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Please help - what to do with lethargic 17 year old with no interests

(20 Posts)
ganglandstyle Mon 10-Dec-12 14:33:37

Just that really!

DS has never been one for doing anything with friends over the years - has never met up with friends at weekends or in the holidays.

In terms of hobbies, I have always tried to find him things to do and he has gone to various classes over the years. Still does go to one activity but unfortunately all adults other than him so again no route to new friends.

My problem atm is this - at the weekends he just basically sits round the house bored. Other than play on xbox and do any homework he has, he literally does nothing - all weekend. It's starting to get on my nerves to be honest. He'lll happilly come places with me at the weekend, but it's starting to get a bit ridiculous at his age to just be spending all his weekend with mum.

I don't have this problem with his sibling and I have no idea what to do about it.

He does well at school and there are no obvious developmental problems.

ganglandstyle Mon 10-Dec-12 14:50:55

I have thought of saying he couldn't play his xbox or follow me around at the weekend until he finds himself something to do at the weekends?

Is this too harsh? Help - I'm desperate.

Mollydoggerson Mon 10-Dec-12 14:52:15

Why doesn't he get a weekend job?

ganglandstyle Mon 10-Dec-12 14:55:33

He says he's too busy with schoolwork, but he's really not as he does most of it in the week.

Unfortunately because he has no real interests there isn't any incentive for him to earn any money because he doesn't go out to spend any!

I've told him he needs to save up for university but he won't bother even trying to get a pt job

Mollydoggerson Mon 10-Dec-12 15:01:37

He might love working, he might pick something up for a month or so in a pub (for the Christmas period), or he could do dog walking. Surely he needs some money for clothes etc.

What about voluntary work? Could you do some together?

Mollydoggerson Mon 10-Dec-12 15:03:14

Does he clean the house/ pull his fair share?

Clean windows, freshen up the garden. There must be a few projects that he could help out with. He might need a push to get his motivation on track.

Is he vain, into fitness?

ganglandstyle Mon 10-Dec-12 15:09:30

No he's not vain, into clothes or fitness. Or music, or football.
He does the bare minimum around the house that I ask him to. But he's very lazy - doesn't make bed until I nag him, leaves dishes on the table until I tell him to move them etc etc etc.

He did some voluntary work in the past at my insistence but he definitely didn't enjoy it.

Graceparkhill Mon 10-Dec-12 15:18:52

Is HE happy and physically healthy?
If so then I think you just have to leave him to his own devices for the time being. He may blossom when he goes to Uni .

If he thinks he has a problem then you can jointly agree how to tackle things. He needs his confidence boosted and to take small steps to a more rounded life.
FWIIW I think there will be parents of gregarious teens who might be willing to swap places !

ganglandstyle Mon 10-Dec-12 15:22:44

He's healthy. Hes quite an apathetic person though and to be really honest doesn't really seem to derive much pleasure from anything.

He wants to stay living here and go to university in our home town and I'm very worried that it will just be a continuation of school for him.

He doesn't think he has a problem.

I know what you mean about the opposite being a bigger problem, but having a 17 year old coming round the shops with me etc. is getting quite tedious, even though it's my own child blush

nikcname Mon 10-Dec-12 21:34:15

Sounds like my ds (16), xbox and chatting to people on it fine. Meeting up with schoolfriends, (i'll pick, up, drop off and pay!). No. He does have AS so finds it difficult, just wish he would join in with his peers.
Also ds does do jobs and help out, mainly for cash for the xbox!

gingeroots Tue 11-Dec-12 10:12:39

Another here with a DS like this - 20 now and no change .

It's a constant worry and source of grief to me .

MrsHoarder Tue 11-Dec-12 10:16:37

Can you nudge him to go the Gold Duke of Edinburgh's Award? If there's an independent group in your town it will get him meeting young types and looks great on CV/when applying for uni. It needs effort to do a service, sport and skill over 12/18 months as well as the expedition. More info here. Its set up to try and get young people out and doing, so would be ideal!

JaneyLiz Wed 12-Dec-12 09:24:20

Sounds like my son a year ago at 17. Spent loads of time in his room, no social activities, felt like we were responsible for coming up with nice things to do at weekends/holidays otherwise he would have nothing.
A year on, he's gone to uni and has finally 'woken up to life', made friends, joined groups, even helping the homeless in his uni city. He now looks back to last year with horror at his old lifestyle. Some boys are late developers and while in a familiar comfort zone can't shake themselves out of it. However uni does seem to have shaken him out of old habits.
Only problem is, he's depressed about coming home for Christmas as he sees it as returning to his old life!!!

gingeroots Wed 12-Dec-12 10:29:44

Mine goes to a college not that far away ,very little in way of social life on offer ,closes at weekends .
Only 2 days contact time ,so he's at home mostly .

Makes me so sad .
Nudging would be a lovely idea ,with DS it's always felt like pushing a huge boulder up a very steep mountain .

ganglandstyle Wed 12-Dec-12 10:45:08

Thanks all for the suggestions. I have previously suggested DoE to him as I thought it would be ideal. Again with the "too busy" excuse.

JaneyLiz - that's great your son is doing well at university. I think it would be great for DS if he became more independent at university, but he is insistent on staying in our home town and living at home.

gingerroots - what does your son actually do at weekends. Does he follow you around/sit around in the house/his bedroom?

gingeroots Thu 13-Dec-12 08:47:05

ganglands - he sits in his room ,playing on line games mostly .

Ocasionally studying .

He has a couple of friends who come to the house sometimes and they play on line together .

He is involved in LARP
Lots of groups around the country

Tau Mon 17-Dec-12 08:33:06

My son is a bit like that, although he is not lazy and does his chores willingly.
He has very few friends and rarely meets up with others
He does have hobbies though, he plays warhammer (tabletop games) in the games workshop, and he has set up a club in school , which is running well.
He spends time in the weekends painting and putting together his warhammer models.
He also enjoys geocaching - although admittedly he does that mostly with me....

slr76 Fri 22-Mar-13 12:30:34

My 17yr old son is exactly the same, he mopes about the house, hardly talks to anyone, he's lazy, spends most of his time either on his xbox or on skype or facebook. If he's not doing that he's out in his car! He is doing an apprenticeship at the moment which he hates but when I ask him what he'd like to do instead he always says there's nothing he's interested in...what are you meant to do???!!!

watchingout Fri 22-Mar-13 13:19:54

Can you get him driving? Opens up a whole new world!

SlumberingDormouse Fri 22-Mar-13 14:29:06

Your DS sounds just like my younger brother. He was a late developer (August birthday too) and spent most of his teens and gap year doing very little. But since he went to uni, he's done loads - trained as a football umpire, set up societies, travelled, etc. I really wouldn't worry about your DS if he's happy and healthy. Nagging wouldn't have helped in our case. My brother had to find his own interests in his own time.

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