17 year old DS won't look for a job and seems to have no plan for the future(9 Posts)
Hi everyone. I have a 17 year old DS, soon to be 18, who is still very much a mummy's boy. Despite him almost being an adult, he's shown no signs of wanting to move out or get a job. I myself couldn't wait to leave home when I was 18, and I know several friends and acquaintances whose DSs and DDs are the same age or barely older than him, yet have moved out already or have made plans to do so. He has also never had a job, and has made minimal efforts to find one despite persistent nagging from me. His favourite excuses are that he's too busy (he's not) or that it wouldn't fit in with his studies (I think it would). When asked about what he plans to be doing in 1, 2 or 5 years from now, he just shrugs or says he doesn't know. I take that to mean he will be doing exactly what he does now, which is moping around at home, not socialising at all outside of school, and generally showing no interest in helping himself. When I try to imagine him living alone, and coping in the big, bad world on his own, I get nervous sweats thinking about it.
DS has always been a bit spoilt from being an only child, and I would say that some of the stereotypes about onlys definitely apply to him. Lonely only, spoiled little emperor/empress are the ones that spring to mind. I do feel quite guilty about that. He experienced some bullying problems when he was younger, and I responded to it by feeling sorry for him and wanting to coddle him even more. I feel this coddling and spoiling may have contributed to DS' present situation. He is bright but not self-motivated. He has to be nagged into studying, doing chores, etc. I've heard of a few horror stories about 30+ year old DCs who still live at home and expect their parents, who are presumably in their 60s or 70s, to still be looking after them. I'm seeing the warning signs foretelling of such a situation arising with DS in the future. I think DS knows we won't always be around for him, and there will come a point when he should be looking after us instead of vice-versa. He's shown no interest in preparing himself for that inevitability though. It seems he'd rather spend his time unproductively surfing and clicking away online. Does anyone with teen or adult kids have any thoughts about this situation?
I feel that you are being a bit premature, because if he is still at school why do you want him to work?
Is he planning to go to university?
He's still at school? Why do you want him to leave home when he's still at school? Unless he's off to uni soon how on earth do you think he's going to manage that? Even with a job?
I know all about how it feels to worry about teenagers and young adults going out into the big wide world and being seemingly clueless and lacking in ambition, but really I think you are jumping the gun a bit to be stressing about this already. he hasn't even left school yet.
It might be too little too late, but could you take some steps to foster some self motivation and independence now?
It may take some nagging, but don't let him get away without doing chores, and maybe introduce new ones. Cooking the family meal once a week, or whatever you think might help him contribute while learning some life skills.
Give him fair notice to find a Saturday job, and stop giving him money unless he's at least tried to find one (or buying unecessary extras, phone contract etc).
I don't think it's unusual to lack direction at 17, or to be afraid of leaving home, but I don't think you should put up with laziness while he's there.
You accept that you are partly responsible for babying him but want to punish him by being gratuitously tough?
Why not talk to him about how you will require greater responsibility from him via cooking, cleaning etc as a contribution to the household. Agree what he will be and concentrate on him meeting those adult expectations.
Not sure why you expect him to be so keen to leave home at 17 / 18. I would encourage him to get a part time job if it didn't interfere with studies, but if he is not studying then I would be very forceful about getting a job, but would not expect him to move out. Any job for this age will be paying minimum wage so wouldn't be able to afford to move out , even if he wanted to.
So he's just doing his A levels and/or Btec at school now? Has he applied for university or further study?
He is still at school therefore the most you could expect is a part time job.
I have a 17 year old who has no idea what career path he wants to follow, it's not unusual. As long as he is working hard at his A levels for now I don't expect him to produce a life plan.
Is he going to uni? If so I think you will find that he grows up very quickly once there.
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