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View Full Version : how do you encourage and guide a young man...



AmyinWI
02-08-2012, 10:01 PM
who has no desire for anything academic... has no real idea what career path they want... and really very little motivation for anything at the moment?

this is a nearly 16year old.
I did offer to take him to a tech school open house to learn about different careers and he said he wasn't interested.
He just doesn't know what he is interested in... he doesn't want to build or fix anything, nothing artsy, nothing science or math related. He has expressed interest in physical fitness, but doesn't want to go to a 4yr university... I realize he has a few years before he needs to get a serious plan, but this also determines how I plan his high school course .

any suggestions ?

Colleen OH
02-08-2012, 11:11 PM
That is a tough one.

If he would be particularly driven to do something in particular, then you could tailor your educational goals to that, but since he isn't, I think I would give him a set of xyz curriculum to give him a well rounded education and let the chips fall where they will later.

If he isn't going to take the initiative to pursue something on his own at this point, the best you can probably do is equip him to do so later. And then remind yourself that you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink....

CJ
02-09-2012, 01:33 AM
What is he currently doing with his time? Is he doing schoolwork?

I'm going to suggest something different. Instead of focusing on himself, you could consider requiring him to volunteer to help others. It doesn't matter what it is - there are tons of ways to volunteer, but you have to "require" a certain amount of hours by a certain deadline. You can help him learn what his choices are, but he will be responsible for meeting the requirements.

Often the best medicine when you're in a slump is to quit focusing on yourself and start focusing on others. This could help him to figure out what he wants to do as an adult. At a minimum, it may make him feel better about life in general.

Hope this helps, but disregard if it doesn't.
:)

Julie Y
02-09-2012, 08:49 AM
Couple of thoughts:

Pray for him to catch God's vision for his life

Have him take the Strengthfinder (http://www.amazon.com/StrengthsFinder-2-0-Tom-Rath/dp/159562015X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328794808&sr=1-1)s test (you buy the book and it gives you a code to take an online test).

I know Steve recommends the old, classic "What Color is Your Parachute" book, although I haven't read it myself. I don't know f there is one available for youth.

When my son was that age, I took him to the vocational/technical school and they gave him an aptitude test which was VERY helpful. From that, they steered him towards auto body repair, which is his career today.

As his mom, you can help him see his own interests and aptitudes. Think back to his childhood and list every quirky thing you can remember about his likes/dislikes. Write them all down and see if a pattern emerges.

If he goes out and about with you in your daily work, begin to engage people in conversation -- do you like your work? What do you like best about it? What did you need to do to prepare for it? I did this with my athletic daughter when she experienced a sports injury. At the time she was considering becoming a sports trainer or physical therapist so we mini-interviewed everyone we came into contact with. I usually initiated the conversation but the professional would usually end up talking directly to dd about their field.

Relax, you (and he) still have plenty of time to discover a path. The main thing is to help him look at it as a mystery to solve or something like that. Have him start looking for "clues" all around him now. But make it fun, not presssure. :)

AmyinWI
02-09-2012, 12:31 PM
What is he currently doing with his time? Is he doing schoolwork?

Often the best medicine when you're in a slump is to quit focusing on yourself and start focusing on others. This could help him to figure out what he wants to do as an adult. At a minimum, it may make him feel better about life in general.

Hope this helps, but disregard if it doesn't.
:)

He does his schoolwork, in fact he is very diligent about it,and doesn't like to get behind. I think part of his problem is his perfectionistic tendencies and he is afraid of everything because he doesn't want to fail.
This is what else he does in his spare time:

He started teaching himself guitar, which he said he is not interested in lessons...:unsure:
he does civil air patrol right now. but he has lost interest and is not renewing his membership in March.
He goes to the Y to work out a few days a week with a friend.

Youth group attendance is sporadic, he doens't enjoy large groups, I've been trying to encourage him to attend small groups, which he does on occasion.

He does work part time- which I am glad he is able to get out and meet people that way (he works in a grocery store)

In the summer he's heavily involved in a musical production/drama group.
in the fall he is in a homeschool soccer team and loves it.

He also goes on hunting/fishing trips with dh and works on household projects with him.
DS says none of these areas are things he could see leading to a career... so I'm just baffled.

volunteering is a great idea, I'm not sure what opportunities there are around here... add to that we live in a very rural area, everything is 1/2 hr or more away,and he doesn't drive yet.. so that makes it challenging to get him out.

AmyinWI
02-09-2012, 12:34 PM
Couple of thoughts:

Pray for him to catch God's vision for his life

Have him take the Strengthfinder (http://www.amazon.com/StrengthsFinder-2-0-Tom-Rath/dp/159562015X/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1328794808&sr=1-1)s test (you buy the book and it gives you a code to take an online test).

I know Steve recommends the old, classic "What Color is Your Parachute" book, although I haven't read it myself. I don't know f there is one available for youth.

When my son was that age, I took him to the vocational/technical school and they gave him an aptitude test which was VERY helpful. From that, they steered him towards auto body repair, which is his career today.

As his mom, you can help him see his own interests and aptitudes. Think back to his childhood and list every quirky thing you can remember about his likes/dislikes. Write them all down and see if a pattern emerges.



My older daughters went through the parachute book for youth, I'll check into that for him,too. forgot about it!
I will look for an aptitude test at the vocational school. I had him take one online and the main vocation was law enforcement, which I could see him being very good at, but he says he is not interested. :unsure:

Heather in Houston
02-11-2012, 11:01 AM
Are talking about my oldest? :) Where do you find online aptitude tests?

Dawn Gilmore
02-13-2012, 08:10 PM
Has he considered being a personal trainer? That would allow him to pursue his interest in fitness. I'm not sure what education is required to follow that track, if it's particular certification, or a required degree, but it might be something that would interest him, at least for now.

laurie in ok
02-15-2012, 09:42 PM
I would give him whatever education he needs to get into the colleges in your area. He is 16 - I changed my major five times before settling into an education degree. As long as he can get into school once he has some idea of what he would like to do, the rest of it should come together at some point.

Susan Seaman
02-17-2012, 07:20 PM
What about physical therapy?

CJ
02-17-2012, 08:40 PM
My dd is job shadowing at a PT clinic here. She is really excited and there are several types of positions in the realm of physical therapy. Maybe you could check into seeing if he could job shadow there if he's interested?

AmyinWI
02-18-2012, 12:11 AM
What about physical therapy?

:no: it is now 6 years of college to get a degree in PT. (at least in our state)

He doesn't even want to go to a university.
I did encourage him to look into physical therapy assistant (2 year associate degree, I think).

So far he is going through "What color is your parachute for teens" and he said every answer is coming up "exercise" for things that interest him.

He has talked about personal trainer before. I think that's the route he'll end up going, he's just so unsure of it all,and what the job market for that might be like,etc. etc.

Colleen OH
02-18-2012, 08:24 AM
Just throwing this out....if he is interested in exercise (which is good, but not really "employable" kwim) what about a physically demanding job? Maybe agriculture? Maybe block laying? Maybe something else?

AmyinWI
02-18-2012, 08:30 PM
Just throwing this out....if he is interested in exercise (which is good, but not really "employable" kwim) what about a physically demanding job? Maybe agriculture? Maybe block laying? Maybe something else?

I agree with what you are saying Colleen... I have tried to steer him towards physical type jobs.... he enjoys working outside with dh when they do remodeling projects/ cutting down trees and other building projects.
But ds says he doesn't want a job that involves "building or fixing" :unsure:

laurie in ok
02-22-2012, 07:28 PM
It kind of sounds like he really just doesn't want a job. I think that sounds kind of normal for today's 16yo boys. Who wants to think about going to do the same thing every day for the next 40 years? However, things start to look a little different when you get old enough to need to make your own money; etc.

Maybe, you should start asking him what kind of lifestyle does he want to live when he's out on his own. Does he want to have his wife stay home with the kids? Does he want to own a house, or live in apt? Does he want a decent car or an old clunker? Once he thinks about what he wants his life to look like, maybe he can start narrowing down choices that will allow him to live that kind of life.

Beatrice
02-23-2012, 02:12 AM
Just throwing this out....if he is interested in exercise (which is good, but not really "employable" kwim) what about a physically demanding job? Maybe agriculture? Maybe block laying? Maybe something else?

I was thinking a farrier. That's the path one of my older boys has chosen. :cool:

Ann*TN
03-01-2012, 07:44 AM
Amy,

I truely feel your pain. My son is very similar, with the added "bonus" that he REALLy struggles acedemically, so it's not likely that he will eventually go that route.

When basketball season ( and yes he would like that to be his career :)) is over we plan to let him volunteer in as many different types of jobs as we can. My husband is in the remodeling business, so he knows people in a lot of those types of jobs, but you could try having him hang with your youth pastor, or volunteering at a local zoo or museum.

It's scary to think how close him needing to support himself is compared to where he is now, but I know that they change a lot too .......