Help with 18 year old son and motivation.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-24-2011
Help with 18 year old son and motivation.
25
Mon, 10-24-2011 - 2:56pm

My son is 18 years old he is a senior in High school and lacks motivation.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-24-2011
Wed, 10-26-2011 - 8:21am
Thanks for your encouragement.
Avatar for suzyk2118
iVillage Member
Registered: 07-30-1997
Wed, 10-26-2011 - 8:52am
My suggestion might be up to your comfort level but I'd say if you guys are having financial issues and he's able-bodied, maybe require him to kick in a certain amount toward household expenses per week/month, etc. - whatever you feel would both motivate him and make him feel like he's doing his share. It might be pet sitting or cutting lawns (if his asthma permits), doing odd jobs for neighbors, etc., which wouldn't require him to have a steady job; could be at his convenience, etc. Just a thought - would be up to all of you to work out what is 'required' and what would work for him. Maybe that way if you put it on the family budget spin vs. just he should be doing this, it might help? Best of luck.

Sue
Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Thu, 10-27-2011 - 9:25am
Sorry that you have this issue with your ds. i will agree that this probably started years ago, but I am sure it is getting to a point now. Give him a date that his phone and internet will be cut off unless you get the cash. Come up with a post graduation plan, including a time line that he has imput on. With so many things, some kids are just overwhelmed, so a plan that you and your hubby support may help him get on a track. I will say that my 17 year old doesn't have a car and has no desire for one. She manages to work and all her other things without one. I never had one until I was almost done with college myself. My dh was born and raised in the city and never had a working car (he had older relatives give him cars that did not work and they could not really keep them running) until we married. I will say that this generation truely believes that work is a four letter word! I know so many kids in college who have never ever worked!!!

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

iVillage Member
Registered: 01-05-2005
Thu, 10-27-2011 - 10:19am

I will say that this generation truely believes that work is a four letter word! I know so many kids in college who have never ever worked!!!

Honestly, I think that says a lot more about OUR generation- of whom perhaps too many resented working. After all, my girls both work and we require dd21 to pay us a percentage of her income in rent/expenses (25%) and to save a percentage (25%) so she will have enough to move OUT after graduation (not that we want her gone, by any means, but we want her to have the OPTION of moving out).

So, how are all these kids able to NOT work? How are all these kids in college and they've "never, ever worked?" Hmmmmm....

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Thu, 10-27-2011 - 3:43pm
To be fair, there simply isn't as much work for teens are their used to be. In our area, the fast food, movie theaters, retail shops, theme parks, swimming pools.... all the places that used to hire 16-year-olds are now staffed by 20-somethings and older. You can't blame the companies. If they can get more mature adults, often with college degrees, who don't have school conflicts and don't have to go through all the work permit stuff, why shouldn't they?

My 14-year-old has a job as a part-time teacher's aide during the year and a full-time camp aide on school breaks but it's a rare opportunity. They pretty much only hire kids who have been students of their program for years AND have completed their aide training program (which starts at 13 and takes a year to complete.) Those that complete the program still have to interview and while the organization does try to "share the wealth" hiring as many teens/college kids as are qualified, there are still lots of applicants who can't be offered positions.

I'm not saying I totally disagree with you but I also recognize that the work opportunities just aren't there like they were for our generation. We may want our kids to work but only a select few are really getting that option.

What we do see a lot of high-achieving teens do is take on volunteer work and internships. They don't pay but they give you work experience and a reference from a someone other than the neighbor you babysat for. Parents I know with these kids are quite comfortable supporting their younger and older teens financially who are doing these things while in school.... or if they aren't in school but taking on a full-time unpaid internship that will lead to a job.

It's all about forward momentum. I don't expect my kids to be financially independent at 18. I expect they'll need my help through college. I'd even be OK with them being home the year or so after college if they were actively moving forward and were sticking to a post-graduation plan.
Community Leader
Registered: 12-16-2003
Thu, 10-27-2011 - 4:15pm
I know we live in the Chicago burbs and most the chain stores here won't hire kids until they are 18. But, most kids are 18 by college, but they won't work. My 13 yo ds mows lawns, he earns about $100 a month, not too shabby. He still has time to play sports, be in band, scouts, religious ed and more and stay on the high honor roll. My 17 dd works two jobs, one is for her riding lessons, not cash, but something of great value to her. I tell my kids to stay home after college, dh and I did, we paid for our own wedding and had a downpayment on a house. Rent is just paying someone else's mortgage. But, in general, this generation seems to think the world owes them a living. I will say I feel for these kids, unemployment and underemployment has 30-40 year old men working jobs that were usually meant for them. My own hubby has not worked regularly in the past 2 1/2 years and has taken "kid jobs" in the past, just to work. But, going to college does not entitle you to a high salary job. There was an article about a year ago I read that stated for the first time college grads were appling for their first jobs!! How do you stay on the planet for 21 years and not bring in a paycheck??? Internships and volunteer work are working, at least you can put that on a resume. But, I can look at many kids in my own area, kids of my peers, etc... who do nothing. What are they going to put on a resume? My mommy makes me keep my room clean and empty the dishwasher?

Ramona  Mom to 2 great kids and wife to one wonderful hubby since 1990!

Avatar for turtletime
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-13-1998
Thu, 10-27-2011 - 5:02pm
I don't disagree and certainly, my DH has had to deal with a lot of the "entitlement generation" as he calls them (largely 20-somethings.) However, my kids also run in very high achieving circles so the majority of our dealings with the younger generation are quite positive... kids you'd be really proud of.

There were always those unmotivated kids. Let's not pretend we didn't have them lol. The difference is, when forced to or when they snapped out of it, they could still manage to get a job with few skills and a high school diploma. The group I feel is really hurting today is the high-achievers who would have done well in any other generation but are struggling to get into schools, struggling to PAY for school, struggling to find jobs, stressed to the nines trying to be the most perfect candidate for a job that 20 years ago, a company would have been happy with any warm body to fill it. I think we are passing the point of "if you just work hard." We see lots of kids who work hard and they aren't doing much better than the kids who sleep on their parents couch until 2pm.
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-08-2009
Thu, 11-03-2011 - 9:36pm

Motivation is a tough one. Don’t get discouraged.

I have this vision of George and Barbara Bush laying in their king size bed at the naval observatory vice presidential residence and saying something like.

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Fri, 11-04-2011 - 11:43pm
A few days ago, The "Nightly News" pointed out that a lot of the merchandise sold on Craigslist, was stolen. I'd be kind of curious about who these "friends" are, that sell him this stuff low enough that he can turn around and resell it for a profit.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2009
Sat, 11-05-2011 - 10:38am
Madoff's suicide goes much deeper than because he was losing his wealth. Try to have a little heart and understanding.