The underchallenged 'lazy teenager'

They are the ones who make time for television, videogames, social media and friends, but not for school. Many do the minimum required to get by, flying under the radar of official “trouble” while causing their parents plenty of grief and consternation.

My psychology practice is filled with middle- and high-school-age boys who cannot seem to achieve their “potential.” I am also seeing more and more college students, home for a year because when the parents, tutors, coaches and, yes, therapists were no longer around, they failed.

Some call them the lost boys. Although on the outside they look impervious to academic pressures, many of these boys are simply overcome by demands that they fear can’t be met. And so they choose to opt out of the competition. Their parents, fearing that their sons will never successfully launch into adulthood, have tried everything. They’ve begged, pleaded and bribed. But nothing seems to light the fire of motivation.