The boy has been struggling with laziness his whole life, from what he tells me. A bright boy from a young age, he was labelled as "gifted" as a child and thus began to learn the kinds of things that "gifted" kids learn. When I say that, I don't just mean advanced mathematics and such, but the social pressure and expectations that go with being "gifted".
He began to learn that it didn't take much effort to succeed at the tasks adults set for him. He began to learn that people liked you and were nice to you if you were good at something. He began to learn that being smart was valued, and thus his value was in his intelligence, not in his intrinsic worth. In short, as a child, he learnt that the way to live life was to only do the things you are good at, and to only do them to the bare minimum of effort.
It doesn't sound like a very leatherboy way to think, does it? And the truth is that the boy has been struggling against this ideas for his adult life. He often mentions that once he got past the first few years in university, he suddenly realized that he had to actually put effort into his work now, because all the students were reaching the same level of expertise, and the expectations were higher than the bare minimum.
The last couple of years has seen a slightly different struggle; not one of the intellect as such, but one that does require some thinking and some work. The balance of work life versus social life. Were the boy a woman, he would be having the struggle that is often named, "the desire to have it all". The good job, the good relationship, the good friends, the good family.
It's certainly a balancing act to work at, something that does take some effort. And that's where the boy has been faltering lately.
One of the wonderful things about D/s (and all relationships, as was pointed out to me on facebook) is the cycle of built-in life coaching that comes with it. When I see a problem in the boy's life, I can either take steps to fix it myself or (more likely) encourage, push and lead the way for the boy to fix it himself. And the absolutely wonderful part of it is that it's not unwanted; it's not me being an overbearing partner, it's me fulfilling my role in our relationship. Boy needs a loving and firm hand to guide, and I need a caring and gentle soul to support. That is our cycle.
So I see an imbalance and we talk about it. I don't just start throwing orders about willy-nilly, I need to know what's going on inside the boy's head and heart before anything can be done. Assumptions are bad. Communication is good. To put it simply. :)
So we've done quite a bit of talking about this over the last few weeks and I'm finally starting to come to a place where I'm beginning to understand his problems, which means I can start putting together definitive plans to push him to improve, as a person and as a boy.
Anyway, that's a whole lotta preamble to actually get to the meat and bones of the practical stuff. After all this blog is meant to be about the practical, tangible stuff as well as the thinky theory stuff.
So, boy is struggling to keep his social life afloat. Most of the friends he spends his time with recently have been my friends instead of his. So I discussed a few options to him, and this is what we did:
* He went through his facebook list and wrote a list of all the friends he wants to catch up with and see more.
* We then put those friends into groups, one group for friends he'll go visit, one group for friends he'll invite over for a little games day, and one group for friends he'll invite to take part in monthly roleplaying games.
* Today his task is to email the people in the roleplaying game list and gauge their interest, finding out what they want to play and what day of the month works for everyone.
I'm determined that he will have social interaction with his friends at least once a month, minimum. Hopefully more, which shouldn't be too hard if the roleplaying game is monthly, and we can still find time for him to go visit people or have them visit him.
Being a Daddy, or a Sir, or any Dominant type, is great because you get to poke at your boy or sub or whatnot, you get to make them make you drinks and do horrible things to them in the bedroom. But it's also great because it's a form of life coaching. You get to help someone fulfil their potential, and that's a wonderful position to be in.