If you are a parent to a teenager, the most dreaded term is probably 'whatever' or 'I don't care'! You may find it extremely difficult to get your teenagers to do what they feel and know is right. Most teenagers aren't motivated to do anything unless they see themselves reaping direct benefits out of it.
Teenagers sure don't need motivation for activities like computer gaming, shopping, watching TV, hanging out with friends or simply lazing around. But the moment you mention homework, household chores or picking up laundry, they will turn their back towards you and totally resist doing it. If you too have been struggling to motivate your teenager, it's time to start understanding and working towards motivating them now!
Understand the reason behind lacking motivation: The first step towards motivating your teenager is to know the reason behind this lacking. The biggest reason behind such behavior is the inability to see benefits.
* Sit down and discuss the long term benefits of studying with your teenager.
* Try to make him understand how finishing his homework and taking studies seriously will help mold his future.
* The moment your teenager sees the bigger picture and realizes the importance of certain things, he will be motivated enough to pursue it seriously.
Apart from understanding the reasons, here are some effective tips on how to motivate teenagers to study towards his or her brighter future.
Appreciate and compliment: You too need appreciation to get motivated.
* Compliments make your teen feel better and help him do even better.
* Compliment his efforts and appreciate his hard work.
Agreements and deals: One the best and positive ways of motivating your teenager is to settle for agreements and deals.
* When you don't see your teenager preparing enough for his upcoming exams and spending more time with friends, it's time to make a deal.
* Explain how studying should be his priority at this point and he can spend as much time with his friends later.
* The trick here is to stick to your deals.
* Don't forget the deal once you get what you want.
Don't nag: The moment you get into the nagging mode, your teenager will cut off from everything you want him to do. Stop nagging about everything. Discuss the consequences beforehand. Make your point clear.
Support your teenager, no matter what: It is important for your teenager to feel loved in every condition. Your support means the most.
* Do not let your teenager feel that you love him only when he does a good job.
* Such feelings create pressure and hence make your teenager lack motivation.
* If you teenager comes up to you and shares about failing, be positive and guide him properly.
* Tell him that you appreciate the fact that he came up and shared the news with you.
* Tell him you are sure about how he can do better and that everyone goes through ups and downs.
* Such positive support motivates teenagers the most.
Help to start: Your teenager may find it difficult to get up and start something they should.
* Involve yourself into your teenager's activities.
* Share your personal stories about how motivated you were in your teens and how it helped you shape life.
* Set a time for everything and help him stick to it.
* When your teenager is trying to do something, try and create an environment that doesn't distract him.
Freedom is important: Your teenager just needs that initial push.
* Be positive and help him sail through this difficult phase of his life with your support and motivation. Yet do not overdo it.
* Your job is to guide and motivate.
* But in the process of doing so, do not take away your teenager's freedom.
* Give him the freedom to do things as when he feels is right.
* Do not put too many restrictions all the time. The moment you give him freedom, he will feel entrusted and it will give him a sense of responsibility.
The writer is a freelance contributor at
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