Skip Ribbon Commands
Skip to main content

Teen son having trouble focusing


My 15-year-old son has difficulty focusing, and this deficit is affecting both his schooling and his life outside of school. For instance, he just failed his driver’s test this morning. I have talked to him about focusing on one step at a time to prevent him from getting overwhelmed with the “big picture.” But when he becomes flustered or when something gets out of kilter, he disassociates from the situation as a coping mechanism. 

I know that I need to spend more time with him. I can relate to his issues, but I need some ideas on how I can address this problem with him.



Your son’s lack of focus will not likely get any better on its own, and so professional intervention is recommended. You have a few sources of help to pursue. The first is his school. Nearly all​ school districts have school psychologists who can help pinpoint what is going on with your son’s lack of concentration. Tutoring services may also be an option to help your son stay on track with his schooling and to learn some new study skills.

Another source is a counselor or therapist who specializes in helping young adolescents who struggle with self-confidence, goal-setting and follow-through. Your family doctor can make a referral. You can also call the Boys Town hotline at 800-448-3000 for a referral in your community.