Unschooling Teenagers, Isolation, Fighting, and Weight Issues.
(Friday Harbor, WA)
My husband and I are Unschooling our 2 teenage boys, ages 13 and 17.
Short background: We have always unschooled, have always had a very relaxed parenting style, though I only came to Abraham and LOA about 6 years ago. It has radically changed my life and my thinking for the better but there are times when I still don't know if I'm on the "right" track or doing "right" by them.
My current biggest issues:
My youngest son is extremely heavy, loves to eat, and doing anything physical holds no interest for him. I've absorbed Abraham's explanation about how I cannot create for anyone else, nor would I force someone to alter their behavior in order to make me feel better.
That said, I am truly concerned that he doesn't move, doesn't get any exercise to speak of, and will sit for long stretches of time at his computer playing a video game -- day after day after day. That's what he loves to do, and I do feel that he should do what he loves. He is also an amazing musician and will compose music whenever he feels creative, which is often. He loves being close, having conversations, and being together as a family.
My oldest son is a type 1 diabetic, which means he has to monitor his food, count carbs and calculate insulin units all day, every day. This fact will from time to time make him break down crying because it's so hard to always have to pay so much attention to everything. It's a huge weight on his shoulders. He is a naturally quiet guy, but has become quite withdrawn in the last year, preferring to spend many days alone in his room with his computer (movies, gaming, etc.) instead of most other things, like getting outside for almost any reason.
He would love to get a job creating computer games but doesn't seem to have any ambition or follow-through in order to make it happen, ie. write letters, study, teach himself, etc. He says that the things he wants cost too much money and so he can't have them, which is how he has talked himself out of many things he wants or would do. "I can't do that because..." or, "I can't have that because...." Very defeatist and discouraged thinking that makes me feel awful!
We moved to this area about 7 years ago and the boys really have not made any friends. We live 10 miles outside town and there simply aren't people in "the neighborhood" to hang out with. I work full time, my husband is home during the day with the boys, and there is no organized homeschool group that I've discovered, though I have given a lot of thought to starting one ourselves.
My feelings: As an unschooling mom AND an Abraham "student," I am trying to let my kids follow their own paths and do their own thing. There's not a heckuva lot of chores being done here, to say the least, and I am absolutely certain that I have feathered their nest from the time they were born.
When I was younger I firmly believed that if I only did X (and not Z!) my kids would grow up happy and well adjusted, confident and successful. However, I feel I've been doing X all these years and I'm not necessarily seeing the happy kids I thought I'd have -- more like lonely kids, kids with "issues."
Obviously source doesn't see it this way but I'm not sure how to deal with the social pressures about 'obese teenagers,' helping your teen find their strengths and their own voice, and trying to be the supportive parent I believe I am. When I decide to focus on what's positive I do feel better but the situation for my kids remains static (so it seems) and neither one of them puts much stock in LOA.
I thank you SO much for taking your time with this! If you have any thoughts about our situation or want to channel Abraham as though I'd asked this at a workshop, that would be fantastic! Actually, I probably already know the answer, but it's always nice to hear it. Thanks again!
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