17 and won't take responsibility


My almost 17 year old son is a Junior in high school. We need help parenting him. And I feel the hourglass is quickly running out--he's supposedly 18 months from graduation/launching into adulthood and that is a scary thought.

Our son, (DOB-1/1999) is all in all a wonderful kid. Positives about him: he loves God, loves church, chooses good friends and good clean fun. He's got a great, sweet, fun, loving personality. He's not had a girlfriend, never done drugs or anything like that, I truly believe he knows right and wrong and wants to please God with his life.--at least in those "big, moral" areas. For that, I'm so very thankful.

The negatives that really concern us:
If I had to sum it up, I'd say our son is failing to learn responsibility/dependability. His school effort is low, fails classes, or gets Ds, his room is a disaster--constantly, he has been tasked with doing his own laundry for about 4 years and still hasn't taken ownership of that chore. His own "life" is so chaotic/disorganized that he's very little help around the house for other everyday chores. He's taken 4-5 school classes twice or 3 times after failing the first times. He can't/doesn't even take responsibility for waking himself up in the mornings. In short he's lazy in a lot of areas of life. And despite our "talks, plans, ideas", nothing is improving.

I've heard, "let your kid fail" advice before. And we have let him fail classes and take summer school, we've postponed allowing him to get his driving permit & license for a year--he's scheduled to take that test in about 6 weeks, and we'll put that off longer if needed, but I've seen no result for withholding it from him for a year already, so, I'm wondering if it's worth it.

I just don't want to see my kid "fail" at life after he's leaves home as a result of my poor parenting or at least my lack of training him to be responsible/dependable in life. These problems "at home" are one thing. Lack of responsibility after one leaves home can have FAR GREATER consequences, as you are well aware.

Thanks for any help.

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