Jump to content

ideas to engage with a "lost" teenager


  • Please log in to reply
52 replies to this topic

#1 doubting thomas

Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:39 PM

Hi everyone
Im kind of desperate so Im looking for ideas to engage and relate with my 15 year old son. He appears to be very "lost" . He has changed friend groups from the one where I knew all the mothers , is failing every subject at school, is rarely home, has lost interest in pretty much everything including sport which he is quite good at. I have tried counselling with no success . Any ideas for sports, outings, games, holidays, even tv shows or dvds that you have found have interested your 15 year old son would be greatly appreciated. At the moment hanging around at the shops seems to be the only thing he likes doing. Help!

#2 doubting thomas

Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:43 PM

Dang. Meant to post this in WdYt

#3 Chief Pancake Make

Posted 11 January 2013 - 01:53 PM

I don't know if I can help but a few years back I enrolled in an art class at a communitee college - there was a mother and son doing the class obvioulsy doing it as some sort of bonding activity.  The teenage boy was way better than the rest of us and I think benefited from time with his mum and a dozen other adults telling him how awesome he was every week.  Is there something he is/was good at that you could do a class in - even if you are terrible?

#4 doubting thomas

Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:10 PM

Thank you thats  a good idea. Im now thinking thai food or something. He loves spicy food and used to love cooking. Thanks again

#5 Therese

Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:15 PM

I have moved this for you original.gif

#6 doubting thomas

Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:16 PM

thank you


#7 **Xena**

Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:26 PM

How about anime? Sounds weird I know but there are a lot of animes that are for teenagers and I have connected with a lot of teenagers through anime and cosplay. Plus there are a lot of groups and conventions where they can interact and a lot of the cosplayers have made great friends and joined cosplay groups where they get together and do photoshoots original.gif

#8 Charri36

Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:33 PM

I have a 16 y/o, who has quite a few issues, it is hard to bond at that age. I find what works for us, is not so much of getting him to do stuff I want to do, but me showing interest in things he does and likes.

Shops - If he hangs at the shops he probably likes take away food. Could you maybe have Mother son dinner lunch dates at a takeaway store? I know it seems lame, but if it's what they like....Something like, "hey, do you want to come with me to Macca's this morning to eat breakfast?"

Can you take him shopping - Like to JB hifi, my son will try and shock me with "hard core bands CD's. So it then becomes a competition on who can find the rankest CD cover.

Getting him into cooking together at home, ask for his help in a good way, eg - "I know your brilliant at peeling potatoes, would you be able to come and give me a hand, as I really need help at the moment".


Does he play games, sit down with him and get him to explain to you how powerful he has made his character etc. Even show a fake interest in playing an easy game with you. A let him laugh at you when he see's how bad you are at it.

Cooking classes sound OK, but if he's hardley ever home, he might find it more of a chore, than a fun time bonding.

How about a quad bike ride (tour) together. If in your area. Or a high ropes type thing. Something like half a day.

hope this helps, Oh, what we found good was games of pool, we even bought a pool table to help. It's been great! You can get some second hand ones cheap from gumtree.

#9 ubermum

Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:48 PM

It sounds to me like he is smoking pot. The 16yo who has moved in with me from another state to kick the pot habit and start fresh agrees. You can't engage with someone on drugs. If that is his issue, sort that out first.

#10 ImpatientAnna

Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:54 PM

QUOTE (ubermum @ 11/01/2013, 03:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It sounds to me like he is smoking pot. The 16yo who has moved in with me from another state to kick the pot habit and start fresh agrees. You can't engage with someone on drugs. If that is his issue, sort that out first.


This is my first thought too. The whole time I was reading the post I was waiting for the next sentence to be about smoking pot.

#11 **Xena**

Posted 11 January 2013 - 02:56 PM

I have to admit I thought that was a possibility too.

#12 doubting thomas

Posted 11 January 2013 - 03:00 PM

Thank you Charri36, I think you make a lot of sense. I know he goes to another friends house regularly for the pool table, but we dont have then room. UBermum unfortunately you could be right too. It kind of doesnt change the fact that I have to try and do something though.

#13 Z-girls rock

Posted 11 January 2013 - 03:04 PM

I dont know that smoking pot means the kid is a write off.

when I was a teenager it was practically manitory to smoke pot. Some kids just smoked at parties and stuff. Some were doing it everyday.

anyway we were still interested in things. It could still be possible to connect with him if you can find out what he is interested in. (surfing? writing (sometimes even pot smokers can be creative and introspective)? music?) I think it is worth a shot.

#14 doubting thomas

Posted 11 January 2013 - 03:11 PM

Yes thats it I dont want him to feel he is a write-off , though the school sure is trying to do that it seems at times. Its really difficult .

#15 indigogirl

Posted 11 January 2013 - 03:19 PM

Boys this age definitely find it easier to connect over an activity and there are some good ideas already mentioned. Go with something he enjoys and show the interest.

But never underestimate the power of the car trip! When they are stuck in the car but not really having to look at you that can be the best time to try and raise issues - small or big ones. Its a lot less confrontational and they can really open up far more in that environment.

Teenage boys can be really hard to connect with and lots of people just find it too hard, so good for you for really wanting to try

#16 a letter to Elise.

Posted 11 January 2013 - 03:30 PM

My first thought was pot too.

I think the car trip conversations is a good idea. It's often easier for teenagers to communicate when they don't have to look you in the eye.

Has he lost interest in school because he's just biding his time til he can get out and do something else? A lot of the boys I have taught were like that when they'd decided they wanted to leave and do an apprenticeship - they just didn't see the relevance of school anymore.

Do you know what he is interested in?

#17 doubting thomas

Posted 11 January 2013 - 03:43 PM

Thanks for the replies. Very helpful. I have thought of depression but the counsellor he saw (twice) didnt think so. He does occasionally make worrying statements like "I wish I was dead" but I have spoken to him about this and I think its just talk. He is a very social boy with a lot of friends so he is a bit of a conundrum.
Also Yes he does not see the relevance of school as he plans to leave and do an apprenticeship the minute he can but I have been trying to explain to him that a good record at school would help his chances at getting an apprenticeship.
The car trip  idea is true and I have tried but often we end up arguing about his friends ( not good I know)

#18 **Xena**

Posted 11 January 2013 - 03:51 PM

If you do decide to try anime I'd recommend Cowboy Bebop as a good start original.gif

#19 doubting thomas

Posted 11 January 2013 - 04:04 PM

thank you xena. Im not really up on that stuff but will have a look into it ( actually probably best to get my 19 year old to explain it to me).

#20 Apageintime

Posted 11 January 2013 - 04:19 PM

What about a weekend away?
When i was a teenager dad used to take me hiking, i think largely the goal was to get me away from the phone and other distractions, but we always had good chats.

Similar principle to car rides, we didn't actially have to look at each other.

#21 doubting thomas

Posted 11 January 2013 - 04:24 PM

I was thinking of a trip away for the weekend and I think I will go ahead with it. At least thats one weekrnd he's not getting up to no good . And he is a real delight when he is away from his "mates"

#22 Tigerdog

Posted 11 January 2013 - 05:00 PM

QUOTE (ubermum @ 11/01/2013, 03:48 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It sounds to me like he is smoking pot. The 16yo who has moved in with me from another state to kick the pot habit and start fresh agrees. You can't engage with someone on drugs. If that is his issue, sort that out first.


This.  The loss of interest in stuff, the hanging around.

#23 Tigerdog

Posted 11 January 2013 - 05:03 PM

QUOTE
I think the car trip conversations is a good idea. It's often easier for teenagers to communicate when they don't have to look you in the eye.


Yes!  This is a trick used by youth workers, it works when nothing else does (used to be in this field).

#24 Chiconahui

Posted 11 January 2013 - 05:10 PM

Have you looked into an Aust School Based Apprenticeship (ASBA)? This way he can stay at school (with fewer school days each week) but start an apprenticeship at the same time. I know someone who just finished one and it was great for him.

#25 Froger

Posted 11 January 2013 - 05:10 PM

What about army, navy or airforce cadets? If he want to join now is the time to get organised (as intake is once a year at the beginning of the year).

The cadets do lots of interesting things (depending which one you join) including learning to fly, building aircraft etc. Could also be useful as you say he is interested in an apprenticeship, as this could interest him in an apprenticeship in the armed forces.

He will get to hang around with a lot of great kids, as well as being supervised so not getting up to trouble. Lots of trips away, weekends filled with interesting things to do etc.

Just a thought you may like to consider.

Other stuff to consider - does he play an instrument? What about starting up a band or something. Let him rehearse in your garage.

Acting lessons, amateur theatre, choir, youth group at your local religious group whatever that may be.

I like to fill my teenagers spare time up as much as possible with all sorts of stuff. The busier they are the less likely they are to be getting in trouble. So anything that interests them that I can afford I generally let them do.




1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users

 

Five ways my second pregnancy is second best

As I roll into the second half of "Pregnancy: The Sequel", here is breakdown of the differences I have found thus far.

Domestic politics

Why I felt guilty about having a cleaner

Coming home to a clean house was a pleasure – and yet, I felt uneasy.

'Ugly' hearing aid ad leaves parents fuming

When Alecia Donoghue found out her baby would need hearing aids she worried about him becoming the target for schoolyard bullies.

Have you seen these missing children?

The Australian Federal Police has released the following information to locate some of Australia's missing children through the Family Law Court.

Margarita time

Keira Knightley welcomes first child

British actress Keira Knightley has become a first-time mother.

IVF patients in the dark over which clinics are least successful

Couples with fertility problems have little way of knowing which IVF clinics are the best performers despite significant differences between clinic success rates.

Couple forced to defend their decision to become parents

They met, fell in love and got married. Then, just like couples everywhere, Simon and Vicky Moore decided it was time to have a baby.

The one parenting tip that made all the difference

Amongst the useless, ill-informed advice we're given as new parents, many of us also receive nuggets of wisdom that make our lives just that little bit easier.

Five lies you tell yourself when you're pregnant

You can see it all now: glowing mumma with her gorgeous babe ... you know exactly what you're going to be like. Or perhaps you know exactly what you're not going to be like.

Family expecting fourth set of twins

A couple is expecting their fourth set of twins in five years.

The day my daughter almost drowned

We had six adults standing there, so I felt like I could relax a bit. After all, what could go wrong with so much supervision?

Sydney siege survivor names baby after victim Katrina Dawson

A Sydney barrister who survived the Lindt cafe siege has named her newborn daughter after her best friend who died in the tragedy.

The universal working mother experience

These days mothers need more than just traditional career advice.

Obama feels full force of toddler tantrum

Shopping centres, restaurants, the White House ... the list of places toddlers like to throw tantrums is endless.

Banishing bloat

How to avoid a bloated tummy

Here are some foods to eat in order to escape feeling ghastly and gassy.

The great new picture book for anxious kids

My son is a worrier by nature. I learnt long ago that it was completely pointless to say to him "Don't worry about it!".

Budget stripped more than $15b from families

The combined impact of the two budgets for low and middle income people was "devastating", new analysis by the Australian Council of Social Service shows.

Pregnant women urged to get flu shots

As the winter chill starts to arrive, NSW Health is urging pregnant women to get their flu shots.

65-year-old gives birth to quadruplets

A 65-year-old German woman, who already has 13 children, has given birth to quadruplets.

What you need to know about pregnancy and health insurance

It's not just waiting periods that couples need to consider - there are other factors to consider when thinking about health insurance.

Yummy mummy

Nicole Trunfio breastfeeds baby on Elle magazine cover

Australian model Nicole Trunfio has taken the concept of multitasking to a fashionable new level for Elle Australia.

Warnings after baby girl died while sleeping in bouncer

Parents have been warned about the dangers of letting babies sleep in bouncers and swings following the death of a three-month-old girl.

Coping with fatigue as a parent

Sleep deprivation is a real hazard of caring for a baby. But there are ways to manage the challenges of fatigue better.

A very 21st century issue: parents, parks and smart phones

It's not all the parents, and it's not all the time, but there is often at least one doing it. And sometimes, that 'one' is me.

Appliances

Faulty washing machines linked to house fires

More than 80,000 faulty Samsung washing machines pose a fire threat in homes throughout Australia despite a nationwide recall of the machines.

7 things you might not know about postnatal depression

Despite its widespread nature, there is still a great amount of mystery surrounding PND - and it's important to try unravelling as much of that as we can.

Seven questions you should be asking about your health cover

If the last time you assessed your health cover was five years ago, there?s a chance it may no longer suit your needs. To ensure it?s still right for your family, click here for seven questions to ask.

 
Advertisement
 
Advertisement
 
 
 

What's hot on EB

How to use gas effectively in labour

Many women in labour don't use gas effectively and suffer more side effects than benefits. Here's how to get the most out of this pain relief option.

'He has gastro but that's okay, right?': sick kid etiquette

We cannot place all children who are sick in a bubble till they recover, but we can give other parents a choice about exposing their kids to them.

Welcome to Winter

Now that the colder months are here, Essential Baby as all the information you need for staying healthy and happy during the chilly season.

Ada Nicodemou: 'I can never be completely happy again'

Home and Away actress Ada Nicodemou has opened up about the loss of her stillborn baby.

10 things to consider when you're thinking about trying for a baby

Before you start tracking your menstrual cycle and reading up on the best positions to get pregnant, there are a few other things you may want to consider.

How special surgery and IVF can create a post-vasectomy baby

Cricket legend Glenn McGrath and his second wife Sara are expecting their first child together, thanks to IVF and a delicate surgical sperm retrieval process that helped the couple to conceive.

Belle Gibson's mother 'disgusted and embarrassed'

The mother of disgraced wellness blogger Belle Gibson has accused her daughter of lying about her childhood in an attempt to garner public sympathy.

Doctor's mobile phone 'left inside c-section mum'

A new mum claims a doctor left his mobile phone inside her after delivering her baby via caesarean section.

I'm a mum and I'm following my dreams

I want my kids to know that no matter what happens in life, you can still be who it is that you've always wanted to be.

Those first daycare days

I had this innate 'mum' moment the other day.

'If one person had listened, my life would have been so different'

Katherine's father will die in prison for the horrifying sexual abuse of his daughter. Yet she is the one with the true life sentence.

This new plan undermines breastfeeding and baby health at everyone's expense

Mothers, babies, the health system and the wider society are going to pay the price of this new budget.

Couple to celebrate terminally ill baby's birthday in unique way

Baby Jai Bishop has lived at Starship Hospital for the past seven months, with his parents flying back and forth from Hokitika, 1100km away, to be by his side.

Life On Mars

It's men who need 'retraining', not women

We are all responsible for our own behaviour. Telling victims to harden up is wrong.

Baby Gammy's dad tries to claim charity money

The biological father of baby Gammy has reportedly tried to access charity money raised for the little boy's medical costs.

Where are the childcare places?

It?s all very well to encourage women to work if they choose to, but how can the measures lead to increased workforce participation when women are once again left holding the baby?

The pain of not having babies and not knowing why

After seven years of wishing, hoping, crying, punching pillows and shouting "why me?!", the end result is more than I ever thought possible.

Getting your family finances in order

Whether you're after a new car for a growing family, a bigger house, or are just fixing up your finances, here are the basics on borrowing.

Mum shares graphic selfie to warn against tanning

A mum has shared a graphic photo of her skin cancer treatment as a warning to others.

Does parenthood make us happier?

We can certainly gain higher levels of happiness when we become parents, but the trick is to not get overwhelmed by the pressures of raising our kids.

No, having a dog is not like having a human child

It's obvious these people dote on their pets, but they're barking up the wrong tree.

 

Top baby names

Baby Names

The numbers are in and we can now bring you the 2014 top baby name list for Australia.

 
Advertisement
 
 
Essential Baby and Essential Kids is the place to find parenting information and parenting support relating to conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids, maternity, family budgeting, family travel, nutrition and wellbeing, family entertainment, kids entertainment, tips for the family home, child-friendly recipes and parenting. Try our pregnancy due date calculator to determine your due date, or our ovulation calculator to predict ovulation and your fertile period. Our pregnancy week by week guide shows your baby's stages of development. Access our very active mum's discussion groups in the Essential Baby forums or the Essential Kids forums to talk to mums about conception, pregnancy, birth, babies, toddlers, kids and parenting lifestyle. Essential Baby also offers a baby names database of more than 22,000 baby names, popular baby names, boys' names, girls' names and baby names advice in our baby names forum. Essential Kids features a range of free printable worksheets for kids from preschool years through to primary school years. For the latest baby clothes, maternity clothes, maternity accessories, toddler products, kids toys and kids clothing, breastfeeding and other parenting resources, check out Essential Baby and Essential Kids.