Help for Smart, Non-Ambitious Teen?
October 2, 2007 11:44 AM Subscribe
How to help super-smart teenager with no ambition, goals, or direction?
posted by anonymous to human relations (57 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
I'm really concerned with my second son, who will turn 18 next January.
Parental pride aside, he's the smartest kid I know. He learns in minutes what takes others days or weeks. He has a high-level view of things which blows the minds of most adults.
He's currently taking his last 2 years of high school at a community college, taking 21 courses and doing well. Based on his SATs he's been flooded with with college information and applications, none of which matters to him in the least. Once college will be flying him coast to coast on their nickel to attend a preview weekend but I think he's going more to get out of the house than out of genuine interest in this particular school.
He cares a lot about making and teaching music, and about his clothes and his friends.
He doesn't want to talk about the future, make plans, or show any signs of ambition at all. A kid who devours advanced textbooks on math and physics says with all sincerity that he wants to be a magician or to run a taco stand. Given his intellect this would be a crying shame.
I sometimes get the sense that his over-sized brain has somehow gotten "stuck in a loop" and that he's self-optimizing himself into not expecting too much out of life. Does it sound like his thought patterns have somehow become derailed.
Last night he told my wife that he thought that he had ADD, and that he had self-medicated with either Red Bull or some prescription medication that he borrowed from friends.
This all bums me out and I want to help to get him on a better track. What should I do and where should I start?