Reply To: My son is 19 and has not graduated high school

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Your situation is so similar to mine. My son is 20 and I was a lunatic mom his senior year of high school as it looked as if he wouldn’t graduate. I made it my goal to get him through and he graduated. However, this was followed by a year and a half of community college with steadily failing grades until he quit. He knew he was supposed to get a job but hasn’t gone all out. He did manage to go on two interviews.All his time is spent in his room gaming unless we are eating dinner or going out to dinner or he is doing his minimal chores. He occasionally goes to a movie with me, watches tv with me, attends the occasional family event, and goes out with friends rarely as he mostly communicates with them online. Yet, my son is kind, gentle, extremely intelligent, and has a great sense of humor.

Now, due to presenting the idea to him, he is supposed to be studying a book I bought him so he can take a test and obtain certification that will allow him to get an IT job, even though this isn’t his passion, programming is. He has been dragging it out so in mid October, I set a goal for him to read two chapters a day, study for a week and then take the test and get an IT job or actually any job. After he gets a job, he will need to be on a good sleep cycle getting to work on time, doing minimal household chores,attending to personal hygeine( he doesn’t brush his teeth and taking more showers now but sometimes only every 2 or3 days), etc.. All this is supposed to be accomplished by this Friday. It’s not happening. This Friday, I will turn off the internet, cable and tv which of course will effect me but I know since he’s my only son, I have a secure job and know I can go to coffee shops to get online I will survive. I will turn everything back on once all his goals are accomplished. In the meantime I’m getting all the knowledge I can about computer gaming addiction. I am prepared for him to have withdrawal symptoms but hoping this doesn’t happen. I’m hoping to compel him to see a psychologist. I am prepared to send him to a rehab center if needed but really can’t do this until next October when I can change my current insurance. I know he will be bored and need things to do but he seems not to have any interests outside of gaming.This is my boldest plan yet and I am so apprehensive and scared. In high school, I often took his keyboard away,and during his senior year he had several absences staying in bed, depressed. When he was younger, in his sophomore and junior years, when I took away his games, he pounded unrelentingly on my bedroom wall when I was trying to sleep, whined, yelled, and cried.

What I feel good about- I have seen more maturity this past year, I clearly laid out the plan and so he knows whats coming, I have worked on myself these past two years, seeing a therapist myself and so our relationship is better and I am less reactive to him. I feel somewhat prepared for what is to come. I will update my progress, good luck to all of you and your personal struggles with your loved ones. Has anyone else done this and has it worked? Any suggestions?