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Dr. L
Dr. L, Psychologist
Category: Parenting
Satisfied Customers: 1168
Experience:  Licensed as psychologist and marriage and family therapist
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Do you have any ideas that you would recommend for a parent

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Do you have any ideas that you would recommend for a parent that wants to teach their 18 year old son on how to successfully transition/adjust from the life of a child (a life filled with play/entertainment and less work and less responsibility) to the life of an adult (a life filled mostly with work and responsibility and a lot less entertainment)? How can a parent teach/help their 18 year old son get used to this type of change? Thank you for your assistance.

Dr. L : Hello,
Dr. L : I would like to help you with your question.
Dr. L : Your question is on the lips of many, many parents right now as kids are graduating from high school and facing the "real" world of work, continued education and independence from their parents. Helping our children to become responsible adults is no easy task for parents...especially if the child doesn't want to become self-sufficient and would rather lean on mom & dad to continue taking care of all of their needs.
Dr. L : The key word you used to identify this process is transition. This young person can be helped to slowly take on more and more responsibility for his own life and become less and less dependent on mom & dad.Partly this will require the parents to set boundaries with the son as to what mom & dad will do and/or provide and what kid must take on as responsibilities. So, for example, mom & dad can say to son: We will help get you established in an apartment. We will pay for the first 3 months of rent, give you some furniture from around the house, and set you up with dishes and other household items. At 3 months..the rent is yours.
Dr. L : In this way, the parent smooths the way for the son. In 3 months, the son should be able to find a job, put away money for rent, and so forth.
Dr. L : It is important for the parent to think through what they are willing to do and what they are NOT willing to do. Then to stick to the established plan.
Dr. L : You don't say whether this young man is going off to college or trade school or whether they have ever held a job before. I would appreciate a little more information about him so that I can craft a more detailed response.
Dr. L : Thank you.
Customer: He is in his first semester of college and helps out in his father's business. He has had 2 jobs before. His first job was a temporary position for 4 months. He got fired from his second job. On his second job, he did use every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every month of every year working to the best of his ability. It's just that his supervisor was a perfectionist and this young man's best was not good enough in his supervisor's eyes. Thank you.
Customer: Getting fired discouraged him. He barely passed his first semester of college with Cs; I think he got a D as well, and when he returns home from helping out in his dad's business, he spends most of the night idle. I suppose he thinks about the firing, how he could improve, what wrong, and things of that nature. Or he might be suffering from self-esteem or be depressed. I'm not to sure.
Dr. L : Thanks for the additional information.
Dr. L : Being hired can have a serious impact on one's self-esteem...especially since you said he was very, very diligent at work and did all he possibly could to be successful. How unfortunate that the boss did not understand how important it would have been to have given this young man a good work experience rather than firing him and putting a serious dent in his self-confidence.
Dr. L : What would you think about having this young man see a therapist? If he is in fact depressed or suffering from low self-esteem...a few sessions with a therapist might help to get him back on track.
Dr. L : From what you have written, it would seem that the "idle" time needs to be filled in more productive ways. What about volunteer work? Is there a senior center near by where he could play cards with residents, read to them, work cross-word puzzles with them? Volunteering gives us the remarkable opportunity to help someone else and to feel good about our ability to bring a smile to someone else.
Dr. L : If his grades are taking a hit because of his esteem...why not consider a tutor as a way to give him that extra boost? The college likely has a list or two of tutors that would fit his needs.
Dr. L : What this young needs is to feel good about himself...and any activity that reinforces his strengths will help in this regard. So...what comes natural or easy to him? What subjects does he really enjoy and do well at? What makes this kid shine? By "feeding" him activities or tasks that he is good at...slowly,slowly he will build back his confidence.
Dr. L : I would also like to suggest a book
Dr. L : Feeling Good by Dr. Burns. This is a very wonderful and easy to read book.
Dr. L : Again...if he is depressed, I strongly advise that he see a therapist.
Customer: Thank you very much for your information. I will give this information to my co-worker, the father of this young man. I was trying to rate you, but the computer won't let me. Is there something you can do on your side, so that I can rate you? Thank you.
Dr. L : I have unlocked the question so you can rate me. Please know that I would be happy to help you...or your co-worker...in the future. Just ask for me by name and I will be notified immediately.
Dr. L : Thank you!
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