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Old 03-28-2018, 05:43 AM
 
Location: Canada
5,083 posts, read 3,613,473 times
Reputation: 13402

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I don't think the OP heard what he wanted to hear in this thread, so he hasn't been back.

OP, your kid needs emotional/mental help. Getting his license isn't the main issue right now.

Your whole family needs some counseling.
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Old 03-28-2018, 07:31 AM
 
12,397 posts, read 9,170,391 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyAMG View Post
My son has no interest in driving, but we keep telling him he needs to at least get a drivers licence so he has the option to drive. He's 16 and he really has no hobbies other than drawing and browsing the internet. No sports or outside activities, he doesn't hang out with friends. He probably has deeper issues. I think hes mad at us for moving from Portland to Arizona, but we lived in Arizona previous. He has not re-connected with his old Arizona friends, and hasn't made any new ones, grades are bad. Still acts like he lives in Oregon, only talks to friends in Oregon. His grades are bad. But we have told him, "were not going back, once you graduate and turn 18 you can go back to Oregon."

Anyway, my wife and told him he needs to learn to drive, it's just a thing you have to do at some point. Some will disagree, but I know even hardcore urban dwellers get zip cars and rent cars from time to time, it's just part of being an adult.

We started out taking laps in parking lots just to figure out the car but I noticed right away my son was very inattentive. There were parking space head curbs or whatever they are called and my son was headed right for them. He seems to have zero sense of direction and it seems his spatial orientation reasoning lacking. He has about 30 hours under him but seems to be getting worse. He's okay with two lane roads in the country but as soon as the traffic pickup he gets terrified. Today, we pulled out of our street and he asked me left or right knowing we are going to a destination we have gone to at least 50 times. Then we get to the next street and gets in the left turn lane, I said where are you going. "It's left here" no it's right." and as I'm about to say well now have to go left. Without looking he just turns into the right lane without looking and a car slams on its brakes, and I said "dude, what was that?" " You said I have to go right." So then I say "okay well now the light is green so you have to go" he doesn't respond, the car behind him honks and he turns right and floors it. The car spins 90 degrees and we go over the curb into the dirt. then he just starts driving through the dirt. "What are you doing stop!" he just keep going, "I said stop." " well I'm trying to get back on the road." and then he stops and I said "I don't think today is a good day." So he gets out of the car without putting it in park. and it starts rolling forward and . You for got to put it in park he's still getting out and then falls down so I lean over and put my hand on the brake get the car into park. Then I drive us to lunch on the way to lunch he starts crying. "I hate it here, I don't want to drive, I want to go home." and I tell him the same thing I keep telling him "You can go "home" when you turn 18. for now you just need to stay the course and after you graduate you can do whatever."

My wife has better luck teaching him so I have officially handed the duties over to her.

I have some real concerns about my son, I almost feel like he has been rotting his brain away over the last 4 years. He is 16 and does not know his address, he does not know his phone number, he does not know either my wife's or my phone number, he can't identify where we live on a map, he can't identify anything on a map. I asked him if there was a way to know what direction he is heading without an electronic device. he said no. I said streets head north south east and west. He said that didn't help. I said "How about the position of the sun?" what would that tell me. I asked what direction the sun sets in, he said "the south" It's just strange, the other day he bought a computer program, and he came to me and said it wouldn't work. I looked at the requirements and the requirements were way above what his computer could handle. I told him he needed a core i7 or better. he said what does this have? I said there is a sticker on the computer he said "i5 isn't that good enough?" I said "7 comes after 5."

anyway... Im just kind of sad and mad at myself right now, it's almost like we have neglected him as parents and he has 2 years to prepare himself for the real world and I don't think he will be ready. But.. he wasn't interested in learning anything. Usually the eldest is the responsible smart one and the youngest is the crazy free-spirited one. All of my kids seem depressed, and I can't help them. They have a pool and anything they could ever want but all of them just want to bury their faces in some sort of electronic device and ignore the world. My wife does the same thing. I do too, to a certain extent. I tried leading by example, that didn't work. I tried taking away mobile devices that didn't work. My wife and I just work too much and I feel like we are neglecting our children but when we try to do things with them, it's always "this sucks, this is boring" Having 2 teenagers and pre teen is.... sad. It just makes me sad, my kids don't even interact with each other anymore. I have to constantly be on them to do their chores and even when they are doing chores they have their headphones on with their phones in their pockets. Our poor animals never get petted or played with. I always find myself trying to exercise the cat with the laser pointer. My wife takes the dog for a walk 2 times a week if that.

Obviously, there are deep problems in my family.

Long story short: Should my son keep getting lessons from my wife or should I pay to have him go to a driving school. On one hand I feel like maybe someone he can build rapport with that is not a parent would be good. On the other hand, I feel like since he does poorly in school and has such a distain for driving and seems to be unable to concentrate that I'd just be wasting money.

I'm just kind of feeling strange. I did pretty good at driving even learning to drive a stick in a month. My wife the same. My wife an I are smart people with good careers and I feel like my kids are rotting their brains, will be helpless and will try to live with us forever.
I think you should try family counseling, obviously there are deeper issues here than learning to drive.
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Old 03-28-2018, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Watervliet, NY
3,637 posts, read 1,180,673 times
Reputation: 6542
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyAMG View Post

All of my kids seem depressed, and I can't help them. They have a pool and anything they could ever want but all of them just want to bury their faces in some sort of electronic device and ignore the world. My wife does the same thing. I do too, to a certain extent. I tried leading by example, that didn't work. I tried taking away mobile devices that didn't work. My wife and I just work too much and I feel like we are neglecting our children but when we try to do things with them, it's always "this sucks, this is boring" Having 2 teenagers and pre teen is.... sad. It just makes me sad, my kids don't even interact with each other anymore. I have to constantly be on them to do their chores and even when they are doing chores they have their headphones on with their phones in their pockets. Our poor animals never get petted or played with. I always find myself trying to exercise the cat with the laser pointer. My wife takes the dog for a walk 2 times a week if that.
Did it ever, EVER occur to either you or your wife that all your kids really wanted, really NEEDED, was the two of you to just BE THERE for your kids??????????????????

THINGS are not a replacement for a parent's love and caring, not in any way, shape, or form.
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Old 03-31-2018, 09:52 AM
 
Location: 500 miles from home
27,049 posts, read 14,959,134 times
Reputation: 20762
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mattie View Post
We used a driving school for our three sons. My husband didn't have a lot of time to devote to it, and I don't have nerves of steel. A good friend has a daughter who, like your son, had no interest in learning. She has Aspergers. It took three sessions spread out over 2 years before she passed the test. But the instructor was quite honest about her lack of ability to be a safe driver. I think the dispassionate critiques were worth paying for. And this young woman still refuses to drive.

I can't comment on the rest of your situation, it sounds as though professional intervention might be more important than driving lessons at this point.
Agree ^^^.

Having said that - I highly recommend driving school. My son had to get his license out of necessity (I couldn't keep leaving work early to get him to practice) and he was less than enthused. And I tend to overreact at other's driving.

Did not make for a good mix.

My state REQUIRES driving school for those getting their license and while it cheesed me off initially ($$$$) - it turned out to be a godsend.

Highly recommend.
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Old 04-02-2018, 11:37 PM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
1,548 posts, read 1,864,736 times
Reputation: 3875
I will work as many hours as I can for the next 20 years. My wife and I want to be financially set by 55. We are on the way and I don't want to derail progress.

My wife's parents are in their 60s and still work 9-5 unable to draw enough SS and they were idiots and did a HELOC to pay debt with out consulting with an attorney and so now they don't own a home anymore, it was paid off. They are so miserable and broken down and constantly talk about how they are going to work til the day they die. I do not want to be like them. I asked them repeatedly if they needed help and they were too stubborn. I could have saved them thousands. I'm so mad at that debt consolidation "firm." I know they are doing this to millions of elderly.

The reason that I want him to drive and my wife is with me on this as well. His aunt is 27 and has never driven a car, she has no job and she sits at home doing nothing with her life at 27. He says he does not want to be like his aunt. My family has always been ambitious and driven. My wife's family has always done just enough to get by and makes really questionable life choices. It drives me nuts. My son I feel has more of my wife's family in him. My daughters more me.

We have never had counseling because there is no point. Everyone was depressed in Oregon too. Its just a very depressed family on both sides. I actually don't know anyone I would consider not depressed.

My kids are too old to care about us. They are at that age where we aren't cool and they don't want to be seen with us. They have always been "too mature" and down right unaffectionate towards us their whole lives. It may be my Scandinavian heritage. Tricks you could normally play on toddlers that would make them giggle with delight my kids would either be angry or apathetic. My early fatherhood years were filled with "you sing bad, daddy" "I still see you daddy" "Don't look at me daddy." We'd take my kids to "playdates" and they would just ignore the other kids. My kids even ignore each other. Even my younger daughters ignore each other.

My wife claims she went through this phase in her teens and snapped out of it after high school. I never went through this phase so I can't relate. My mom and dad were always cool and I was always doing something. Of course, I didn't have the distractions kids have today.

I think a lot of our "friction" comes from my dad being a man's man and I bonded with him over stuff like car repair, fixing small engines, making stuff out of wood, machining, house projects, mowing our lawn, weeding, doing landscaping for the neighbors. One day it think he was 10, I wanted to show him some cool welding stuff but he said, "why would I want to do poor people jobs, I'm going to work on computers." I don't know why but it made me really angry, I know he learned that from school. Interesting that highly educated teachers are paid less than people with "poor people job." So I had a heart to heart with him and then my wife decided, it wasn't worth it. I decided I would not force or even offer to teach him things that I know. I decide to let my wife guide me, on how to bond with him. It did not really work. My wife pointed out that her brother played Pokemon and and nerdy stuff all the way through high school and now he is a foreman in a marble quarry. So maybe over time he will change also.

My real problem is my son just does not know anything. Even if he didn't do anything I'm okay with that, it's his lack of knowledge. It's frightening how little he knows. Like if he was a java script prodigy or did 3D modeling or some unique skill, I wouldn't say anything. He doesn't know the basic inner workings of a computer. His 12 year old sister can wipe the floor with him at any trivia game, she's in higher math, gets better grades. He just isn't ambitious or passionate about anything. He's always just been amazingly apathetic to everything even when he was 4 or 5. I just feel like he isn't going to have the tools necessary for life and hes only 2 years away.

The other night he asked me for an HDMI cable to hook his laptop to his TV. I got him the cable, 2 minutes later, "its not working," I said "try to work on it a little longer" 30 seconds later "it's a just a black screen." "Change the input on the TV remote." "Still not working." I go out there. He didn't turn the TV on. It's just stuff like that where I'm like just shocked. He just can't figure stuff out. He reads at a college level, I have the papers that prove it. It's just anytime he tries to apply an idea or gets a set of instructions that isn't 100% explicit he can't figure it out.

Anyway, I decided to let my wife deal with it. Since my last post my son has driven zero times. Driving school is $1600 dollars so that's not happening.
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Old 04-03-2018, 12:34 AM
 
536 posts, read 522,580 times
Reputation: 942
“I will work as many hours as I can for the next 20 years. My wife and I want to be financially set by 55. We are on the way and I don't want to derail progress.“

Nothing will change if you aren’t prepared to change this. You can’t be a hands-off parent because you are always working, and then expect all these problems to magically sort themselves out. Is money worth more than your children?

“They have always been "too mature" and down right unaffectionate towards us their whole lives.”
It doesn’t sound like there is a whole lot of love and affection going back the other way either. As the parents, you and your wife set the emotional tone for the household. He is probably so shut down by now, because everyone ignores each other. How is that a bonding strategy?

Tell us the things you do like about your son. Forget the stuff that reminds you of your wife’s families mistakes, forget the stuff he’s not doing that you think he should be doing. What are his good qualities? What can he do well? Start there and work up to try and help you think of him differently, and to help him get out of his depression by finding what he really enjoys doing.

I actually think it would be a good thing for him to learn to drive because it would give him a sense of competence, as well as autonomy. He’s getting plenty of “not good enough” messages, passing a license would be a definite boost to how he feels about himself. How about trying some driving simulation games? It’s no substitute for lessons and practice, but it might help to get him more interested. I also think if you really want him to learn you should pay for at least some lessons. There’s too much judgement involved at this stage for there to be an effective student-teacher relationship between your son and you or your wife.

I do believe that you want things to change, but don’t know how to do that. Start with how you talk to him. You’ve basically told us that your 16 yo is an unmotivated loser who can’t do anything and never will do anything. Don’t think that he doesn’t pick that up. How sad must that be at 16, to know that’s how your parent thinks of you? Take a chance. Believe in him, but take yourself out of the equation. Spring for the lesssons.
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Old 04-03-2018, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Tennesee
10,360 posts, read 2,788,146 times
Reputation: 11102
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyAMG View Post
I will work as many hours as I can for the next 20 years. My wife and I want to be financially set by 55. We are on the way and I don't want to derail progress.

My wife's parents are in their 60s and still work 9-5 unable to draw enough SS and they were idiots and did a HELOC to pay debt with out consulting with an attorney and so now they don't own a home anymore, it was paid off. They are so miserable and broken down and constantly talk about how they are going to work til the day they die. I do not want to be like them. I asked them repeatedly if they needed help and they were too stubborn. I could have saved them thousands. I'm so mad at that debt consolidation "firm." I know they are doing this to millions of elderly.

The reason that I want him to drive and my wife is with me on this as well. His aunt is 27 and has never driven a car, she has no job and she sits at home doing nothing with her life at 27. He says he does not want to be like his aunt. My family has always been ambitious and driven. My wife's family has always done just enough to get by and makes really questionable life choices. It drives me nuts. My son I feel has more of my wife's family in him. My daughters more me.

We have never had counseling because there is no point. Everyone was depressed in Oregon too. Its just a very depressed family on both sides. I actually don't know anyone I would consider not depressed.

My kids are too old to care about us. They are at that age where we aren't cool and they don't want to be seen with us. They have always been "too mature" and down right unaffectionate towards us their whole lives. It may be my Scandinavian heritage. Tricks you could normally play on toddlers that would make them giggle with delight my kids would either be angry or apathetic. My early fatherhood years were filled with "you sing bad, daddy" "I still see you daddy" "Don't look at me daddy." We'd take my kids to "playdates" and they would just ignore the other kids. My kids even ignore each other. Even my younger daughters ignore each other.

My wife claims she went through this phase in her teens and snapped out of it after high school. I never went through this phase so I can't relate. My mom and dad were always cool and I was always doing something. Of course, I didn't have the distractions kids have today.

I think a lot of our "friction" comes from my dad being a man's man and I bonded with him over stuff like car repair, fixing small engines, making stuff out of wood, machining, house projects, mowing our lawn, weeding, doing landscaping for the neighbors. One day it think he was 10, I wanted to show him some cool welding stuff but he said, "why would I want to do poor people jobs, I'm going to work on computers." I don't know why but it made me really angry, I know he learned that from school. Interesting that highly educated teachers are paid less than people with "poor people job." So I had a heart to heart with him and then my wife decided, it wasn't worth it. I decided I would not force or even offer to teach him things that I know. I decide to let my wife guide me, on how to bond with him. It did not really work. My wife pointed out that her brother played Pokemon and and nerdy stuff all the way through high school and now he is a foreman in a marble quarry. So maybe over time he will change also.

My real problem is my son just does not know anything. Even if he didn't do anything I'm okay with that, it's his lack of knowledge. It's frightening how little he knows. Like if he was a java script prodigy or did 3D modeling or some unique skill, I wouldn't say anything. He doesn't know the basic inner workings of a computer. His 12 year old sister can wipe the floor with him at any trivia game, she's in higher math, gets better grades. He just isn't ambitious or passionate about anything. He's always just been amazingly apathetic to everything even when he was 4 or 5. I just feel like he isn't going to have the tools necessary for life and hes only 2 years away.

The other night he asked me for an HDMI cable to hook his laptop to his TV. I got him the cable, 2 minutes later, "its not working," I said "try to work on it a little longer" 30 seconds later "it's a just a black screen." "Change the input on the TV remote." "Still not working." I go out there. He didn't turn the TV on. It's just stuff like that where I'm like just shocked. He just can't figure stuff out. He reads at a college level, I have the papers that prove it. It's just anytime he tries to apply an idea or gets a set of instructions that isn't 100% explicit he can't figure it out.

Anyway, I decided to let my wife deal with it. Since my last post my son has driven zero times. Driving school is $1600 dollars so that's not happening.
Nothing you have said makes me feel any more sympathetic towards you. If anything, I feel even worse now for your son, as every word you have written about him reeks of contempt.

Is there anything at all you like about this poor boy? Do you even love him? Not his accomplishments or his potential, but HIM, just for himself?

I stand by my first suggestion: get counseling. You all sound miserable. You seriously don't know anyone you don't consider depressed? Not one person? That's not a reflection on other people, that's a reflection on you. A lot of people are depressed, I grant you, but there is also beauty and joy everywhere, even in simple things. If you have never seen it, I pity you almost as much as your son, and I say that as someone who has had bouts of depression for years.

Last thought is this: there is a middle ground between spending your older years in the poor house and being so driven by ambition that you ignore your children in the pursuit of material success. I suggest that you try to find it. If you think the kids are distant towards you now, you ain't seen nothin' yet, baby.

Last edited by Catgirl64; 04-03-2018 at 11:19 AM..
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Old 04-03-2018, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Tucson, AZ
1,548 posts, read 1,864,736 times
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Not asking for sympathy.

For the last time, I don't ignore my kids, they have always ignored me. They only want to hang out with me if I bribe them. I try so hard to get them to do anything, but they always find some flaw in what I'm proposing and say "na, we just want to stay home."

If anyone needs counseling its probably me and my wife. But I'm pretty sure if anything would come out in the open about my feelings it would make things much worse. I have always had issues with how she raised our kids. They are they way they are because she is the same way. Cold and distance 85% of the time. I hold on for the 15% of the time that she is human and not trying to avoid everyone. After our son was born she became aloof and started doing strange things like hiding in the bathroom or parking in our garage and then sitting in the car for 30 minutes playing on her phone before she comes inside the house. She still does these things to this day. But my kids worship her and have spent all of their formative years with her, they are just like her.

Of course, I love all my kids. I try so hard to get them do things, anything at all. I have to force them to do things and the whole time they do them they are just like my wife, complaining about everything.

I was raised that if you marry a woman you are devoted to her for life. I am devoted and so the way we go about life is 85% avoidance, 15% appreciative moments. We are actually very affectionate towards each other. When the kid turned 10 they actively started avoid affection, before that they were mildly affectionate but still liked to pull away from both of us.. We always eat dinner together. They just end up on their phones all 4 of them. We took the phones away at dinner, but then who pulled out their phone and started doing "work related stuff", my wife. Really a pharmacy tech needs to be on their phone?

Yes, everyone I know is depressed. Surely they don't look it from their Facebook. But every man I know well says his relationship is crap, work sucks, and he just doesn't know how long he can do it. The irony is they always ask me about how I have kept my relationship strong over the past 16 years.

I have a normal 9-5 job with occasional overtime. I'm just putting in 40 hours a week. It's not like I am a work-a-holic. My wife decided to be come a Pharmacy Technician for some strange reason, when she was in real estate she did mostly 9-5 now she works all strange hours. But she says she loves it. She doesn't make much money compared to what she used to but she claims the job makes her happy..or happier. So I just don't say anything, id rather her be happy, whatever that looks like to her. I'm disappointed in her lack of availability and lack of pay. The kids claim they don't care about her lack of availability but they do.

Kids these days change drastically around 10. My kids used to play outside and with neighbor kids, but once they turned 11 or 12 all of that stopped. It was all about that phone. I was adamantly against them getting phones, but without my permission my wife went out and got the massively expensive phone plan for everyone. I was already the bad guy because I did not want them to have phones and so I would have been an even bigger bad guy if I took them away. To this day I hate smart phones. I still have an iPhone 4 because to me its a tool to be used seldom not a hobby. Before that it was snuggling and board games now family time consists of making stupid faces on snap chat and posting them to Facebook and showing each other stupid videos.

I remember that day well. I feel it was the day my family changed forever. It sounds like hyperbole. but I'm dead serious.

Things that I do like about my son: He is kind hearted, he is genuinely concerned about others well being to a fault, he does his chores without complaining. He changes the cat box, cleans up dog poop, takes out the trash does dishes, cooks dinner with minor assistance (ill cut stuff up while he stirs meat or rice or pasta in a pan usually). He is smart, he reads at college level and can engage in pretty good debates, we have pretty similar world views (brutal realists.) After I poke and prod him for a while he will do major projects with me ( he does not enjoy them but he does them.) He's good at drawing. He's a good kid. I guess I'm too ambitious and just think everyone else should be as well.
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Old 04-03-2018, 08:48 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
38,790 posts, read 37,497,915 times
Reputation: 73231
Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyAMG View Post
I will work as many hours as I can for the next 20 years. My wife and I want to be financially set by 55. We are on the way and I don't want to derail progress.
Progress.

Meanwhile, your "relationship" with your kids will play out like a real-life version of "Cats in the Cradle."

Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyAMG View Post
Anyway, I decided to let my wife deal with it.
Sounds about right, since she did such a great job with everything else.

I have no idea why you posted this in the Parenting subforum, since you apparently haven't done much effective parenting yourself in all these years and you've waved off any advice here.

Enjoy that retirement, though!
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Old 04-04-2018, 01:40 AM
 
536 posts, read 522,580 times
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OP, it was lovely to read what you wrote about your son. I really only want one thing for my own sons, and that is that they be kind, and that is the first quality you described about your boy.

He’s 16. It’s a tricky age, and his generation is facing pressures and anxieties that are quite different than those that most of us probably grew up with. And 16 is just a horrible age to have to move. I get that you have to do what works best for your family overall, but that doesn’t mean it sucks any less for him.

It takes a while to get used to a new place. Is there any way a friend from Oregon could visit over the summer? It could help him feel less lonely and displaced, and if the friend has a positive reaction to where you are, that may also help to warm your son’s attitude.

Give him time. Keep trying to reach out to him. Drag him into more projects. They remember that stuff, even if they don’t show it. Talk with him, even if it’s by text half the time. Get him to choose a couple of goals of things he would like to achieve by the end of the year (eg getting license, finding part time job, reading a particular book, learning to catch public transport, learning coding, putting together a YouTube piece etc). Make sure he knows you believe in his ability to achieve the things he wants if he sets his mind to it.
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