What do you do to help a teenager that doesn' t seem to care?

Autumn - posted on 09/30/2011 ( 3 moms have responded )

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I have a 15 year old son that only does what he wants, if he is required to do anything beforehand he will wait until the very last second and then only does what the bare minimum for something to said it got done. He doesnt take pride in doing a good job and rarely finishes a project that he wants to do (he leaves the messes). He is very crafty though to do all the things he does do when we are not home to supervise his work. He says he cares about his grades but continues to bring home D and F's on report cards. It seems like we have to get really pissed off before he will do anything. He doesn't use the computer often, he doesn't watch a lot of T.V.

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Fred - posted on 05/27/2014

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I remember those school days myself, and I have heard discussion about different learning styles that kids (and all of us for that matter) have and learning by reading and being lectured was certainly not my learning style. Hands on learning would have been better.
I also now look back and realize I had no idea what I wanted to with my life, or what my gifts and talents were, and without that knowledge, I had no focus so I had no direction and hence no motivation. I am not sure what could have changed that though, but I have wondered if the right sort of mentor encouraging me wouldn't have helped.
There sometimes may be a need for someone outside of the family structure to come along side a youth to help them find out who they are and what gifts and talents they have.
After all those are the years when Dads and Moms don't know much! : )

Mikesha - posted on 06/29/2012

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My 15 year old is the same way. He hates to do anything he doesn't want to do. He had bad grades this past school year. And when you ask him why he failed, he will admit that he know how to do the work he just chose not to do it. I guess I should be thankful that my son is honest but I'm not happy with his choices.

My husband was the same way as a teen. He did only want he wanted. Only difference is during high school, he didn't do his school or homework but he aced every test he took. He passed and got into computers. Now he is a Manager for the IT department at his job.

My husband told me that I have to have faith that our son will find his niche and he will be fine as an adult. He told me not to worry. So I'm going to continue raising my son the best way I can and just pray that he finds his way. Sometimes it's all you can do.

Find what it is he likes to do and take that away. Make him do more work that he doesn't like to do. Or make him sign a contract stating your rules and expectations of him and let him know the consequences of his choices to follow or not follow the contract. I use the motto, "Work Hard, Play Hard." You work hard you get to have fun and play hard. You don't work, you don't get to play. Simple as that.


Good luck to you!

Jennifer - posted on 10/01/2011

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Good Morning,
Your posts sound exactly what my husband described as his teen age years. My husband during his teenage years and still today HATES being told what to do. He defintely has a hard time with authority. Have you tried giving him options or taking away things he does enjoy? I know at 15 I would have been so upset if my parents took away my t.v. from my room but I would be almost hateful if they had taken away my radio. As for his grades, is he skipping school. Are his grades low because he passes the tests but neglects to turn in homework? I wish you luck and hope this is just a phase.

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