually enjoy college. He must have another idea of what he wants to do with his life...like maybe head to Hollywood!! My daughter had this idea stuck in her head. I don't think your son can make a responsible decision at this time on something that will effect the rest of his life. Once he sees his friends planning for college after graduation maybe he'll feel different. Good luck!!!!

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