My son will be 16 soon. I don't seem to know how to communicate
with him anymore. When I try talking to him about his goals,
plans, dreams and fears, he doesn't respond. He doesn't seem
to really have any set plans for the future. Any suggestions?
Sixteen year-old boys are not easy creatures to talk with!
You aren't the first to notice this - so take comfort!
Your son is probably
feeling a little (or a lot!) overwhelmed with the approaching
end of childhood and onset of adult responsibility. Try to
back down a bit - talk about plans for this summer and classes
he will take in the fall rather than long-term goals and plans.
If college is an assumption or a strong possibility, make
plans together to take a college tour of 3-5 schools that
are within his academic range (and your financial range!).
You can also alleviate
the pressure by asking about his friends and their plans for
the next couple of years. Let him talk about them instead
of himself. You'll learn a lot.
Try to help him
find a summer job that he'll enjoy but which may also illustrate
the value of continued education. A summer working with a
veterinarian may help him realize that while he likes dressing
casually and working with animals, he'd rather be the vet
than the one shoveling out the cages.
Above all, let
him know you love him and will help him any way you can without
making his life choices for him. Good luck!
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