Tackling with a teenager loathing studies and hesitant about his professional future

Lucie Christine By Lucie Christine, 10th Nov 2014 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Family>Teenagers

Some tips to cope with a teenage boy who does not want to do studies and graduate whereas being really hesitant about his professional future


This article has not the ambition to give you a full DIY method.
It just happens that I am coping with this problem and when devising about it, I found some ways and some ideas to start overcoming this thorny situation.
My son is aged 18, has specified hobbies and interests but is not interested by school and studies. He has full skills in learning and understanding, has already a quite wide general culture, so what ‘s wrong with him?
Nothing, apart that he does not know what to do in the future. He loathes university, colleges and so on and decided not to do studies after his A-level. His father is not so happy, so am I, as the present economic situation challenges heavily persons without diplomas and knowledge.
Moreover his rejecting of studies comes with a lack of a precise orientation to follow.

The situation

Raphael is 18. He is not bad at school and he particularly likes geology and biology, together with history, geography and philosophy. He is OK in physics but loathes maths. He will take his A-level next June and afterwards shall be doing his studies to graduate somewhere.
That’s the program.
But he does not want to do studies. He speaks of finding a job right away and initiating his professional life. Things come smoothly to him. Last summer, he worked in a boiler-making company. Thus he worked in team with older people than him. He made a lot of handling, as he has not qualifications. He worked for the port here and for various clients, among them some ship-owners. He won his first pay and was very proud of it, so were we.
But when it comes to his future, things start to worsen. On our part, I must confess that my husband is an engineer and me, a translator, so we have made studies and examinations, got our degrees and so on. For us, studies were not easy but we overcame them.

The problem

We are not advocating studies for studies. We don’t get a sense of pride from our professions or social class. We know the present economic situation and it works badly against people without qualification. So, of course, as you can imagine, we would like our children to have a good diploma, then work, then go!
But he does not show any interest for studies. I think the problem of studies make him a little frightened, he saw his sister doing well though with some difficulties, his brother did the same with a different touch.
So we try not to focus on this situation and not to turn it into conflict.
He seems rather unsure of himself in the same time.

Some hints

I started devising about the situation… Situation sounds better than problem, no? As I know my son, he always has many ideas. They burst out like a geyser.
For me, the first thing was to keep an account of what he said, what he contemplated.
I took a notepad, and wrote the date of the day on the first page.
I told him I intended to record what he would tell me about his future orientation, whatever it was. Thus we would keep a track of every suggestion without missing an idea.
He found it a good idea. It was not the idea of the century of course, but everything needs a start, true? He agreed with it. That was a first point.
Yesterday, he came to me and we started to speak about an upcoming maths control. He remembered what we said and told me to write down his idea for his orientation.
I was happy and so I recorded fully his suggestions
1) Army. Raphael is fond of military things.
2) Learning how to become a private security officer. I added in parenthesis: which training? Which school should I contact to have an idea of the programs and of the degrees needed to become private security officer?
3) Wrought iron worker: it must be a professional training to enter craftsman’s profession. Information needed.
4) Computer graphics, as he is fond of computers and video games. The point was precise as he already knows schools and fees! He is OK with that, but the studies may be long. It makes him shiver.

So, next time, we will remember everything he said previously.
Then Raphael seems appeased and calmer. He looked less nervous. He retrieved his wonderful smile and humour.
Something has happened, I thought. He felt supported,and not criticized. That’s the point.


By a minor act (just take a notepad and record), we took into account his needs to be recognized as his needs to be helped.
By a minor act, we supported him in his research and hesitations.
By a minor act, we don't need to speak about the problem every time and thus turn it into conflict, as everything is recorded. We won’t miss a point the next time he will decide to speak about his professional orientation.
By a minor act we did not favor an idea or another.


Profession, Studies, Studies In Class, Teenage Boy, Teenage Ideas, Teenage Life, Teenager, Teenagers, Teenagers Grownup, Teenagers Need For Privacy

Meet the author

author avatar Lucie Christine
Since my youngest age, I have been attracted by reading, writing and foreign languages. I strived to create an independent job which links everything: interpreter -translator and writer

Share this page

moderator johnnydod moderated this page.
If you have any complaints about this content, please let us know


Add a comment
Can't login?