Embracing A Unique Child

Dear Sara,

I have three teenage sons. The youngest is thirteen and very different from the rest of the family. My husband and I are college educated and successful professionals and our two older boys do well in school and plan to go to college. Our thirteen year old doesn’t like school and is more interested in drawing and painting. He seems to be off in his own little world most of the time. He isolates himself and won’t be part of family activities because he claims we ignore him but he just isn’t interested in what the rest of us like to do. How can I make him fit into our family?

Dear Victoria,

You seem to be trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. I don’t think your youngest son will ever be like his brothers. His art work seem very important to him so you may have a budding artist in your family. Encourage him in the direction that he wants to grow. Let him know that if he wants to pursue a career in art that he may want to keep up with his school work so that he can continue studying art in college.

Allow him to take art classes outside of school now if they are available. The way to reach him and make him part of your family is to take an interest in his art. He will probably rebel if you expect him to be different that what he is.

You might want to have him tested to make sure he doesn’t have a learning disability. Also you  could suggest to him that eventually he will want to support himself if he can’t make a living as an artist so he might want to think about how he can do this.

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