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How Do I Assist My Son in Changing Habits to Get Work Done?

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Through the time he finished high school, my son was considered to be very bright. We have never had to help him with school work, he was often the source of help to his friends in math, science and computers. His teachers loved the way he participated in class. He did well enough to get into a very elite school. At this elite school, expectations are high. Through 2 1/2 years he folds whenever faced with hard work and has had to repeat courses. He was even placed on academic probation for several months. When he went back, he did OK for one quarter and the back to the same problems. Each time, he seems to escape into video games, binge-watching TV serials, etc. We believe there is no reason to suspect substance abuse. He constantly lies about the status of his course work and then gets caught out in stupid ways when he ends up confessing. His friends love him and think highly of him but he avoids building strong relationships. There are probably only 1 or 2 friends he is in touch with regularly. How can we as parents help him see the light? Is there a mental health issue? He says he has seen a counselor but we can’t be sure he is telling the truth.

How Do I Assist My Son in Changing Habits to Get Work Done?

Answered by on -

A.

You did not mention how old your son is, but he must be an adult since he has finished high school. I’m also wondering if he lives with you and/or if you’re paying his bills. If so, that is probably a bad idea. The fact that he has access to video games, and entertainment accounts, that allow his binge watching, etc., might be part of the problem. If he’s not paying for them with his own earned money then he shouldn’t have them. The job of a parent is to create a functioning adult who can take care themselves. If you are paying his way, then you may have inadvertently contributed to his problems.

You might try reading books about tough love. There are many available. Though tough love techniques can be difficult, they may be what is needed. You might also consult a therapist to discuss the best way to assist him. It would be good to get the advice of a professional who can analyze your family’s circumstances and advise you accordingly. Good luck with your efforts. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle

How Do I Assist My Son in Changing Habits to Get Work Done?

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW is a licensed psychotherapist and Assistant Professor of Social Work and Forensics with extensive experience in the field of mental health. She works in private practice with adults, adolescents and families. Kristina has worked in a large array of settings including community mental health, college counseling and university research centers.

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2018). How Do I Assist My Son in Changing Habits to Get Work Done?. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 17, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2018/12/20/how-do-i-assist-my-son-in-changing-habits-to-get-work-done/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 18 Dec 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 18 Dec 2018
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