Reply To: No Passion No Energy No Care

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Your son is dealing with a lot of mental and physical conditions which I’m sure makes life a little less enjoyable than normal. Despite his conditions, the fact that he’s intelligent and does well in some courses is great.

He says school is boring & that he wants to be an astrophysicist. Sounds like he needs to be challenged mentally. Which classes does he excel in? What does he like about those classes? What if you (or your son) wrote a letter to Neil deGrasse Tyson, or some other well-known scientist in the field, to find out how he became an astrophysicist. I wonder if getting a letter from someone like that would create a spark for him. If he’s deadset on it, maybe you can help he devise a plan on how to get there but break it down in very small pieces. What does he like about astrophysics? What does he think it takes to become one? What kinds of classes does he think he would need to take? Maybe have him spend a little time reading info online about the field before he plays video games. There are probably websites that talk about “A day in the life of an astrophysicist” that could give him some insight.

The weight, acne, not wanting to clean his room, hating family vacations, etc…all sound like typical teen problems which of course doesn’t help with the other issues he’s dealing with.

The video game addiction is clearly a problem. I’m surprised by the reaction to your taking them away. KBrindle’s son has a similar reaction. I wasn’t aware that this was so common. It really takes away your control as a parent. You don’t know whether they mean what they say or if they’re just lashing out. I can see why/how you had your breakdown. Being that he is intelligent, I do wonder how much he uses his conditions to justify not doing what he needs to do. Other commenters have mentioned the idea of learned helplessness. I think that could be playing a role in some of this as well.

Lastly, could he take classes online? K-12 courses that are now being offered online. It could be worth looking into as a happy medium. I just Googled “online high school” & this was one the the results I saw that looked promising. He can stay home AND go to school. He better not argue with that! LOL.