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DS 18 yr, 'GAP YEAR' ..this seems to mean being bone idle and it's driving me nuts!

(12 Posts)
forcryinoutloud Mon 02-Oct-17 19:07:52

He is only having a gap year as his uni course doesn't start until next year but he was supposedly looking for a job or doing some courses....he's actually doing sod all. He seems to be playing on his computer much of the time. He does do some sport several times a week and has been helping with jobs around the house a bit so I know it could be much worse!
It's just so frustrating though watching him idling a lot of his time away and putting no effort into the jobs/ courses thing. I have spent the last month trying to get him to get going with something, give him ideas for jobs and made the odd phone call but I can't (and don't want to or should) do it all for him at the age he is. It's like constantly pushing at a shut door and he can be very uncommunicative (not a new thing, has never been one for a lot of chatter about what he's up to) and stubborn. It's so hard to know what's on his mind, completely the opp to his Dsis who tells you everything about everything that's going on.

I have tried the 'good cop' approach and don't really want to employ the 'bad cop' but I'm getting so bloody fed up with the inertia.

Thanks for listening.

applefalls Mon 02-Oct-17 19:10:12

Does he really need to be at home?

In my experience, gap years are most successful the second the child is out of his comfort zone; even being dumped on relatives/acquaintances forced them to get their fingers out and do SOMETHING.

mumz123 Mon 02-Oct-17 19:21:17

How is he funding the inertia? Could you insist that he needs to do something 'enriching' either from an educational point of view or from a earning point of view?

I don't think I'd put up with him being round the house and doing neither...

forcryinoutloud Mon 02-Oct-17 21:30:06

I have insisted but nothing yet has happened. I cannot drag him down the street to get a job but I have told him in no uncertain terms that he needs to be looking , I don't care if it's paid or voluntary as long as he is doing something. I think apart from being idle he is perhaps worried about work and whether he can cope? Only guessing as he gives nothing away.
I've just had a chat with him and told him he is spending too long on his comp and phone and at least he agreed with me! A relative is coming to give him a pep talk this week...things are going to have to change.
Applefalls nice idea but not really practical at the moment for various reasons.
Mumz123 he isn't funding it. Luckily he doesn't want to spend a lot of money on clothes and he doesn't go to pubs as I certainly wouldn't fund that. He gets money (not a great deal) to pursue his sports though as I don't think it would help to take that off him. But obviously he needs to see that ideally he should fund it himself.

Mary21 Tue 03-Oct-17 16:15:01

Have a look at workaway and angloville. A small stint doing something and meeting new people may stimulate new ideas.

forcryinoutloud Tue 03-Oct-17 22:10:08

Thank you Mary21 will look.

specialsubject Thu 05-Oct-17 13:00:04

Plenty of stuff needs doing in the UK so lots of opportunities to get usefully off his arse.

CakesRUs Thu 05-Oct-17 13:16:09

I've had a similar situation with my son, his gap year turned into two. He's hoping to go September. In the mean time he's gone from crap job to crap job because we won't give him cash, however, he's not paying food/board/phone because his wages are so awful. My hope was that he'd think "I can't do this till I'm 70" but no, he likes his crap job and if he ends up at uni, I'll eat my hat. Getting him to do the bare minimum is exhausting. He doesn't watch tv or play computer games at all, he hangs out with friends all the time (which suits me because he's out of the house). It's driving me nuts, his lack of umphh.

Emilybrontescorsett Thu 05-Oct-17 21:29:36

I feel your pain. It's so difficult because no matter how much advice you offer they don't seem to listen!
Like you have said you can't physically force him to do anything.
I'm watching with interest

forcryinoutloud Fri 06-Oct-17 20:33:21

I have discovered that he is EXTREMELY low in confidence, so I feel terrible now. I knew he wasn't the loudest person but had no idea....now digging deep to help with this.

bigbluebus Fri 06-Oct-17 22:16:05

My DS dropped out of Uni after the end of Yr 1 and then decided he would take a year out before going again. The first few weeks of him lounging around at home doing nothing but playing on his computer nearly drove me and DH to breaking point. He was told in no uncertain terms to find a job but in spite of him spending every waking hour on the laptop, apparently there weren't any jobs advertised which were suitable. You can be your bottom dollar I was straight onto the Indeed site looking for jobs for him and DH noted that Starbucks were looking for staff. He was fortunate to get a Christmas job with a High Street store and the kept extending his contract until he actually had to resign the day before he went off to Uni a few weeks ago (no transfer to Uni city available unfortunately). I have to say his minimum wage job was the making of him and the saving of us. My DS was also lacking in confidence and has an ASD as well. But with a bit of a push in the right direction he has flourished. We were seriously concerned DS was depressed (or heading that way) prior to him getting this job but now I think he just had no purpose in life as there was no structure in his day. Once that was sorted he was fine.

forcryinoutloud Wed 11-Oct-17 20:22:30

Thank you for that Bigbluebus is certainly resonates with me, I am feeling at breaking point some days. I am so glad things worked out for your son.

It's so hard to get the balance right between putting pressure on and doing everything for them. Wish I had a bloody manual! sad grin

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