"How do you get a child to do what he's told the first time he's told? Don't ever repeat yourself. "

13-Year-Old Lacks Motivation

Question

Dear Mr. Rosemond,

My son is 13 years old. Our concern is that he does not seem interested in setting a goal and dedicate time and effort to any activity. He has music talent, is a good swimmer and runner, but does not want to do any thing, just watching TV, which he is allowed only on weekends, 1 hour in the morning and 1 hour in the afternoon if possible. He is not doing bad in school but he could do much better. He has been moved down a level in Russian (he goes to international school, we live in Central Asia at the moment), so we checked his work and discovered he has not turned in homework. He says he will not need Russian in the future and he does not like the teacher. With online class now, he gets very distracted. He does not have a phone, or any electronic device except for a borrowed Chromebook form school for his studies, but he has been chatting, playing games with his classmates when they are supposed to be in virtual class. One of the teachers has even invited the students to join an online game with him on the weekend (no way). He works at the dining table and we have asked him to give us his password for his school google account. But we can not sit next to him all day to make sure he is doing school work, What is your advice in this situation.

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