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Son Failed Out Of College

My 21 year old son failed out of college, got fired from a fast food job and is now doing nothing. Whenever we want to talk about his plans for his life he tells us he doesn't want to talk about it. I've offered to pay for trade school, counseling, made suggestions. He's not interested.

Moderator - How is he paying for living expenses if he is not working? Is he depressed?

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 ---Barbara_Beckett on 4/17/11
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Thanks very much for the blessings.

I was raised in church, and born again right around the time I turned 28.

I heard someone say recently that God doesn't have any grandchildren. I thought that was a great way of pointing out that each one must receive Christ, and not rely on parents' faith.

God bless you, too. Have a great day in Christ.
---James_L on 5/1/11

James_L: God bless you my friend. It all depends on our outlook on life that determines whether we fail or succeed. If we want something badly enough we will find a way to get it.
Ultimately, we have to be responsible for our own lives.Even our salvation. We have to seek the Lord for ourselves and harden not our hearts. My mom and dad were christians but I had to accept Christ for myself. I hope you have,too. GBU
---Robyn on 4/30/11

I agree with you.

I have worked long and hard to learn things that weren't natural, and weren't taught to me, to grow up.

Things like keeping a clean house, personal aspirations, financial responsibility, etc.

I was simply trying to point out that responsibility has to be taught to someone that is not naturally bent that way. And that is the job of parents.

Like I said, I'm not really sure I've grown up yet. It's a hard thing to do when you don't start til you're in your 20s or 30s
---James_L on 4/28/11

James_L: Parents are human,too. We need to have compassion on our parents. They do the best they can. If your mom did not teach you responsibility. Why not teach yourself? My mom and dad failed to do some things but I knew me better than anyone. I continued to expect things of myself and move on in my life. I still am a self taught woman today and loving it. Even though I have learned many things from others as well.
There are many things mom and dad will not be able to teach us. This is the purpose of books and other educational materials. We need to stop blaming our parents for every little thing. I thank God for my parents today. They were dirt poor country folks who loved the Lord, and did their very best with their kids(15).
---Robyn on 4/28/11

I was this same 21 year old kid, 20 years ago.

I had dropped out of high school at hte age of 16, had about 12 jobs by the time I was 21, etc.

I would agree with Rhonda on this issue.

My mother never expected anything of me. I was never taught responsibility of any kind

It took a long time for me to grow up. Not really sure I have yet

---James_L on 4/27/11

Rhonda ... Yes there are so many letters like this, also I want to leave my husband etc

And they never come back.

I wonder if these are real problems, or just made up.

I wonder if the questioners have sent in the same question to many different sites, in desperation ... and don't go back to see all the answers?
tBut we can'r just agnore all such letters ... this one, or that, may be genuine, and really looking for an answer
---alan8566_of_uk on 4/26/11

where did the poster "Barbara" go? how is it there are DOZENS of my son won't work topics and RARELY does the poster ever come back to clarify and discuss? what a racket - truly maybe just some way to stir up controversy

21 years old ...AGAIN I ask what responsibilities did he have while he was 14-18? Was he TAUGHT to have goals and aspirations? Did he have responsibilities at home and expectations at school from you ...did he excel in ANYTHING? Did YOU INSTILL drive motivation and discipline?

You see the "problem" is RARELY ever the young adult
---Rhonda on 4/26/11

as memory serves life is most difficult from ages 21 to 26 my heart goes out to You and Your Son,my only real encouragement is dont pressure Him,as He is already being pillaged by social,media hype in ways Our generation cannot comprehend :(
---kevin5443 on 4/22/11

Another view: Be a mom to this young man. As only moms can be. Encourage him and let him know that he will fail in various areas of his lives, many times. Let him know it is no shame in failure.Just don't stay down. Get up and try again. Cook his favorite meal and let him know he his still the apple of your eye. Regardless of what. Show him love and compassion. Could be just what he needs to try again. Moms are good at these type things. We never stop being moms,really. Even when our kids grow up. God never makes mistakes. Moms are the salt of the earth. Nothing sweeter, more loving and caring as a real mom.
---Robyn on 4/21/11

A few scriptures to stand on.
Rom 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
Jude 1:20-24 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
And of some have compassion, making a difference: And others [save with fear, pulling them out of the fire], hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

24Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,

Matt 18:19,Eph 6:12, Eph1:21, Col 2:10, Jn 14:13-14,Jn 16:23-26
---char on 4/21/11

David reminds me...Young adults are often so idealistic. They have all sorts of wonderful plans for what they want to achieve in the future... with almost NO idea what it really takes to do so!

When it turns out to be many times more difficult than they ever imagined, which it invariably does, they don't know what to do. To them, as David says, their "lifetime" of dreams have been shattered.
They don't realize that it often takes 10, 20, 30 years or more to realize dreams...and those dreams may change many times along the way.

I would tell them, you can't quit after the first failure. Revise your game plan, but keep MOVING.
---Donna66 on 4/20/11

It's easy to become discouraged at 21, when the plans you've probably had since you were in your early teens, seemingly fall through.
At that age, most of us put our hopes in the things of this world, and when we don't have a contigency plan, those early failures can cause "Our light at the end of the tunnel", to go out.

If he believes in God, fan that flame of hope.
When you are in the Light of God, there is hope, peace and joy, all that anybody really needs in this world.
How do you get into the Light?
To start, a private confession of sin between him and God, and then, obedience to that which God has written on his heart.(Conscience)

Tell him to try it, and he will immediately see the results for himself.
---David on 4/20/11

Blogger9211 --
Both my brothers were much like the 21 yr. old in question. My father handled it as you suggested. They left home as boys and returned as men. Both got the GI bill and completed college when they finally realized they needed a career.

The military challenges young men to do difficult things, giving up is not an option, and many get their first taste of honest achievement and earned self-esteem there.
The country is fortunate that many of these young men want to test themselves, facing danger for a cause greater than themselves...and are old enough to do it even despite the fears of their parents.
---Donna66 on 4/20/11

//And denying reality is the way to peace, right?
---Cluny on 4/19/11//

denying reality?

//seek counseling for both of you.
He will need to seek God on His own, trust God-first.

Bless you and your family.
---char on 4/19/11//
---char on 4/19/11

\\Speak victory outside of the prayer closet,\\

And denying reality is the way to peace, right?
---Cluny on 4/19/11

God first.
Speak victory outside of the prayer closet,
Pray to break principality in the prayer closet.

In the natural-seek counseling for both of you.
He will need to seek God on His own, trust God-first.

Bless you and your family.
---char on 4/19/11

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Prayer is not an answer.

But it does BRING us to the answer.
---Cluny on 4/18/11

I am surprised nobody has brought up the obvious first response - PRAY! Just because it is an answer to virtually everything should not (though it often does) cheapen the value and power of ernest prayer.

Im not talking about thinking good things. Real, dedicated time to cry out to God for help.
Ephesians 6:18-19
---PaulG on 4/18/11

\\ Learning how to love is the only challenge that can keep us alive, spiritually and emotionally.
---Bill_willa6989 on 4/17/11

Good point, Bill!

And Blogger, I would be willing to have my son die for his country.

But I'm UNwilling to see him die for Iraq, Afghanistan, or Libya.
---Cluny on 4/18/11

I think this young need some high motivation in his life to turn it around. Take him to your local military recruiting station and tell him he has only five choices Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force or Coast Guard. The armed services has an outstand track record of turning unfocused young people in to trained useful motivated citizens.

And as every Spartan mother told her sons you either come back carrying your shield or upon it.
---Blogger9211 on 4/17/11

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Doing "nothing". It would be interesting to know what "nothing" he is doing. Ones can be "depressed" but very capable of doing certain things, having relationships with food and pets and whatever will cooperate with how they want pleasure. But facing the challenge of learning how to relate in love with any and all people is not what they wish to face. Jesus says, "learn from Me" (in Matthew 11:29). Learning how to love is the only challenge that can keep us alive, spiritually and emotionally.
---Bill_willa6989 on 4/17/11

I agree with Robyn in this case. He could well be suffering from depression: either reactive (as a result of failing out of college and losing a job) or clinical.

Recreational drugs, of course, do not help matters.
---Cluny on 4/17/11

Sounds as if your son may be in a depression,my friend. And watch him very closely for drug use. Sometimes our sons don't know how to ask for help and may consider it unmanly, to do so.Then turn to drugs and alcohol for solace.That is not good, at all.Is the father around? How is their relationship? It is hard to reach our grown children,sometimes. Because it is their life and is entitled to live it as they please. I have been in your position. it is a hard and sad place to be in. My prayers and blessings to both of you.
---Robyn on 4/17/11

If he is living with you, you can insist he go to therapy, and work on this matter. If he is living on his own, the best you can do is encourage him to therapy, and don't give him any money.
---Trish on 4/17/11

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