College Student Home for Summer

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    • #116179

      My son just finished his Freshman year of college, and now he is home. He struggles with ADHD and if he is off his medicine it really disrupts the house (my husband, other son and myself). He needs to find a job this summer, and I know it’s scaring him to go out there and find a job. Any tips on how to encourage him and get him to put himself out there.

    • #116187

      Oh my goodness! Boy do I relate to your post. My son, who has ADHD, is just finishing his freshman year in college too. It’s amazing how much ADHD impacts a family, isn’t it? My son is such a dear, but we have had to set limits about the same things. I think it helps to have family meetings and make a list together about next steps. It is a normal expectation that your son have a job in the summer. For our son, he is working as a camp counselor, as he needs to move, likes the outdoors, and has been a camper at the camp for several years. Does your son have certain interests that you think would be a good fit for him with work? My son didn’t do well in jobs that required “busy work”, like straightening shelves, etc. Even though our son resists our help many times, when we set a time to talk things through and remain calm (hard to do, I know!!), and then help him sequence next steps (e.g., websites to review, who to email, etc.), he’s pretty cooperative. So much of the resistance seems to be related to not knowing how to start.

    • #116296
      Penny Williams

      Help him find something he enjoys or is interested in if at all possible. That will help to ease some of the dread. For instance, if he really enjoys animals, a job at a shelter or a farm could work. If he enjoys cars, a job at a mechanic’s shop. Even an unpaid internship would be good — it’s the commitment and the experience that have the most value.

      Last summer was my daughter’s after freshman year summer. She applied for many jobs, was honest she’d be moving back to school at the end of the summer and couldn’t get a job. This summer I have a couple big projects I’m working on and needed help — fortunately I can pay her to work for me 10 hours a week or so. A job out in the world would be much more ideal, but it’s so hard when they’re moving back and forth twice a year.

      ADDitude Community Moderator, Parenting ADHD Trainer & Author, Mom to teen w/ ADHD, LDs, and autism

    • #116544

      With one of my children, anxiety was more of a factor than anything else in terms of putting herself out there to get a job. I took her to get an application from a few places near our home, answered any questions she had in filling them out, and then drove her back to turn them in. She worked at Little Caesar’s one summer and at a local burger joint the next. After her freshman year at college, she was overwhelmed and reluctant to put herself out there, so her dad helped her put together a resume, we talked about a few potential places she could apply (with her in the driver’s seat in terms of input, but giving suggestions if needed), and he actually took her downtown where he works and walked with her to the HR office of one place where she was hoping to work and then she did the rest. Getting past the initial unknown and the overwhelm of not knowing where to start helped her immensely. She ended up with a job as a hostess at a busy restaurant that serves people from all over the world and some VIPs. Talk about a great way to help her to overcome some of her anxieties and learn key skills! We have also reminded our children that if they don’t get a job that sounds interesting to them, that it is better to have a job, period—after all, tuition, housing, and other things cannot be paid with whims. 🙂 High school and college jobs don’t—and don’t have to—last forever. 🙂 My son has no problem applying for jobs. His main motivation is money. 🙂 However, he is somewhat quirky and lacking a bit in social skills, but we have been working on that. He got a job at a local farm at 15 and they pay according to how much is picked, so it was a big motivation to work hard and well. He liked the feeling of earning money and being able to put away money for college and for other important things, as well as being able to purchase a few things he wanted. During the school year, after he turned 16, he got a job at a local Italian restaurant where he has base pay, but he also has to earn tips, so not only does he have to work hard, but it’s been really, really good at helping him learn to interact with people in a positive way and reign in his impulses.

      Have your son write down everything he is good at/enjoys/past experience/etc., and then help him craft a simple resume (I found some great templates online) that will showcase his strengths, experience, education, and interests. Experiences will be key for him. Help him to identify a few places to apply, and then take him there if necessary. He can do the rest, but helping him get past initial fear or overwhelm will help him to gain confidence and skill so he can move forward on his own in the future. And do it soon—kids come home from college and start graduating from high school and then the jobs get snatched up. At least around here they do. 🙂 Good job, Mom, in helping your son to succeed!

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