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My 17 year old is not interested in anything

(14 Posts)
sheldee123 Tue 11-Oct-11 20:00:05

I'm tearing my hair out my youngest son is not bothered with school,friends etc. The only thing that matters to him is plying football in a very good mend football team ( not professional! ). He goes to one of the top schools I'n the country but has no motivation for exams or getting his ucas done.We have spoken to him and told him he doesn't have to go to uni and we will support him whatever he does but he just chugs along like nothings going on he won't look at options for uni, work, gap year etc. Whenever I try and help him or get him to sit down he just shouts. I don't know how to help him.

mumsamilitant Wed 12-Oct-11 12:29:31

Maddening huh, whenever you try to help them they see it as nagging! I have one exactly the same. To a large extent you just have to say your piece and let them get on with it sad

You can lead a horse to water but you cant make it drink smile

banshee1 Wed 12-Oct-11 12:59:01

I'm sorry I don't have any answers - my 17 year daughter is exactly the same - we have struggled to find something to motivate her to do well in her course - at the mo I'm trying to help her find a part time job - to give her an idea of the kind of work she might get (if she's lucky!) if she doesn't get her finger out and try hard. I think it must be a teenage thing - all she wants to do is sit and watch telly with her boyfriend - am desperately hoping a part time job will give her the kick uop the butt she needs!

gingeroots Wed 12-Oct-11 16:46:18

Sorry ,not much to say to help .
Have you spoken to the school ?
Will he get ok grades ,even though he's just coasting ?
Maybe he's too young for uni yet ?

At least he loves football and plays - so much better than wall to wall screen time !

sheldee123 Wed 12-Oct-11 19:59:19

School are keeping an eye on him but to be Frank I think he's putting his head I'n the sand and is a bit immature my husband went into school yesterday to talk to 6th form head and maybe get him a little help and the teacher told my husband that he was still waiting for work due I'n yesterday ( oh the embarrassment !)we changed tack last night told him if didn't want to work he could leave now we all had a big chat with him and older sister and he was still being really resistant but I'n the end our daughter whose been through all of this spoke told him we wouldn't be disappointed if he didn't go to uni but should try as hard as he can to get the best grades to give him a chance if he wanted to. Anyway he went into school and actually filled I'n his resit forms! A major achievement ( how sad is that ! Lol) and after talking to his friends has decided to give it a go ( hmm heard that one before!) .but he also spoke to his year head and asked for more time with his ucas as he may look at more vocational courses ( he spoke to a teacher two achievements I'n one day!) anyway not holding my breath keep you posted.

gingeroots Thu 13-Oct-11 09:55:06

sheldee - " waiting for work due in yesterday " .
Blimey ,that's nothing ,no need for embarrasment.

That's good he's agreeing to giving it a go ,well done all of you .
I don't know him and my experience might not apply but .....
I was very hard on my son during his 3 years in sixth form ( he repeated a year ) .
Looking back I think this contributed to him not being able to tell me how much he hated the A levels he was taking ( sciences ,chosen because these were his strongest subjects at GCSE ) and basically not being honest with me about how he was doing .
School didn't tell me either - if I'd known situation I could have been more help .
Anyway - there are plenty of H.E courses ( HND ,Foundation Degrees ) or Foundation years at university that will accept people with lower A level grades .
These will be looked down on by many but might give your DS time to mature and develop independence ,responsibilty while still studying .
UCAS applications don't have to be in until mid January and personally I think it's better to take time to make the right decision .
If a 17 year old boy can - very few have much idea at that age ,I think it's hard for them .
Not to mention us !

emsy5000 Thu 13-Oct-11 15:43:47

It sounds to me like he just has not found the thing that gets him exsited and will motivate him with his work.

Personally I think that I would recormend that he does a gap year. This is a good way of exsperancing life outside of school for the first time and meny people work out what they want to do on it. This is particually true if the young person in question travels a fair distance from home and has to do a bit of making it on their own.
there are lots of charities that do gap years which involve doing sports. maybe an outward bound centre would be good for him.

maybe find some things he might enjoy and say you will help him do it if he trys really hard with his exams.

Although I am not a mum yet I am a youth worker so have seen this quite a bit.

gingeroots Thu 13-Oct-11 17:06:47

I've seen this recommended on mn before -
might be good as gap year work ? and suit someone sporty ?

sheldee123 Thu 13-Oct-11 17:40:29

Thankyou guys for all your help! We are gonna sit down and do some course hunting tomorrow afternoon as he has the afternoon off school and look at things like real estate management which may float his boat.his school is very traditional so I don't think they help them much with anything that's not economics,history etc. So a boy my daughters friendly with whose done that particular course is going to see him next week then he's going to try and get a couple of days work experience . He still wants to apply to uni's and see how it goes he now understands that we are only interested on what's gonna help him not the ' shoulds'. Hopefully he's gonna get his ucas all done then we won't have to think about it for a while and he can just get on with trying to do his best ( you never know ) watch this space PS thanks for the link for the gap year will show it to him tomorrow .

sheldee123 Fri 14-Oct-11 11:26:41

Back to square one! Had an email from school to say that the work had just been handed in with half missing! we are furious with him because hes lied in the meeting and at home saying hes done it when i asked him why he hadnt done the other half he said ' I just haven't'. my husband and i have both seperately had rows with him ,I told him there is no point in us sitting down this afternoon if he can't do the work thats expected of him on time. His recaction is that we should just get off his case it will make his life easier ( sent in a text with a smiley face after it ) I wish he would just be truthful and tell me I dont want to do it. if we had a bad relationship with him or he drank ,partied or took drugs i'd get it but I simply don't. I suppose all that I can now do is back off and give up and leave him to his own devices.

gingeroots Fri 14-Oct-11 17:44:34

This has a familiar ring ,apart from the school's feedback which didn't happen until too late for DS .
I was constantly on DS's case ,too much I think ,and his response was always to tell me what he thought I wanted to hear .
I too was beside myself when I realised that he'd been lying about a particular piece of work .
It's destroyed any trust I had in him ,but I do feel partly to blame .
He knew how angry I would be so didn't tell me the whole truth - and presumably not bright enough to realise it would all come out in the end .
With hindsight I wish I'd eased off him ,perhaps then he could have confessed to how miserable he was and how he hated his A levels and then we could have planned better and more appropriately for the next step .
Like yours no drink ,no going out ,nothing .... at least yours plays football !
Maybe be less furious so that he can talk to you ?
Eagerly awaiting advice from others ,as really ,although all too familiar ,I'm hardly in a position to give advice .

sheldee123 Fri 14-Oct-11 18:03:42

Well at least we can all console each other! His school says he's good I'n class but just doesn't do anything like what he should at home I'n the email his head of 6th form said that he's trying but I don't know what will happen even if he did leave school and get a job he's too immature to keep a hold of it! The hardest thing is to back off and let him fail but it'll have to be done my daughter just says most boys are like that but a lot kick I'n last minute can't see it happening what is your son doing now?

gingeroots Fri 14-Oct-11 18:31:39

He's doing a Foundation Degree in Animal Management .
Has a fair bit of practical stuff in it and he says he likes it ( tho he would say that ) .
He did have a bit of a cry the other week on his way there ( comes home weekends ) because he knows he could have done better .
It's very hard ,I feel I've failed him ,not at all sure the college is right for him as it's so small and isolated ,not much opportunity to expand his limited social world .
If I'd known earlier that we were heading for a Foundation Degree I think he could have chosen somewhere better ,but it was a bit last minute panic .
Worst thing is I don't know if he is happy there or just saying it .

sheldee123 Fri 14-Oct-11 18:58:28

Oh boy you two have really been through it! Have you looked at Oxford brookes they have an intake I'n January they have foundation degrees upward so plenty of room to move also for some of thecourses they interveiw and then offer they have an open day nov12th take a look at their website it may be the way your looking for I really feel for you guys .

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