Advice for a friend

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by senseless, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. senseless macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2008
    Pennsylvania, USA
    My friend is at odds with his 16 year old son because he refuses to get a summer job. He also has to be told over and over to clean his room or put away the laundry; stuff like that. It usually degrades to bickering, yelling and resentment on a daily basis. My friend doesn't like all the time he spends playing computer games and that's another source of argument.

    But, he's a straight A honors student in advanced classes and plans on becoming a chemical engineer. He's never late and has never been a discipline problem. The kid actually likes learning.

    My friend recognizes his son's school achievements, but can't tolerate his laziness around the house. Any advice?
  2. Iscariot macrumors 68030


    Aug 16, 2007
    The kid sounds bright, motivated and hard working. It sounds to me like the problem is that he's not incentivized for the behaviour your friend wants.
  3. Demosthenes X macrumors 68000

    Demosthenes X

    Oct 21, 2008
    Has he sat down with the kid and asked him why he doesn't want a summer job? Seems to me kids should want a job - it's extra spending money, and no one can tell them how to spend it! :D

    If it's because he wants to spend that time playing computer games, a thought might be to tell him, "OK, then you have to buy yourself your own gaming PC. No more using the family computer for games." *shrug*

    It sounds like he has no incentive to do things around the house. He needs some kind of incentive...
  4. puma1552 macrumors 601

    Nov 20, 2008
    I'm a chemical engineer.

    I'm not sure what kind of "incentives" the kid should get beyond a place to live and all things paid for by his parents. The least he could do is get a summer job. If he's too lazy for that and just wants to play video games, he will never be able to handle literally 80-100 hour weeks in a chemE program and will be one of the ones weeded out early on.
  5. SteveAbootman macrumors 6502a


    May 12, 2008
    Being a parent isn't about being best friends sometimes. Your friend needs to sit his son down and try to understand why there is no motivation to get a job and help out around the house. As Demosthenes says, it sounds like he needs some incentive. Maybe limiting computer time, or not allowing him on the computer until chores are done is needed here. It won't be easy, but we all need to learn discipline and how to do things we'd rather not do at some point in life.
  6. senseless thread starter macrumors 68000


    Apr 23, 2008
    Pennsylvania, USA
    Incentives sound right. Kids aren't prone to voluntary housework. He's also split between divorced parents which complicates things. I don't know what he's going through, really.
  7. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

    Feb 2, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    He's 16, not the end of the world if he doesn't have a summer job. Just as long as your friend isn't providing him money whenever he needs. When kids need money they will become motivated to work.

    I've seen city kids around here that are 20+ live with their parents and don't do ****.
  8. -aggie- macrumors P6


    Jun 19, 2009
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    At 16, I don't feel he should have to work in the summer. He's going to have years of working to come. I think the parent should be glad he likes school. So what if he plays video games as long as his grades are good. As far as the chores go; don't give him money. If he wants things, make him earn it. But again, he should feel blessed he has a kid who likes to learn. There are so many bad things he could like to do in this day and age.
  9. KylePowers macrumors 68000


    Mar 5, 2011
    If he's proven himself academically and has a bright future, I think the a summer job is a waste of time, personally.

    Granted, if he's just going to be in his room all day playing video games and not doing anything productive, that too would be a waste of time.

    Give him a summer project, or find a chemical engineer he could shadow, or send him off to a camp of some sort that's geared toward his interests.

    Have him learn MATLAB ;)

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