18 year old, lazy or lost?

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Registered: 09-21-2010
18 year old, lazy or lost?
10
Tue, 09-21-2010 - 3:56am

My 18 year old daughter has just graduated high school and seems to be confused and lost as to what to do next. She was sure she wanted to go to nursing school but has decided she can't deal with the ick factor, she was going to tech school so never took the SAT. Doesn't want to go to college, I really think she feels as though she cannot do the work, she really struggled in school, should have had her tested, has a hard time memorizing, etc. Anyway, she just seems to have no real ambition or drive. Is this normal? Her friends are younger girls, but all of them are drop outs (one has severe anxiety) but all the kids now of days seems to be drop outs, disgraceful. I let her be a slacker this summer but now it's time to buckle down on something. She is completely unmotivated in all areas, I don't think she would take a shower unless we forced her to. She is overweight, sloppy and constantly frustrated with everything! She has polycystic ovarian disease and it affects her in so many areas, weight, depression, energy, insomnia. She is working with her dad for now but he doesn't need her all the time, so she will take any opportunity to take off to sleep or "hang out". On the positive, she is an incredibly sweet girl, to a fault, she tries to take care of everyone, tries to solve everyone's problems. She smokes but does no drugs or drinking.



I'm so jealous of the other kids I see on facebook, at college, joining sororites, hanging out with people who are pursuing goals. I just don't know how much to push her, she goes into a depression funk when we do. Should I give her time to figure things out or push her out of the nest? I just love her so much and want the best for her.

Avatar for suzyk2118
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Registered: 07-30-1997
Tue, 09-21-2010 - 7:59am

I'd say since she's 18, if you are ok with her staying at home, say she needs a full time job or to be in some kind of school; can be community college (she can start with general college requirements or she could work toward a 2 year certificate in something she likes and they don't require ACT/SAT scores; just may have some entrance exams to know what level of math or whatever to put her in) and I'm sure they'd have some kind of counselors to help steer her to something she'd like to study. Time for her to realize she's now an adult and needs to take responsibility. Up to you on charging room/board, doing an increased work around the house, etc. but you'll need to stick to your guns. Good luck.

Sue

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Tue, 09-21-2010 - 11:50am

I really dont' think it's that unusual for 18 yr old kids to be confused about what they want to do. I see that w/ my nephews who are 24 & 23--they can't rely on either of their parents (divorced) for support so they are fully self supporting, have their own apts, and have full time jobs, but they are definitely jobs, not careers. The older one is thinking of going into the military.

I do think you should require her to do as much as possible for herself and not let her get too dependent on you. Not everyone belongs in college but for now she can work as many hours as possible and depending on what she earns & what's reasonable, start paying for her own things, not as punishment, but just to teach her responsibility. I probably wouldn't charge rent, but make her pay for her own clothes, entertainment, cell phone, etc. Just having a job and a place to go should motivate her somewhat. Maybe she can start by taking one class at a time at CC & that might give her some confidence and steer her in some direction. I also wonder if she is getting some treatment to deal w/ the depression--if it's just let go, no wonder she's not motivated to do anything.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Tue, 09-21-2010 - 12:02pm

It sounds like you dd needs a complete physical and mental evaluation, BEFORE your insurance runs out. Polycystic ovarian disease can cause weight gain, but it does NOT cause depression, fatigue, or insomnia. It is also treatable, as is her obesity. If she has an emotional disorder or ADD, there is treatment for that as well. You need to get her into the doctor and find out EXACTLY is going on, and then get her going with treatment. What you have been doing so far hasn't worked. She will not miraculously develop ambition, job/school/life skills, improve her personal hygiene or lose weight. Something needs to CHANGE.

BTW, <> are NOT drop-outs. My daughter teaches HS in a tough, inner city school, with 85% low income student population, and a dropout rate of 15%. That still leaves 85% who eventually DO graduate. Your daughter CHOOSES younger, unmotivated dropouts for friends.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-28-1999
Wed, 09-22-2010 - 5:02pm
I definitely agree w/ your last sentence. When I read the book called Yes, Your Teen is Crazy, there was one thing I remembered that said that parents are always blaming their kids friends for being a "bad influence" when the fact is that kids gravitate toward kids who are like them. I could definitely see this w/ my DD & DSD. My DD was an honor roll student who went to college & so are 95% of her friends. Maybe 1 or 2 didn't go to college, or went to CC while they worked, but they were good kids. My DSD who definitely lacks any motivation & barely graduated from high school & dropped out of college the 1st semester, hangs out w/ kids who aren't in college and their basic goals are to get drunk & high. Not that my DD is an angel--she still drinks (she's 21, but certainly did enough of it before then) but that is a side activity--she still manages to do well in college, work & generally be responsible.
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2010
Thu, 09-23-2010 - 1:28pm
I agree, I have been thinking about it and I think that she has a inferiority complex to some degree and feels unable to do the
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2010
Thu, 09-23-2010 - 1:36pm
POD totaly causes insomnia,depression and fatigue as well as a dozen other disorders. Even her skin is afftected! She needs to take better care of herself but who of us as teenagers were into that? I have had every possible test run by her endocrinologist, he says it is just part of it and the better she takes care of herself the better she will feel but it will probably affect her forever. I'm sure as she matures she will "see the light".
Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Thu, 09-23-2010 - 3:02pm

Well, since *I* had Polycystic Ovarian Disease until they took them out, and my 289yo dd also has it & lost one ovary already, I thought I knew the symptoms and what it causes, pretty well. But just to check, I looked HERE...
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/000369.htm
http://www.medicinenet.com/polycystic_ovary/article.htm
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polycystic_ovary_syndrome
http://www.womenshealth.gov/faq/polycystic-ovary-syndrome.cfm
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/polycystic-ovary-syndrome/DS00423
http://emedicine.medscape.com/article/404754-overview

Nope, no insomnia, depression or fatigue, unless the obesity, acne, and possible virilization cause those things as a side effect.

I had severe acne, & was heavy until I was 17, but that did not stop me from going to college on a full scholarship. It also did not prevent me from working--I began working when I turned 16, worked all the way thru college and never stopped--till I became recession retired at 58. I got nutrition counseling, treatment for my acne and lost weight before I graduated HS. And I was ALWAYS conscious and careful of my personal hygiene and appearance, and had friends who were as hard working, and motivated as I was, since I was in grammar school. My dd is the same, except she was never heavy. Do not throw up your hands and blame the POD.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-07-2004
Thu, 09-23-2010 - 5:49pm

I'm so jealous of the other kids I see on facebook, at college, joining sororites, hanging out with people who are pursuing goals. I just don't know how much to push her, she goes into a depression funk when we do. Should I give her time to figure things out or push her out of the nest? I just love her so much and want the best for her.



Are you sure you want to keep comparing her to other kids? Can you just love her for who she is at this moment and let her know you'll support whatever she decides?

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-21-2010
Thu, 09-23-2010 - 8:48pm
I'm not comparing her to others at all and I that is really the whole point, I have told her that I will support her in anything she does, as long as she DOES
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-09-2010
Sat, 10-09-2010 - 3:28pm

I hope you don't mind if I'm really honest?! Self asteem plays a large role in life decisions and she doesn't sound like she has much of that. Maybe getting her a gym membership, enrolling her in online college