Self-respect from Family Posts


  • Self-respect

How do you inspire self-respect in a 12-year-old boy?

For quite some time I could not get my son engaged in anything apart from playing computer games. His was doing his utmost best to avoid or cheat on his school work just to spend more time at his computer. Initially I decided to go along and we even played together in some computer games. I hoped that at least he will start picking up English words while playing role-playing games with lots of conversations. But he found a way how to cheat even there! Damn!

Then I realized that he does not have too much of a reason to apply much effort at anything. Even when he is hard pressed to do something there is always a way to lie or escape. And when I got angry and pointed out his behaviour he would get even more depressed and not willing to try new things. It was only downhill and further from self-respect.

Eventually I backed off completely from pushing him into doing anything. But at the same time I also took away his computer time and all his gadgets. I explained that if he does not want to do anything, then he may just lay in a bed all day long. But if he wants anything then he will have to get it himself, no free lunches.

This situation lasted almost for a month. Until one day I learned that he went to a robotics club and really liked how other boys are assembling swords from Star Wars and other things like that. He lives with his mother far away, so I do not know what changed but I guess "doing nothing" in his room and reading books all day long at some point gets unbearably boring <wg>.

So now he needs to pay money to attend the robotics club. "Well, son, if you need money, earn it" was my pearl of wisdom. The lowest hanging fruit was to do some garden work for his aunt. "Good job!" He started to attend the club but where to get the rest of the money? "Go wash cars, clean backyard for someone :)". He said that he is shy to ask for work from strangers. But today his voice sounded a bit more upbeat on the phone. And his first robot is almost ready.

Man of Action
Stalker