I guess I could have put this out on a couple other boards, but I wanted to start here.
First a few demographics: Recently divorced/single father for two boys, 1 is 10 the other 16.
My question is, how do you foster an environment that will get kids to ignite a little passion, drive and initiative in their lives, mainly in a 16 year old?
I suppose like many other 16 year old kids in today's environment, he spends an awful lot of time in front of the TV and/or his computer. Over the course of this summer vacation, I've gone to work early with him waking up, wandering in front of the TV and coming home, only to find him parked right where I left him, playing video games or watching TV. I've given him busy work around the house to get him to do something different, and although the living room might get cleaned, I'd SO much rather find him involved with something outside the home. He has a car, so that's not much of an issue, but gas is part of the problem since most of his money goes right back into video games. I don't know, perhaps I look back at when I was 16...outside most of the time...socializing...getting into a little bit of trouble. Part of me feels like the world is going to scare this kid when he tries to set out on his own.
To give this dillema a bit more dimension, I'll add that a good bit of his upbringing was very structured. One of the subjects I disagreed with his mother with over the years was her propensity to orchestrate his entire day outside of school. She took him here...led him there...she POURED herself into steering him. It drove her nuts to see him idle. Sometimes I wonder if now, at 16, he sits on the couch awaiting to be led off by his mom and/or dad for entertainment away from the TV because he just doesn't know how to do it himself. Am I off my rocker with this?
I know he's also internalized our divorce. I won't get into specifics but I HAVE offered to get him counseling a few times. Of course, he declines. Perhaps I should just drop his butt off with one after school.....(thinking out loud).
I think that the counseling is a good idea, however, I think it should be the two of you. You may need to initiate it yourself by going to the first one and working out the angles, but that should be something that the counselor would suggest. It's a start. I don't think anything could be worse than letting the situation fester. It's still early.
As for the motivation end of it, that's why I'm here myself. I am trying to figure out a way to light a fire under an 8 year old who takes nothing seriously. I know he's only 8, but there is no competitive nature etc. Anyway, good luck.
As a father I find it interesting that some fathers are so concerned about this kind of thing.
To develop passion you have to find something your child enjoys, not necessarily what YOU enjoy. It might not even be anything you are remotely interested in doing. It helps to find activities that are related to things he is interested in doing right now.
BTW, 8 year old kids shouldn't take very much seriously. They are kids.
This has been on my mind for a while. My son is only 2, so I don't have any issue getting him motivated. But in the future it's a concern for me. My theory is that the world is a little too safe and well defined for kids growing up today. There's nothing to fight for or push for. That's why I think the video games are such a hit. Kids get to save the world with every gun and explosive in the arsenal. I'm not saying military school is the answer, but whatever happened to working on a car, playing a sport, or a musical instrument?