A 18-year-old who is in the final year of high school is exhibiting certain patterns of behavior that seem very troubling. He is currently doing well in school, but I'm afraid that these patterns of behavior will soon enough lead him to disaster (academically and otherwise).
- Lack of deep interest in most activities, apart from watching sports or playing video games.
- Lack of interest in any specific academic topics.
Avoidance of any responsibility or school duty until the last possible moment before the (homework) deadline -- to be precise, he does in the end do the job, but goes about doing it in the following way:
- asks for help from his parents and does it in a way as to imply that it is their responsibility to insure that the task is completed and that;
- refuses to go the extra mile in performing any academic task. What is more, is always ready to cut corners that do not affect "too much" the performance -- one of his favorite saying is "I don't want to do useless extra work" (while actually talking about work whose avoidance will not make him fail, but will avoid him truly going beyond mediocrity).
Complete abdication of responsibility for any aspect of his life, from trivial decisions to more important life-changing ones -- e. g. he has not yet even thought about his college major (or job perspective) after finishing school (to clarify, in my country you have to decide a fixed major before applying to university).
Complete lack of skills and awkwardness in the most trivial/easiest manual activities.
Refusal to complete even the most trivial tasks (even when pressed) -- including showering, brushing his teeth, set his room in (the tiniest amount of) order.
Lack of self-care -- is consistent with depression symptoms, but, in my experience, being forced by an external force to complete such tasks is ralely met with active resistence or avoidance in depression cases (in those cases it is more of a "letting oneself go" rather than actively resisting).
Severe misbehavior and lack of respect towards parents (or adults in general). In some cases, I can see where he comes from, but it is still unacceptable and, in many instances, unjustified.
Unwillingness to learn (in many contexts) from others (even school teachers -- for example one phrase he uses often is "Why does teacher X go on blabbing about this stuff, can't he just assign pages from the textbook and be done with it?").
I must say that these things have been a problem with him for many years, but recently have become more and more severe.
One approach would be to let him be until reality sets him straight and he is willing to help himself. However, I'd really rather not have him suffer the consequences of his actions, because they can surely be disastrous.
I cannot figure out the causes of this situation and when it is brought up for discussion his reaction is mosty avoidance (one phrase that he comes up with a lot in these circumstances is "Don't stress me out").
What should the parents do to deal with this situation effectively?