11 year old son has no motivation and no desire to "better" himself

(37 Posts)
esoh Sat 24-Aug-13 17:14:17

My 11 year old son has no self motivation whatsoever. I feel he is what I would call the "x factor" generation in that life owes him a living and why should he try and do things either for himself or others. He has NO interest in doing anything as a family and makes life very unpleasant for all of us. He refuses to do any school work at all and literally "shuts his ears and eyes to it". Will someone please tell me that one day he will realise that he has to put some effort into life to gain results. !

Taz1212 Fri 30-Aug-13 17:38:55

And got cut off, DS is much better with general motivation when he is involved in activities. It's during the holidays when they are off that he becomes a complete lazy grump.

Taz1212 Fri 30-Aug-13 17:37:03

I don't think "better himself" is the best choice of words but I do know what you mean. DS is 11 and left to his own devices would sit playing Minecraft all day long. I pretty much force him out to do things- e.g. he swims with a local swim club so three times a week I'm forcing him along listening to, "I'm tooooo tired! I want to stay home!" But when I pick him up he's invariably bouncing. It's like he just can't get the motivation to get going but once started he's fine.

Are there any activities his friends do that he could tag along to? It's a lot easier if there's a bit of peer pressure.

Notmyidea Fri 30-Aug-13 17:11:56

racingheart, those are two fabulous posts, thank-you!

cory Mon 26-Aug-13 22:48:59

I think lots of children go through a kind of slump around 10-11 when they seem unenthusiastic and rejecting of everything their parents stand for. My ds certainly did. He is 13 now and beginning to climb out of his shell. I think it was prepuberty insecurity: maybe I won't be any good at being a grown-up so I'll just pretend that I don't care. He got over it.

Snowballed Sun 25-Aug-13 18:57:38

Racingheart that's a brilliant post - thank you smile

My 11 yr old DS is the same. I am going to watch Mark Thomas with him. I remember it well.

racingheart Sun 25-Aug-13 00:17:43

Not sure the words 'better himself' are very helpful, but I know what the OP means. It's natural to want your child to show enthusiasm and tenacity for something other than quick fix amusement. It's natural to worry if he doesn't. I support the OP in that. At 11, children should be beginning to want to take on responsibility and try things out. If they lack enthusiasm for everything and make no effort at anything, it makes sense to intervene while you still can. At 18 it's too late.

yellowballoons Sat 24-Aug-13 21:19:59

I hope the op feels that she can come back on to offer some more explanation, and to receive some help if she wants it.

yellowballoons Sat 24-Aug-13 21:07:31

Nothing in life though is a "right" is it?

Everything is a wish, a hope, a goal or whatever.

Plenty of people across the ages have been in nomadic tribes for instance.

Not sure if this is what heidihole means though.

AmberLeaf Sat 24-Aug-13 20:28:41

I find it incredibly sad that the parent of an 11 yr old thinks he should 'better himself'

Being selfish is not good no, but I think the OPs expectations may well have a bearing on his attitude/behavior.

racingheart Sat 24-Aug-13 20:19:12

Why are people saying: he's 11, give him a break as though it is utterly OK to be a selfish lazy person at that age? 11 year olds are capable of so much more than we allow them to try. I think that's the root of the problem. that their hormones are begging to go out hunting and becoming an adult, but we stuff them indoors then complain when they short circuit. Imo, the problem lies with parents who think that is normal and let it happen, without helping the child to get enthusiastic and stuck into something.

Don't offer him any money, and cut out all rubbishy foods. Not aggressively, but calmly. Try and watch some programmes together on TV that could generate some interest from him in the issues that surround effort and fairness- like that Mark Thomas one about 10 years olds making Adidas trainers for soft Western kids to pay £100 a pair for. Ask what he thinks of it. Watch World's Strictest Parents with him - one of the episodes where they take the brattish Brits to a teen who is struggling to raise a family alone after the parents died. Ask what he thinks he might be capable of in similar circumstances. How well would he cope if he had to?

Give him lots of praise when he does do stuff, and also suggest things that might increase his faith in his ability. DC were mooching, being 'bored' the other day, so I said, 'OK, cook dinner' and left the house to have coffee with a friend. They did. They cooked it and friend came to eat it (her son had helped cook.) They were so proud of themselves and have been discussing what else they want to cook. They're 11 too. The kitchen was a tip and I was at friend's imagine the house burning down, but I think they get bored because too little is expected of them, at school and home not too much.

Spottypurse Sat 24-Aug-13 20:03:14

He's 11.

MairzyDoats Sat 24-Aug-13 20:02:09

Sorry, to clarify, I didn't mean that the rights to a warm family home should be removed - certainly not. I was talking about the electronic stuff, tablets, ipads, tv, whatever. The stuff that my 10yo DS cherishes. smile

TheCrackFox Sat 24-Aug-13 19:19:14

Good grief, he is 11yrs old, give him a break.

FranSanDisco Sat 24-Aug-13 19:16:29

OP, when you say he refuses to do any school work do you mean school work at home? What does he do that makes life unplesant? My ds is lovely at home most of the time but quite unmotivated to do much as I said earlier.

bunchoffives Sat 24-Aug-13 19:14:43

I think Heidi means he shouldn't be able to take everything for granted.

But at 11 he's still very much a child. Why not try introducing a couple of negatives (eg no x box at wknd until room cleaned) and a couple of positives eg pocket money=chores or chores=treat like swimming or something. See if you can build the connection in his mind between effort and reward.

noddyholder Sat 24-Aug-13 19:12:57

21 posts in and I am considering hiding the thread A record! grin. Seriously do not expect an 11 yr old to have motivation or a desire to better themselves or the years between 13 and 19 are going to be a shock to you

AmberLeaf Sat 24-Aug-13 19:09:02

Seriously heidihole?

I would say tat every child has the right to a warm loving family home, I know not all get one, but they certainly should!

noddyholder Sat 24-Aug-13 19:08:48

Agree amber some of the attitudes here are ridiculous. He is 11 he can't better himself he is good enough already in his own mind and he doesn't need to be told otherwise just yet.

usualsuspect Sat 24-Aug-13 19:07:16

Of course he has a right to live in a warm loving family home,he's 11

What are you on about?

AmberLeaf Sat 24-Aug-13 19:03:00

How does an 11 year old 'better himself'?

heidihole Sat 24-Aug-13 19:00:11

Noddyholder no, sadly it isn't a right. Plenty PLENTY of 11 year olds across the world and the UK do NOT
It is a bloody privilege and a fortune of birth to be living in a warm loving family home. He should remember that and be reminded to be grateful.

FranSanDisco Sat 24-Aug-13 19:00:00

AndyMurraysBalls - you bring me hope grin.

AmberLeaf Sat 24-Aug-13 18:58:26

Is the 11 in the title a typo?

yellowballoons Sat 24-Aug-13 18:39:14

Is there any back history at all?

ffsx2 Sat 24-Aug-13 18:31:46

I have a very ambitious self-motivated 11yo DD, and I think she is Very Weird. Convenient for me, but still weird. I'd be more relaxed if she were like OP's DS.

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