My nephew, age 17, has been home-schooled all his life. I visited my sister’s family last week for the first time in years and realized my nephew is extremely sheltered and has no social skills. When I wanted to take a walk with him, my sister was nervous because she never lets him go anywhere without her. Taking him to Starbucks I realized that he had never ordered for himself before and had no idea how to talk to the cashier. My sister and her husband do not let the boy watch TV, go outside alone, or have friends. What should I do about this? Should I say something to my sister or not get involved?
We were also fortunate to have a great local trade and on Friday night we had barristers, accountants, sales managers, engineers and a number of self-made multi-millionaires. So by the time I was ready to start my business career I felt that I had met most types of people which meant that I could adapt. The only problem was that I had decided to become a chartered accountant and that required a ‘particular’ personality. None.
If you have ever read the book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People you’ll know that the key to influencing people is to empathise with them – a key attribute in emotional intelligence. If you want your son to quit smoking you tell him he won’t be fit enough to get into the basketball team. NOT that smoking is, as a matter of fact, unhealthy – yada yada ad infinitum.
First of all, remember that you are not a bad person. There is nothing wrong except for the fact that you want to be even better. The people who take the time to improve themselves are the most successful because they are the ones that care about who they are and have real goals in mind. So, never beat yourself up for wanting to make changes to your life, especially if the changes are for the better.
NOTE: This is the truth. The recruiter did send you a can letter that they created to let you know that they will contact you if you are a match. But in the can letter, they didn’t leave their name and direct phone number.
The truth is that John felt very insecure and lacked the anger management for kids necessary to create healthy friendships and relationships. He also did not know how to manage his money.
If you’re concerned about your nephew, go ahead and get involved. But don’t get your hopes up. These days, most home-schoolers understand the importance of social – as well as academic – development. Your sister’s isolation of her son has put him at a huge disadvantage relative to other children his age. At some point he’ll want to buy a Big Mac, drive a car, ask a girl on a date, or get a job. And unless something changes, he won’t be prepared.
Copyright 2009, by William R. Murray, President of Eagle Alliance Executive Coaching, LLC. Reprint rights granted to all venues so long as this article and by-line are printed intact with all links made live.