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29 Aug 2007

18YO no ambition
I have an 18yo son living with me abroad. He was adopted as a few days old baby (he knows this). I am divorced (4.5 years ago), and have a daughter (13yo) living with my ex-wife. My ex-wife requested that my son come and live with me as she could not control him. They have a history of not getting along, and she is also an extremist with discipline. My daughter is currently under immence pressure because of this.

However, my question is regarding my son's lack of ambition, and general attitude. He has been living with me for the past 12 months, and his general oulook on life has improved substantially. Unfortunately he is not putting in the required effort in his school work, and does not seem to be concerned at all. His general attitude around the house negative, and small tasks are done halfheartedly or not at all. Threats, discussions, grounding, etc does not help. He wants to be treated as an adult, but when reminded that his behaviour does not warrant it, becomes agressive and abusive. He can not work with money, and owes me a substantial amount which he is struggling to pay back with his pocket money. He does not have a part time job, and attempts to get him one failed as he failed to "pitch up" for work.

He was diagnosed with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) when he was about 8 years old, and I am aware that children with this disorder are more prone to learning disabailities and social malfunction. However, his IQ is above average, and he is highly intelligent.

I don't know what to do anymore. Threats, grounding, discussions, showing him love and care does not seem to have an impact. I get nothing back from him. He is a loner, and struggles in a group situation. He is into "heavy metal" music, plays guitaar, and this is his primary and only interest. He is currently in Grade 11, which I am afraid, he is going to fail dismally. He wants to study sound engineering, but will not have the basic minimum requirements to persue this.

Please advise urgently. I am at my wits end, and feel like throwing him out to fend for himself (albeit that I know that this will probably lead to a life of crime and drugs).
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Expert
Teen expert
teen expert

01 Jan 0001

What needs to be clarified is why your son does not care - does he have any answers for you in this regard?

If not there are a number of factors to consider. do you suspect drug use at all? certain drugs are linked to a drop in motivation and completing tasks - e.g. Cannabis. He may be depressed, as often a lack of enthusiasm is linked to this. How well is he adapting to life with you after life with his mother?

I strongly recommend that your son is assessed by a Clinical Psychologist to gain a full understanding of why he is struggling at this point in time.
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