18-Year-Old Son Has No Motivation

In today’s time, motivation is hard to come by. Especially for younger generations, it can be hard to find something to get motivated about. Before you can even think of helping your 18-year-old son have some motivation, you need to understand why he is so unmotivated.

There are many reasons this could be the case. Before you spend too much time worrying about your son, what he is going through is quite normal. Highly motivated 18-year-olds are few and far in-between. Most people don’t develop real drive until deep into their 20s or even their 30s.

There are things you can do to help your son find motivation. Whether it’s school, work, or even in their social life your son may just need a push to get them engaged in life again.

Finding a passion is the easiest way to get your son’s motivation back up. Being excited about something will help you push through the more mundane tasks of life that need to get done

Look at it this way. You’re excited to go on a camping trip, but you can’t leave until you get all your work done. You are a lot more likely to sit down and get the work done because it is standing in the way of you and something you enjoy doing. 

Motivation is about finding something your son would look forward to doing.  

Find Out Why Your 18-Year-Old Son Has No Motivation

The first step to helping your adult son find some motivation is finding out why he has no motivation in the first place. This can be difficult to diagnose, especially if you are not close to your son. Here are a few possibilities as to why your son has lost interest in his daily activities.

1. He Has Not Found His Passion

I used to think some people were just lazy and others were just driven. I always thought I was one of the lazy people. That was until I found my passion, writing. I went from waking up at noon every day and playing video games till it was dark out to writing for hours every day.

The point is, sometimes it’s not a lack of motivation, it’s alike of inspiration. Your son may have not found something that truly interests him yet. Once he does, you’ll know. 

So how can you help your son find something that will motivate him? Get him involved in as many activities as possible. Finding something that will motivate you at that age is simply a process of trial and error. They need to be engaged in as many activities as possible. Get them out the door and into new situations and experiences.

This is easier said than done. You’ll need to do things that he may not yet appreciate like pushing them to sign up for sports or new activities. Here are just a few examples of the kinds of hobbies your son could turn into a passion that will inevitably lead to motivation.

  • Sports/Athletics
  • Writing
  • Traveling
  • Volunteering
  • Art
  • Leadership
  • Outdoors

2. Depression

One of the symptoms of depression is a lack of motivation. 18 is a difficult age for our children. If you think your son might be suffering from depression be sure to contact a mental health professional so that he can get the help he needs.

It can be hard for parents to engage with their son during this age. They typically close themselves off to their family. This is a very delicate situation and should be handled by someone trained in dealing with mental health.

3. Drug Abuse

Unfortunately, another reasons your 18-year-old son may have no motivation is that he is under the influence of drugs.

Before you start freaking out, the other reasons are more likely. Serious drug abuse among teens has fallen sharply since we were their age.

Although unlikely it is still common. Check out the CDC’s website for signs of drug abuse.

18-Year-Old Son Has No Motivation

4. He’s Just in a Lost

18 is around the age where you are trying to figure out what the rest of your life is going to look like. If you have no idea what direction you want to take your life, it can be quite demotivating to move in any direction.

When I was 18, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do with my life. I had just started college but did not know what to major in. All my friends went to different schools. I had no motivation.

I’d wake up, ditch class, and just play video games all day. I was lost. Once I got my hands on something I truly enjoyed (writing) it was like my life had color again. 

I became excited to write in my journal every day and read literature from great authors. This also gave me a major I knew I would enjoy and actually engage with on a daily basis.

I started actually going to classes, eating better, and even met my now wife.

The point is, everyone is lost at one point in their life. If your 18-year-old has no motivation, it could just be because he is still finding his footing in his new role as an adult.

How to Help Son With No Motivation?

This can be tricky. 18-year-old boys tend to have a weak relationship with their mothers. The reality is there might be very little you can do to help your son out of the situation he is in.

Chances are all he needs is time and space. Most people get out of a place of no motivation within a few months.

If you are really trying to help him find some motivation, give him the freedom to find himself. Let him borrow your car if he wants to meet his friends. If he needs a little extra money to go on vacation, help him out.

Try to facilitate his social life as much as possible.

The reality is the best thing you can do for him is get out of his way and let him become an adult. He will make mistakes and possibly waste years of his life, but these are life experiences he needs to endure in order to become a fully formed adult.

Final thoughts

Having an 18-year-old son with no motivation can be worrisome. The truth is, it is pretty common for someone to go through a phase of no motivation in their lives, especially at that age. Most people just need space and time while they work through it.

If you feel like your son needs some help getting through this phase in his life be sure to reach out to a professional in the field.