This site has been nice for my hobby banter so far now I have a more serious issue to try and bring up.
I have 34 nieces and nephew who I am very proud of. Almost all are really well behaved, bright, healthy, kids from toddlers to an Army Ranger. Most are so good that folks usually compliment them or ask "what the trick is."
The there is that special one. A 17 year old nephew who does nothing. He plays computer games endlessly, is snide, self serving (with minimal effort), unlikable even by his peers, and amazingly unmotivated. He is proud of not having turned in any homework in at least two years. He does not get into trouble because that would take some minimal effort. He has actually explained for years that he is attached to nothing (will not even learn to drive) so that nothing can be held over him to force him to do anything knowing that no one will deny him food, heat, clothes, bed, and a power outlet. He is so lazy that he will have to marry a pregnant woman.
To a lesser or greater degree the rest of the family worries too but he is so different from the rest of the kids that we do not have enough experience dealing with him to be 110% unified in any serious consequences. I have a "liberal" sister in law or two who would undermine any extreme measures. On the few rare (and therefore very noteworthy) occasions when he does anything positive we are afraid to compliment him or he will get pouty again and act worse. He has no real pride but understands how to embarrass other people.
yes, he has had physicals with the diagnosis of LAZY. Yes, we have consulted mental health professionals and their comments are that unlike their teens he is not in enough trouble for them to ever see and they just don't have experience dealing with slackers since hard teen felons take up all of their time. He absolutely hates the idea of the military so that is not any sort of option. He plans to attend a local college to "maybe study computers." Not doing work like in high school will probably not be much of a wake up since he has already explained that he does not care if he passes or graduates. He is the very image of the walking dead if the power even went out for a few weeks he has that few reality let alone survival skills.
If you could meet him you would see that I am not exaggerating. My family nor I can just say that he is not our responsibility and ignore him but what suggestions does anyone have?
Don't worry about him, spend your time and efforts on others. If he's able to manipulate the family until he finds a member to give him what he wants he will. He's apparently not stupid, he knows how to work it. It sounds like if his parents throw him out someone else will take him in and baby him, so unless everyone is willing to throw him out or refuse to put him up he'll find a way. He can get what he wants so until people agree not to give it to him he'll keep doing what he's doing until he eventually matures out of it.
I don't know that I have any advice for you, but I can tell you my experiences in school that I think apply to your situation. In grade school I was a daydreamer, and a lazy student. By middle school I refused to do homework. I got good test scores, and I saw homework as a way to promote mediocre students whom couldnt pass the tests. I was lazy and new I could get by on my intelligence, and I had no desire to do otherwise. What I have come to realize is that I was bored with what I was doing. I had no interest in the mundane subjects they were teaching in school. When I got to high school I joined JROTC, and for the first time I had a reason to try. I still didn't do much homework (now out of habit), but I had a reason to make an effort in school. I graduated as a C student, and managed to get into college. In College I got to studdy what I wanted (since I was paying for it with student loans), and I quickly became a B student. I did my homework and I cared about what I was doing.
If this boy is anything like I was he may just be disinterested. As I said before I cannot give you any advice. I do not know if there is anything you can do about it. He needs to find something that interests him and pursue it.
First of all, where on earth is this kid's daddy? Many mothers are coddling and over-protective of their sons--that's why God gave them DADS. A teenaged boy needs to have SOMEbody in his life who will stand up and be the voice of authority. Here are my suggestions:
1. Unplug the computer. He needs to understand that video games are O-U-T, out until he earns the right to enjoy them--and then they will be controlled.
2. You've all done your due diligence to rule out underlying health problems and mental problems. NOW--there need to be STRONG consequences for things like bringing home bad report cards, being rude, not doing his work around the house, embarrassing people, etc. He needs to see that he WILL face major consequences if he does not get his act together---since he won't get his license, let's hope he earns a bicycle, he's going to need it to get around. At the same time, I wouldn't let his behavior become the major focus of the family. The family does not revolve around him. Have a stiff behavior contract drawn up specifying exact expectations and definite consequences--explain it to him and have him sign it, then forget it. It's his problem at that point. Make sure he's getting to bed at night, getting up in the morning, doing the chores you specify, don't the school work up to your standards, and staying completely away from the computer and video games at all times...or else. When he lives up to the terms of the contract, reward him. When he doesn't, punish him. He'll get it figured out.
I would get John Rosemond's material at the bookstore. Check out his website at www.johnrosemond.com. He is getting older, and this is an emergency--don't wait.
Since this thread began he has turned 18 and graduated high school. He missed enrollment day at the local university campus even though it was all over the radio and several of us told him. He says that he thought that we were just picking on him(?) Apparently so many kids missed this open house though that the campus has scheduled not one but two more this summer to try and get them through registration and orientation early.
His father, my brother, has masters in philosophy and English, bless his heart. His parents do try and straighten him up. His five brothers and sisters are good sharp kids who will do anything that you suggest including well in school so they do not exactly have bad parents. They are just not going to place any real consequences over him and if they try he will just sneak around them.
He does not seem to be playing regular video games but rather some not quite mainstream online games. Not WoW since it cost money that he would have to get a job for. As much as it seems that he craves interaction with gamers at least he apparently has quite a reputation as snot even among online gamers.
The only slight improvement recently seems to be that he has learned some composure and does not constantly mouth off and aggravate people. He has come to avoid all of us uncles. We offered to chip in and buy him a motor for his sometimes used bicycle to at least help him get around like an 18 year old if he will just follow the instructions and put in on the bike. He flat out refuses to do this. http://www.zippycycles.com/pictures.html
The exorcism idea is beginning to look better all of the time. It scares me a little when I mentioned it lightly and our Vicar and folks took it seriously. We'll see.
"Man you hit the nail on the head.
Actually you probably noticed that it goes deeper. There is a wholesale mea culpa of paternalism. Hence the way we gave up all those colonies all over the world in the 70's. Hah the experiment has shown that…"
"The "who's to say?" argument has no real force in my opinion.The problem only arises when you couch the distinction in terms of damage done to parties. The problem disappears when you think of it in…"
"Naturally we would expect different answers from those inside the Church and without it. (I would hope.)
We've heard from outside -- naturally, they would see movement away from the Gospel as progress, and we wouldn't. To start…"
"Wow, you're still butthurt about women's liberation from the 20s? Now that is some conservatism... you don't even go for the tired, lazy insult to modern feminists but you bring it all the way back to the flappers.