Advanced search

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. !

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

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

He's 11.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now