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How can I get him to actually finish something, organise himself & motivate himself

(10 Posts)
mymatemax Sun 07-Dec-14 23:57:12

DS1 is 15, he is full of great ideas, what he is going to do. He is bright, athletic articulate. But he actually finishes nothing.
I'm not sure if he is scatty & chaotic & just cant help it or just plain lazy.
School, he is really very able, but puts in minimal effort on paper, despite having big ideas of what he is going to do. Homework is the bare minimum. His teachers all say if every exam required a verbal answer he would be A*
He signed up for Dof E. great ideas for his volunteering & new skill, but it takes a bit of organisation, answering emails & getting the mentor to complete the book, that he has slung in his desk.. somewhere.
He is meant to be organising his work experience, his first choices (very ambitious) didn't come off, hes been given other contacts that he just hasn't bothered with.
He has a part time job that he loves, but he has to ring with his availability.. but he "forgets" despite having a phone permanently attached to his hand!
Its just so frustrating.
Despite giving him the time & space & offering support. He seems to live in constant disorganised chaos.
How can I motivate & make him realise that you need to get off your arse to actually make anything happen.
Cos obviously "I don't know anything & need to stop nagging"

offtoseethewizard64 Mon 08-Dec-14 12:14:14

I'm afraid I don't know the answer, but if anyone comes up with one I will be very interested, as your DS sounds very much like mine, except mine hasn't even bothered to find a part time job.

I'm afraid mine has just turned 18 and is still no better. Grand plans about Uni and future career,but wouldn't have got to any open days without lots of nagging and the personal statement/UCAS form has dominated the nagging stakes for the last 2 months. Many of his friends seem to be the same, according to DS most of them have not yet submitted their UCAS forms despite knowing what they want to do in life.

HesNotAMessiah Mon 08-Dec-14 12:50:38

You don't do the 'dont forget to...' reminders/nags.

You need to get him to act there and then.

Teenagers will think of a dozen reasons not to do something, and have a dozen ways of starting a fight instead up their sleeves.

Just tell them to do it, do it now and keep repeating yourself. Don't explain, don't justify, don't debate, stay calm and just repeat.

If needs be folow them round the house turning off laptops, wifi, xbox etc and keep saying 'do it now'.

Once you hit the amusing heights of maximum annoyance they will do it. Nearly always.

Homework I'm about to try something I read, and that's to fix the homework time, fix the duration and just make your teen sit through it. In a public place in the house, not their bedroom.

Even if they claim they have no homework, just to get them to sit. They can play music but no social media its just a case of getting them to sit still for a minute outside of their cave. Key success factor is not engaging with them apparently so they have to find a use for their time.

Theory is eventually they will just use the hour to do homework rather than protest.

I'll double check I read that correctly and let you know how I get on.....

annielostit Mon 08-Dec-14 12:58:39

This is going on at ours right now. It seems they think they've all the time for fb/PS etc but nothing else. Mines already not having internet till 7 tonight. I look on other answers with interest.

ChillySundays Mon 08-Dec-14 14:08:52

My DS is 16. Since he started his BTEC course at college he has become less lazy. I think it is a combination of actually enjoying what he is doing and the fact that the staff are strict about deadlines for assignments.

Job wise he is considered every weekend unless he tells them otherwise (supposed to be at the start of the one month for the following month). I think he would be working less if he had to tell them his availability!

ChillySundays Mon 08-Dec-14 14:09:15

That should read 'considered available'

BackforGood Mon 08-Dec-14 23:31:57

You have just been describing my ds.
Except, he's at University now, and I'm really impressed with the way he's coping. Don't worry - it's all going in, he just won't show it whilst you've got his back wink

SecretSquirrels Tue 09-Dec-14 09:50:36

I think it's typical 15 year old boy behaviour.
Both of mine were exactly the same and both gradually improved after strting sixth form.
DS1 also now at university and managing to do all his work, cooking, laundry etc on his own if you could see his pit of a room in halls you would shudder.
The thing is that if you oversee / force every little thing they will use you as a prop and never learn to organise themselves. No one switches off the wifi at uni (is it just on MN that parents turn off the wifi, it does seem to be a favourite confused).
So I wouldn't knowingly let them miss an important deadline such as a UCAS application but at the same time I would try to get them to organise themselves. DS2 has just started 6th form and admits he is struggling with self study. He's ok with set work but not with doing practice papers and continual revision. I suggested he drew up a timetable setting himself work. It's pinned on his wall next to his desk but I think that might be as far as he has got........

mymatemax Tue 09-Dec-14 20:27:27

Thanks all, its good to know we are not alone and its normal (ish) behaviour.
Not so good to hear that this phase could last years!
I don't turn the wifi off here, how would I get on MN.

paulkal Fri 12-Dec-14 08:37:51

Is it possible to reason with your son to help him understand the benefits of becoming more organised? Can you think of any incentives that might help him think more constructively about getting organised?

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