Something else is going on…

QUESTION:David – I’m the father of a 17 year old son – he’s the 4th child with 3 older (over-achiever) sisters –  until about 14-15 he was very active athletically – then decided to quit – he’s a gifted athlete & at 6’4″, 200 lbs could play any varsity sport, he’s a beautiful child and I’ve had tutors say he may be the smartest of the four children – he’s always been on the quiet side, and as the fourth child has blended in – but the last few years he doesn’t seem to do anything beyond the minimum – his grades have dropped for lack of any effort, and he spends most of his non-school time sleeping, or on the couch or watching sports and playing video games – he’s not rude, or disrespectful when asked direct questions, has expressed no interest in getting his drivers license – I have the equivalent of two jobs and my wife has been home with the children for the last 20+ years – It’s breaking my heart to see him just slide through high school with no apparent friends, or socialization – he starts his senior year this month – we’ve ruled out depression but I’m at my wits end ? Any ideas – thoughts ? Thanks !!!
ANSWER:There is something going on that you aren’t aware of. If what you describe is accurate then it isn’t normal to simply “drop of the map of life” for no reason. You may need to take him in for an assessment. There may be unknown drug use going on or even some physical problem happening that no one is aware of. He may need a challenge of some sort in his life. If you rule out everything else then you as a father should start challenging him to rise to the occasion. It’s different for every family, but maybe you have something in mind. Go on an extended hiking trip…skydiving…rock-climbing etc…


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