Un-motivated College Student

Updated on February 04, 2009
V.W. asks from Houston, TX
56 answers

I have a 19 year old son who is in his second year of college and he is not even trying, his GPA is .25, in high school is maintained an A average and is very intelligent...he doesn't go party much, maybe once a month, haven't work in 3 months so should of had excellent grades...and still lives at home...I'm at my wits end and don't know what to do...

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

Featured Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.M.

answers from Austin on

Are you paying or is he? IF you are stop. I know that sounds harsh but it will work. If you don't vaule something you don't work as hard.

He's 19. Let him trip up a little and be there to help him back on track.

Good luck.

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.V.

answers from San Antonio on

That's easy. Don't pay for his college. Best thing for him right now is to get a job. There's nothing like working in the real world to motivate you to go back to college. When he does, he should pay for it himself.

Same thing happened to me. I ended up working 2 part-time jobs while I was in college & got mostly A's and a few B's when I was paying for it. At first I had a scholarship plus mom & dad were paying & I nearly failed everything due to socializing. I was a shy kid in high school... that's my excuse.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.W.

answers from Austin on

He needs to want college and it doesn't sound like he does, so you should probably ask him to get a job and move to his own place. He should not go to college until he is ready and really wants it. Reality of the real world might help him become a more motivated student.

1 mom found this helpful

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.B.

answers from Odessa on

Yes, I do believe I would be setting up some sort of ground rules here. If his GPA does not get up and stay up over 3.0 (that should be easy enough to maintain) then he has to get a job, pay rent, and schooling. The getting the job part should be mandatory no matter what...He is 19, past time for him to grow up. I had to have a job as soon as I got my first vehicle. Gas would not buy itself, and when in college, you better believe I had to come up with all my extra money. Be strong and put your foot down. Let him know who is the boss!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.G.

answers from McAllen on

I agree with Wanda, perhaps he may be suffering from depression. He does seem to have changed drastically. You should seek profesional medical help. Have you noticed any moodiness in him? Is he sleeping and eating well? How is his relationship with you and others? Or is he hanging out with different friends?

Another possibility is that perhaps college is not for him and he is not interested. My brother graduated #11 in his class out of 500. He is very intelligent. He enrolled to a state college and was granted a scholarship to attend. However, after going 1 semester he decided it wasn't for him and dropped out. He is currently working and seems to be content.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

W.C.

answers from San Antonio on

Has he had any problems in his social life? It sounds like something drastic has happened for his to change so severely. You might have him go to a counselor/therapist. Many times, it is not an academic issue. It could be depression. I would ask him to talk to a professional; I would not pressure him to talk to you. You cannot be his motivation. He has to want to do it. Good luck.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.S.

answers from Sherman on

Do you think he may be suffering from depression? Talk to him. Your primary care physician can refer you to a mental health professional.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.B.

answers from Houston on

DAMN...did you say .25? DAMN... Okay beautiful here's the deal. Take a step back for a moment & try to see life through your son's eyes. If you say he maintained an A average in high school and now that he's in college he's failing miserably, there is something else going on with your son. And it seems like something serious. Try to find out what's going on with him.

ALSO...college is not for everyone ma. If he has a .25 average he's definitely not motivated and sounds a little depressed and/or confused. Pull him out of school immediately, because he's wasting time & money. And those grades stay on your transcript forever!!!! Consider a trade school or ask him what he really wants. Again, college is NOT for everyone. Again, something else is going on with your son. Here are a few ideas that could be wrong: depression, a girl, drugs, peer pressure, threats at school, fatigue or just plain not interested in college. Not being interested in college is NOT a bad thing. Just point your son in another direction. Counseling should also be considered.

As far as YOU are concerned, as parents we can do but so much. You did the best you could raising him, now he has to learn to make wise decisions on his own. Do NOT beat yourself up over this. Hey, you've been his mom this long, you deserve a Gold Star!

Let me know how this turns out, but don't pressure him. That will only make him rebel more. Find out what HE WANTS and NOT what YOU want. If you need to reach me personally, email me at: [email protected]____.com

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

G.W.

answers from Odessa on

I feel your pain!! Mine is also 19 and we have struggled with his grades and attendance. Keep in mind that some of it is normal. Especially with kids who found that the work in high school easy. If they go through HS making good grades without trying they never learn how to organize themselves or how to apply themselves. They also haven't learned how to study. When they get to college it is very apparent that life is going to be different. They have to study because alot of times the tests are over the printed materials while the teacher lectured over something entirely different and vice versa. What I found to help was for the 2 years not come down so hard on him and allow him to get his feet under him. I also recommended that he take the lightest load possible and that if possible NEVER take an 8am class. Since he still lives with me, I insisted that he maintain a 12am curfew on school nights. It seems that we may have FINALLY come through the worst of it! I have also spent some extra time with him helping him to get organized and got back to the basics of studying.
Good Luck!!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

W.A.

answers from Tampa on

Maybe he hasn't been able to find anything he is interested in as far as college goes. I also made good grades in high school, but when I enrolled in college I dropped the ball because I just didn't find anything interesting. I took a few years off and worked for awhile, then became motivated to go back to college and did much better because I was focused. If you don't believe that he is depressed, then you and him need to find what does motivate him, then work towards that goal.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.J.

answers from Houston on

Mom,
you and your son should watch the sunday 60 minutes presentation. It is an eye opener.Go with God.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.S.

answers from San Antonio on

Hi. Did your son go to college because he wanted to, or was this an expectation on your side? Sometimes our children feel pushed to do as their parents wish. Communication is always the key. Take him out to eat somewhere. Listen to him and what he really wants to do. College is very expensive and time is of essence. I know how you are feeling. I have a 25 year old who did go to college and finished. And a daughter that is 20 and doesn't want to go. She practically wasted 2 semesters of money and time. They have to want to do this. It isn't easy.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.M.

answers from San Antonio on

Can you say "TOUGH LOVE"? At some point all parents must cut the apron strings and the wallet strings as well. If you are paying for his schooling and paying for his living... you are doing too much! It's ok to help him (like let him live at home while he works and pays his own way through school) but it sounds like you are making it too easy for him, and that's why he is putting in no effort! He is 19...technically he is a man. he should be working at least part time,getting good grades and helping a bit around the house. The real world isn't easy and he needs to start learning this. When my son was 20 he quit a job just because he didn't like it, without setting up another job first! I told him he had a couple of months to get another job, and then the gravy train would end. well the time came and because he wasn't willing to cut his hair or shave his rather long gotee, he still didn't have a job and ended up joining the Army. It was his choice,of course he had to shave his head and face any way. now after serving 15 mths in Iraq, he is coming home, and guess what? still no gravy train here! He is a man and almost 23 and will have to learn hoe to go to school which the army will pay for, and get a job to pay room and board or share an apt. with his buddy. Sometimes it is hard to let them go, and sometimes you have to push them out of the nest! Make him stand on his own two feet< I'ts the only way he will become the man that you want him to be! Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.G.

answers from Houston on

He is not ready for college. He needs to work for a semester or a year (or join the Navy--safest in this political climate right now). You must not supplement his puny salary, and you must charge him rent to live in your house. Don't buy him clothes or shoes except for birthdays and Christmas.

He should also have to pay you back the tuition costs for any classes he failed or withdrew from. He will also need to pay for all of his car expenses.

Let him have a taste of the real world on the salary he can earn WITHOUT a college degree or technical training. It's tough love, but it usually works.

I put 4 kids through college--2 were ready; 2 were not and had to go on the tough love program. All 4 eventually got degrees and became professionals I am very proud of.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.T.

answers from Houston on

As you know college is very different from high school. And, since I'm a mother of 5 myself I thought it might be helpful to share some of my life w/ you.

I had a 19 year old son until March 6, 2007. My Eric killed himself. That was his choice. Unfortunately, the rest of us that loved him so much are still her trying to deal w/ our pain and loss of him. There is no greater pain that I can imagine that would measure to the ache in my heart for the death of my son.

Now then w/ that in mind the most important thing you can do is keep the lines of communication open. Be there for him. There may come a time when its not convenient for your schedule and your son may want to talk. Stop what your doing if at all possible and LISTEN. There may be something going on and he is trying to figure out if, how and when to talk about it. Love him through it, be willing to listen to no matter what. Remind him that you are his mom and you will LOVE him no matter what. And remember that you have got to mean it and be willing to possibly back it up for him to believe it for a while. He may be having doubts about his major if he's chosen it. It may be something as simple as he is feeling inadequate because college is not as easy as high school was for him. It could be anything and when your 19 everything is major because your not a kid anymore yet there are some that say your not an adult either.

I know that you LOVE your son. And, goodness knows being a parent is not easy. Thats why its known as the hardest job and most rewarding anyone could ever have. I just know from my experience I wish I would have listened better. Please, understand I'm not saying that you don't or anything negative regarding your parenting. I'm just trying to share my experience w/ hopes that it will help some other family not to have any similar heart aches. I would love nothing better than to be upset w/ my Eric about college grades but reality is he is not of this earth anymore. I long to hug my son and tell him one more time... I LOVE YOU. No matter what all ways end each and every day with those words.

If I have come across as pushy or like a know it all. I apologize. That was not my intent at all. I just know that when I see people share about a 19 year old child my heart jumps a little. I get jealous and envious because I'm still self absorbed by my son's final choice.

Thank you for sharing and allowing me to take up some of your time with my opinions. Good luck with your son and college for the both of you.

God Bless and God's speed in every thing for you and your family.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.G.

answers from College Station on

Maybe suggest to him that he will have to get a job to pay for his tuition next semester. They seem to take school more seriously when it's their money paying for it!!

My 19 yr old daughter wanted to take a break for a semester to work for awhile. Her job was temp and has ended. Now she has no job and isn't even sure which college she wants to attend.
They are at a difficult age and are still trying to figure it out...

He'll come around, eventually. He might just have a case of the "burn out".

Good luck and remember...they won't always be teenagers...they do eventually grow up and move on!!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.P.

answers from San Antonio on

Sorry, but sounds like you may have to exercise "tough love." Someone is paying for his college education, but since it doesn't sound like it's coming out of his pocket, it's easy to slack off. Sounds like he's just simply being a teen. Maybe forcing him to pay rent to you or a landlord will show him how much of an adult he really is. If he needs help finding a place of his own, let me know. I'm a real estate agent in San Antonio and can help with buying, selling or renting. Hopefully, he'll realize the importance of an education soon. Good luck. R. Parker email me at: [email protected]____.com

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.F.

answers from El Paso on

My parents told me after high school that I could live at home on a couple of conditions...

They were that either I work and make my own money or that I go to school and get at least a 2.5 GPA. Thankfully I was on a sports scholarship, but when that ended and I was still in school, I did both, worked and went to school.

I thank my parents for putting down those rules because I have my Master's Degree and an extensive work history because they pushed me to become independent. Good Luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.F.

answers from Houston on

I don't want to be alarmist, but do you think he could be depressed?

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.T.

answers from San Antonio on

My husband and I paid for our granddaughter's college at the beginning and she did the same thing. Didn't really seem to take it seriously and her grades were not much at all. We were so disappointed and shocked that she was doing this. While in high school she was very popular and always on the go involved in school and other activities. A girl any parent or grandparent was proud of. We didn't know what it was either but someone told me that she had "freshmanitise" She was going to UTSA which was totally different from high school and she was a lone pea in the pod compared to her popularity in high school. She was taking 18 hours, became a cheerleader while at UTSA, was working and it turned out it was all just to to much and overwhelming for her. She didn't want to say anything and she herself thought things would get better. She finally agreed to drop out a semester and just work and try to figure out what she wanted to do. She did and it didn't take long that she realized how important that education was and transferred over to Northwest Vista where she is thriving and doing so well. She now holds down two part time jobs, goes to school full time and and in between became a mother. It just takes time and sometimes thing can be just to much for them. I truly believe she should have started out in a smaller college first as some kids just need some structure that they don't feel they get in a larger college. They will figure it out but you have to be patient. She is now going to transfer back to UTSA to finish her degree and no one could be more proud of her than I. It was hard to watch but again they have to figure it out for themselves. And by the way we stopped paying everything for her and she had to figure out how to go to college on her own. Maybe we should have done this from the beginning, who knows, but she now feels more responsible and knows she is doing this for her and her child and not for anyone else. We have not paid anything more and she is doing it on her own and feels she has truly accomplished something on her own and is proud of herself. Good Luck and hang in there, all will turn out for the best. They just need to figure it out for themselves and want it for themselves.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.D.

answers from Houston on

I have one too. I can't wait to read the responses you get. I have been hoping Dr. Phil would do a segment about this. Many people go through this with their son's. Mine did well in high school also. Seems they need time to mature. But, what do we do with them in the meantime?
Good luck.
P.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.T.

answers from San Antonio on

Your son may me depressed. Low motivation is one of the sysptoms. I would suggest you take him to his physiician and/or a mental health professional that specializes in adolescents. Most colleges also have counseling centers you can call and discuss your concern and he can receive counseling. Many times just short term treatment will make a big difference.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.N.

answers from Beaumont on

Dear V., AND, you are supporting him because of what reason ? Do you have anything else to do with your money other than throw it away ? You may not actually be paying his tuition, I'm don't know; but, you certainly have purchased food, clothing, gas money to and from, furnished him a place to live with access to electricity or whatever !
Is he drug free ? Are you positive ? Is there some other major issue ?

Please do not think I am judging you or your son. I have had similar problems with my own children. The outcomes were not good for at least one of them. This is not about me or my family, so, I'll just say good luck and God Bless !

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.R.

answers from Austin on

Teens- just got to love them - sounds like to me he may be dealing with a bout of depression - it is a real problem with this age group and it often gets over looked as "growing pains". Sit him down - and look him in the eyes and let him know you love him, but you are worried. Get him a good physical, look at the nutrition aspect of your lives, and have him checked for depression. Some of your statements are some of the warning signs to look out for. Sounds like you are so busy, take a break and have a calm family day and work it out. It would be so nice to just issue some orders or ultimatums - and everything would go smoothly -- but alas - we all must dig in and work at our lives and our family relationships. Ultimately at 19 - he needs to be motivated to make steps for the type of live he sees for himself -- ask him what those goals are for himself - but definitely he should be pulling his weight - as far as working, schooling, helping at home....it is a "family affair" living together. have a pow-wow and work it out - everyone feels connected when they are contributing for the common good. Hang in there

1 mom found this helpful

R.D.

answers from College Station on

It sounds to me like he's burnt out. You may need to pull him out of school and let him figure himself out a little before charging on without a good direction? He may be thinking he doesn't want a job that requires college...or maybe he's just tired of working so hard on his education. Maybe a year working in a grocery store would clear his mind!!!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.P.

answers from Houston on

Stop paying for his school until he goes for 1 semester at his own expense and gets good grades. I was the way your son is and took school much more seriously when it was coming out of my own pocket.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.B.

answers from Houston on

Hi V.,

A few thoughts -- first, is your son depressed? If so, maybe that is the problem that needs to be address -- going out once a month sounds like he may be rather isolated, which could be a symptom of depression. Also, I hope when you say his gpa is .25 you mean 2.5 -- I don't think he would still be in college if he had a gpa of .25 -- I've never heard of one that low. A 2.5 would an average of C+, whereas .25 would be, well, 1.0 would be in the D-F range, so .25 would be F-, I think.

If your son is depressed or doesn't want to BE in college, perhaps he should take some time off. On the other hand, there are a couple other possibilities - he may have gotten A's in high school but be having trouble adapting to something about the new level of academic expectations in college. As a college-level English instructor I hear this all the time -- students are flabbergasted when I give their papers a C, insisting they always got A's in high school. It could simply be that he hasn't made the shift from high school-level to college-level writing yet, for instance. One big difference in high school and college writing, even for bright kids, (or especially for bright kids) is that a bright kid can write a paper off the top of their head in high school and get an A. In college, the same bright kid would need to write the essay, then read it over to make sure all his/her points are supported with evidence, and are all organized around one main idea. S/he will need to revise it to orient various paragraphs so that they transition from one to another and are all relevant to the essay's main idea. If their professors aren't TELLING them they need to do this (and many don't), they have no way of knowing why essays that used to get As in high school are now getting C's. Even if their professors keep telling them to revise, they may not know how. If that is the case, it may be that a few trips to the college writing center (services should be free) might help him to understand what his professors are looking for. Or maybe there is something to do with research or organizing his study time that he hasn't mastered yet. The jump from high school to college can be big, and it can be very intimidating for students who are used to effortlessly mastering everything that was expected of them in high school. Some students can respond to this shift in expectations with anger and defensiveness (and nasty teacher evaluations, let me tell you!), but some can become depressed or withdrawn and just have no idea how to address the problem. I try to make clear to my students that while I expect more of them than their high school instructors did (with so many fewer students to teach, I can actually read their papers carefully and comment on them, as well as sticking a grade on them), but I also am more available to TEACH them things than their high school teachers were -- they can come to my office hours and talk over why I gave them the grade I did, and what they can do to improve their next grade. I might even let them re-write something. College students often don't realize how much more use they can make of their college instructors and may not feel entitled to ask them what they can do to improve, but that's another big difference between high school and college -- there are more opportunities for individual instruction for students who seek them out. If one prof isn't receptive to a students overtures, s/he should try another. Even if your son is majoring in one field but feels that his most sympathetic prof is in another, there is probably a lot he can learn from ANY sympathetic, caring college professor about how to succeed in college.

But this brings me to one last question, which is that of your son's major. It is possible that your son isn't thriving not because of general lack of college preparedness, but perhaps because he is in a major that isn't a good match for him in some way? Sometimes students choose a major based on a parent's expectations rather than their own, or sometimes they choose a major that they THINK they will love for some reason, but that they wind up hating. That happened to me -- I loved animals so I majored in zoology and wound up dissecting animals and memorizing latin names for a couple semesters and got a D in precalculus, bailed out of college altogether, and came back later, majored in English and became an English prof who still loves animals but doesn't have to cut them up or memorize their latin names.

Hope this helps!
M.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.G.

answers from Houston on

Whatever you do, V., don't force him. Did he also have a low GPA during his first year in college? Maybe college is just not his thang. College is not for everyone. There are a lot of intellegent people who do not have college degrees? Maybe he would like to go to technical school. Ask him. Ask him exactly what it is he wants to do and whatever it is, stick by him on his decision. The more you pressure him, the farther away you will push him.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

T.B.

answers from Houston on

V.,
Looks like you have tons of advise here but I will say let your heart talk to you...you know your son better then anyone and if something is wrong find out what. Is it depression? could be as he did well in high school but can't seem to find his way in college. Is it drugs? a girl? if it is a girl is she pg? The only "advice" I can give you is talk to your son and listen to him. Don't judge him but listen. If he isn't ready for college, let it be ok with you. Sometimes then need our permission to do something and maybe he is wanting yours. My thoughts and prayers will be with you.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.C.

answers from San Antonio on

Did he have any time off from school after high school? I know this seems petty, but since he's in his 2nd year of college at 19, he may be feeling burnout. He's been in school (his job) for the past 14 years. A lot of adults who have been in the same career for that long suffer burnout after doing the same thing for so long.

Is he taking core curriculum right now, or has he started his major? What is his planned major? Is this what HE truly wants or is this major what you always expected him to go to school for?

Talk to him about what his TRUE desired goal is without being judgemental. He may not be interested in the path that has been set for him or he may have changed his interests to something else if he picked out his current path. Encourage him to finish out this semester, then let him take the summer off. Encourage him to get a job during the summer AND to have some fun with friends (the job will pay for this). Both of my stepkids (ages 20 & 24) did this and they are doing well. They are both still doing well in college, they are paying for their own fun and tuition, and are living at home with their mom. My stepdaughter even has two jobs.

Talk to your son. That may be all that he needs.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

R.N.

answers from San Antonio on

Hi V. W:
I have a daughter who is 21 and is finally taking college seriously. She too went through a period of college apathy. My hats off to you for your hard work in achieving your bachelors degree...you are setting an excellent example. Our daughter had excelled in highschool as well and even earned $20,000.00 worth of scholarships. During her first semester of college she maintained excellent grades and then in her second semester things fell apart. She began missing classes and one thing led to another and she lost her scholarships. To make a very long story short...she had to learn things the hard way for a while and after moving away from us for a short period of time and then realizing she was not prepared for the "real world" she returned and went back to college. Some of what happened to her was not all her fault...medical issues arised within our family and I had to leave for a few months to care for family and she felt she could not handle it all on her own. When she did come back she was humbled and ready to begin fresh. She came back in the middle of a semester and we gave her the choice of getting a job or working for us. We do own our own business and she chose to work for us. We did not make things easy for her...many of her duties included physical labor such as picking up small rocks and sticks in preparation for mowing about 2 acres of our 12 acre yard. She also had to help keep the office and house clean. This type of work is an excellent motivator for one to return to college. She is now preparing to enter the Nursing program in the spring of 2009. We are very proud of how she turned her life around. Please realize that many young students go through stagnation and it helps to find the right thing to motivate them. Maybe you could let him stay out of school for the summer and help him to find a job at minimum wage. We have always tried positive reinforcement to motivate our child as there is so much negative influences that our children face already. Good Luck to you and God Bless you...I will certainly keep you in my prayers. I am very proud of you as a single mother and your accomplishments.

In HIS service,

R. N

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.C.

answers from Austin on

Cut off his funding until he learns to earn it. Have him pay rent/bills like an adult and he will learn to act like an adult. College is a privilage, not a right.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.B.

answers from Houston on

V.
I read the other responses - and all of them offer the correct advice. In other words - it may take a little trial and error to discover what the true problem is.

Yes, please clarify the GPA - because if it is a 2.5 - that is really not that bad for a sophmore - although it could be better. the Prof that resopnded is right is saying that many students that made As in high school are taken back when they only make Cs in college - it is because threy are now with the creme of the crop.

Also - many parents and counselors advise students to take the "basics" for the first two years and not worry about a major yet. My feelings are - they just spent 12 years in school doing "the basics" and it obviously did little to help him decide a major if he still does not have one. Encourage him to talk to friends about their studies and encourage him to try a few courses in an area that interests him.

Also - do watch for depression and other extreme behavior - anger, etc. Some of the mental illnesses such as bi-polar do not show up until the gae of 20 or so. My son had been an honor student in high school and was attending Texas A&M in the Corp of Cadets and heading toward a military career when he pretty much cratered. We had no idea what was wrong - and found out about six years later that he is bi-polar. Had we had any rreal idea - he could have gotten on medication sooner. Although your son is technically "grown up" at his gae, they really do not have any clue as to how to follow thru if he has a medical issue - so please keep on top of things. (which is difficult because doctors wont tell you anything unless he gives them permission in writing)

Other than these items - try to follow the advice of others in being firm in your expectations. But you might also show him this column and the responses and let him know you are concerned and see if he can target any of his feelings.

good luck!
About Me - a 53 yr old working mom of two grown kids, married 30 years.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.K.

answers from Houston on

I have an 18 year old daughter who was on this same path. Long story short we stopped paying her way and she had to figure it out on her own. We gave her a time limit. She currently lives with my mother and lives by her rules. She's still trying to figure it out but there is motivation now!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.C.

answers from San Antonio on

Morning V.;

Well, there is a problem!! You need to have a real heart
to heart with him, a sit down to find out what the "Real"
problem is.
I went thru this with one son and finally found out he was
smoking pot! He later straightened out and became a fine
man, one that I'm very proud of!
There are other possible problems, one, he may not like the
college he's in! Two there may be people around him that he
doesn't like. Three he may not have a "Real" direction that
he wants to go in. Four>>it may be girl problems!
The only way your going to find out is by talking and when
you talk you can't condem or have an attitude!
To start the conversation be sure it's just you and him
alone, then start by giving him a big hug and telling him
how very much he means to you>>>we forget to do this when
kids get to be 19, they still need it, even though they act
like they don't!
Good Luck,
B. C

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.T.

answers from Austin on

After making sure that your son's current apathy is not medical, perhaps he needs a year (or more) off from school to regain his perspective and fire. Sometimes students who go directly to college after completing high school (particulary if the student has worked hard to maintain high grades and do all of the work necessary to get into college)just "burns out"! Suggest that he seek a full time job in a field related to his interests. This will enable him to actually decide if he wants to go to college, what it will take to enter this field and also help him decide if he wants to be in this field. I would also strongly encourage him to continue his education at least part-time at the local community college or junior college. Keeping his hand in academia will make it easier for him to reenter school full time once/if he decides to return.

The one thing you can not do is give him motivation--this is internal. He has to want it. Your drive for him is just that--YOUR drive. He has to develop his own drive and motivation. Otherwise he will always have a scapegoat for not doing well. I encourage you to be supportive, open to his suggestions, and consider all the pros and cons. As a parent of a sophomore in college I know how hard it is not to direct their lives, however, our kids have to start sometimes. Why not let him do it now while he still has a safety net in you? He may not complete college in the ideal 4 years but I know lots of kids who are very successful now because they took a different path to discovery and college completion. A fellow teacher who is very much an overachiever was pretty disappointed when her oldest daughter didn't initially go to college; however, she eventually did and is now a high-powered, highly paid sales executive with a major company. She needed to explore the world, see the need for college and time to mature. Now this same teacher is experiencing this route again with her youngest daughter. She is more understanding and supportive because she recognizes that some kids hear a different drummer.

Have the adult conversation with him, hear his views, make your suggestions and tell him you support him.

Oh, yeah, one important thing--if he decides to take time off to work, he must contribute his share to the household in the form of rent, help with utilities, etc. He may as well be truly immersed in the "real world".

Good luck!

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.T.

answers from Victoria on

Is he depressed? Have you asked him what is wrong and if he wont talk to you about it is there a family or family friend he can talk to? If all that is fine I would use positive reinforcement. I was extreamly scared at the thought of being done with highschool and not knowing what my life would be like what was going to happen to me. He might be in the same boat. My parents offered to pay only half the college fees and we were responsible for the other half. But only 1 of the 3 of us went. I think that might have back fired a bit. Good luck, God bless.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.J.

answers from Corpus Christi on

Who's paying for college and covering his expenses? If, as I suspect, it's you, then you have every right to set expectations and require him to meet them. And if he doesn't, then he can figure out his own way to pay for college and his own place to live. One way or the other, he needs to get a job. Plenty of college students manage to have a job (or two!) and still make decent grades. My youngest cousin struggled in college at first--and part of the problem was that she was partying hard--and it continued until my aunt finally got tough with her. She'd lost her partial scholarship, so my aunt told her she was the one making up the difference and she had to leave the specialized program she was in--and if she didn't get her grades up, my aunt wasn't contributing another dime. It was the wake up call my cousin needed, and she just graduated with decent grades. My aunt's a single mom too (her cheating jerk of an ex provided absolutely no assistance).

One thing that helped my cousin was switching programs--the one my cousin was in was simply too hard for her (she lacked some of the basic knowledge she needed because she'd goofed off in high school) and the one she moved to fit her better. As others have suggested, what your son's doing might not fit his aptitudes, so the first questions you might want to ask him is if he likes what he's doing and where his education is heading, or if he'd rather try something else. If the answer is he wants to keep doing what he's doing, then it's time for the tough love.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

L.M.

answers from Houston on

My suggestion to you would be to tell your son to take a semester or two off. Let him still live at home but insist that he get a job. Set up a budget. Get out the paper and look at the apartment rental ads, calculate how much utilities would be, and have him pay you all or at least a major portion of what these calculated costs would be. Then take the money and open a savings account for him (one he cannot touch without your permission). Then when he is ready to go back to school he'll have a little nest egg to either pay for college or give him spending money so he doesn't have to work so much and can concentrate on the classes.

It sounds as if he is burnt out or is unsure if the major he has chosen is what he really wants to do. I went through it myself. I went directly to college from high school where I was an A/B student. After 1 semester I changed my major, not because I didn't like the field, I found out that the job market for my major was really tight unless you had a masters or doctorate (something I did not intend on obtaining in consecutive years after the bachelor's). After a 1 1/2 years I dropped out, moved back home, went back to work at my high school job (Church's Chicken), and took classes part-time at the local community college. I floated around for years, always taking classes part-time, but working dead-end jobs. Finally, at 32 after I gave birth to my son, I decided it was time to finish my bachelor's degree. The job I was working, though I loved it, was only bringing in less than $20,000 a year. It was a small family owned business, no retirement offering, I didn't make enough to save anything living paycheck to paycheck, and no room for advancement, the owner's children also worked there.

It took me a couple of years to get the last of my jr. college level classes done and get registered at University of Houston-Clear Lake. But, finally in the fall of 2004 I started there. I graduated in Dec 2007 with a degree in elementary education, 19 1/2 years after graduating from high school. I decided to be a teacher, something I had thought about, but avoided for years because of the low pay. Well, hello, my less than $20,000 a year job was less than half of teacher's starting pay in our area. It is one of the hardest things I have ever done. I worked full time, went to college full time, was a wife and mother all at the same time. But I certainly appreciate the education now more than ever.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.H.

answers from Houston on

You don't say whether or not YOU are paying for college or he is... If you are then I would tell hime that in order for that to continue, he either needs the grades to come up or he'll have to get a job and pay for it himself, oh and he'll have to pay rent while living in YOUR house. Otherwise he can live elsewhere.

Just a thought.... Time to teach him how to be on his own....

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

H.F.

answers from San Angelo on

Have him get a job. What I mean by this is that very often people who have been busy, who get un-busy, tend to get lazy. When you are busy, you get more done. This is true of school, work, home... It sounds like your son went from structure and needing to plan his study time and work time, to maybe a light coursework situation. Give him more to do around the house too. I know when I schedule things back-to-back, I get so much done and am happier in the long run.

If his grades don't improve, have him take off a year...there is no reason for him to be wasting money (yours or loans) for something he isn't going to put his all into. Also you can let him know that unless he maintains a "B" average, you won't pay for school for him...maybe an ultimatum will work better for your son. Good luck to you both.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.M.

answers from Austin on

maybe he should be introduced to a trade school like virginia college or itt or something so that he leaves college with a skill and a good job...not everybody needs college, education is wonderful but if he's so undecided like most college kids, maybe at least get your associates and then go to a trade school

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.B.

answers from Houston on

This happened with my son as well. He'd completed 2 years of college with the usual high marks that he'd always gotten in high school. And then his motivation stopped. My thoughts were that he were wasting time and money in college as well as wasting a space that another student could use. So I encouraged my son to quit college for the time being.... I liked to consider it as a sabbatical as I had a hard time with the decision. The decision included some requirements however which included that he must work and pay his way completely. He did that for 2 years, living on his own, and much to my surprise and relief... he decided to go back to school. He'd had a scholarship before and now he's attending all on student loan and a little bit of help from me as I'm able. He's just finished his first semester after returning to college and he's on fire again... all high A's. He's mentioned that the break was exactly what he needed... and it even gave him an opportunity to explore new options for career paths. So.... my advice to you is to not put so much emphasis on trying to get your son to complete college right now. It is evident that he is not succeeding. The root of the problem may be entirely different that what my son experienced but the result was the same... wasted time and energy in a position in school that they didn't want to pursue. Keep the communications going strong while he's not attending and just keep him encouraged in whatever it is that he is doing. If he totally flunks out on getting a job and showing some responsibility, I would show some tough love and simply not support him any longer. Make his shop for his own groceries, do his own laundry at a laundromat, etc. until he wakes up. Good luck and God bless you.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.B.

answers from Houston on

Is he depressed? Does he have any close friends? What is his love? He needs to develope his interests. Maybe he just burned out. You need to talk. Does he have a girlfriend? Make time for him and show him you really care. I know your busy but this sounds important.

1 mom found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.P.

answers from Beaumont on

Mom, you and your son should take one day at a time!!, because what god has for you it will be for you and what god has for your son he will recieve it, because the lord has something instore for everyone of us, so you let god do all the work !! Take a break from the worry.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.M.

answers from Houston on

My suggestion? Kick him out. My parents had a rule that we could live at home IF and ONLY IF we went to school full time and got good grades. If that didn't happen, we were on our own. I didn't take advantage of that, neither did my sister (we both went out of state) but my brother did for a semester.

I hate to say it, but he is an adult now. Time for a reality check.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.A.

answers from Austin on

Do you think he may be depressed? I know a lot of kids who went off to college and began feeling very depressed. My brother had a breakdown in his second semester and just disappeared. He turned up a few weeks later in Colorado. He ended up dropping out of school. A few years later, after he took some time to figure things out, he went back. He will be graduating this summer and even made the Dean's List. 19 can be a very hard age. Some kids don't look at it as a beginning, but and end to all of the things that they loved about being a kid. I would let him take some time off until he's ready.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.C.

answers from San Antonio on

Hola
You need to take him to the nice area of town to see nice houses then to a car dealership to see nice cars and remind him that without a college education he will not have this wonderful live style and then Knowledge will gain him respect I have a son that had a rude awaking when I did this keep him motivated by reminding him the early bird gets the worm. I have 2 sons and a daughter who is a college professor that has a beautiful house and a nice car and takes wonderful vacations this is why my younger son is motivated and is now working hard to reach that level we will see.
my prayers are with you
I WANT YOU TO BUY THE BOOK OR DVD THE SECRET IT WILL CHANGE YOUR LIFE AS IT HAS MINE

C. Rosalinda

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

P.H.

answers from Austin on

Do you think your son may be depressed or have some other illness that has changed his personality? Some kids who are great achievers in high school get really lost in college and may need time off or some counseling to get back on track. Maybe his motivation in high school was sports, or to get to college, and now that those things are gone he might not know what he wants or how to motivate himself to just do it.
He also may be just enjoying the "good life" or on drugs, but through communication and probably some professional help that can be worked through as well.
He needs a job or to do volunteer work. Even if only a few hours a week, it's important for him to gain those skills out in the community as a young adult. He's finding out what kind of man he is... and at this point I doubt he's very proud of himself and knows he can do better, just like you know he can! you need to make a plan together and then keep in touch with how it is going and any changes you need to make as your plan moves on. He may need to leave school for awhile. That's okay. Better to go later and actually GO than sign up and flunk out now. He may need to move out to motivate him to work and contribute with roommates or whatever. That's okay, too. He can come back home later if he decides to be a full-time student again. Keep an open mind and work together. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.R.

answers from San Antonio on

Dear V.,

You'ld think your son would learn from example. I'm very impressed with you and what you have accomplished. As for your son, it's time for a little (or alot) of tough love. Dr.
Dobson I'm sure probably has a book about this. My daughter
blew her first semester in college after we took out a loan to
send her. After that it was her baby. She is now almost done
with her third year & has paid for it all by herself. We help
every now and then with books but that's it. Guess what? She has made straight A's for the last two years! She also works and has also gone through basic paramedic classes and has her certificate for that too. She proved to us that when
she pays for it herself, she appreciates it a whole lot more.
It's time for baby-boo to get off his butt, get a job and get
going with school. If he doesn't - out the door he goes! You
have worked too hard to get where you are and he should be helping you. My husband worked three jobs to put himself through school. It took him five years but he did it. Get tough Mom and stick to your guns. Good luck.

C.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.V.

answers from Austin on

Sounds like he is not challanged and has it pretty easy, (just needs a little push) while Mom does all the work. My 5th son was a bit like that. I think he thought he was taking care of me. I finally gave him an ultimatum. Move out, join the military, get a job, or finish school If he chooses school require that he keep some kind of job to contribute to the household expense. He is adult enouggh to work this out together. Living at home is not free. What responsibilities is he willing to take on? What are his goals? What plan dos he have to meet those goals? Maybe he isn't sure that's ok too, but he needs to be responsible, accountable, and working toward some kind of goal.
Think it through, give him a time frame to come up with his decision. Be prepared to stick to your decision. good luck
C.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

S.O.

answers from San Antonio on

.25 or 2.5?? My answer depends on the correct gpa.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.E.

answers from Houston on

Is he depressed? Sounds like he is struggling to maintain the bare minimum. Maybe a talk with a counselor is in order.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.G.

answers from Houston on

Other than the second year in college and the good grades in high school, I would think you were talking about me. After my husband and I split up my son started doing really poorly in school. I gave up on him because I was going thru depression. His senior year he had to get it together so he could graduate. He is not doing well in college either but I can't give up on him. If your son is at a big university maybe you should have him go to a local college, get a job and pay for it himself. My son is at a local college and I am trying to push him into getting enough credits to go away to school. I think if he is around other kids who are working to go to school he will be better off. Right now he hangs out with with kids that dropped out of high school or are just working at a minimum wage job and have no ambition.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.W.

answers from Corpus Christi on

Don't pay for his college anymore unless he maintains a pre-determined GPA. If he can't keep his grades up then he needs to move out and go get a job, maybe join the military, that will teach him some motivation and discipline.. plus he'll get the GI bill and can pay for his own college when his term is up.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

K.K.

answers from Houston on

He needs to get a job and pay for his schooling so he will understand the value of it - it's not free! Maybe he needs a little tough love, unless he has some kind of depression or learning problem. If he's just being lazy, make him choose a different path (such as making it on his own) if he doesn't improve. Have you talked to the dean/counselors at the college to see if they can cousel him on his career/educational goals to see what the problem is? Something needs to change, but you will have to decide what that is based on your knowledge of your son. Help him but don't let him take advantage of you - there is a problem with a 19 year old flunking school AND not working - he's not accomplishing anything (I know you already know this, not trying to be too hard on him/you, but just brainstorming here). Good luck and congratulations on your degree!!!!!!!! You have definitely set a great example, maybe you just need to be a little tougher as far as his responsibilities. Take care!

For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions

Related Searches