Teen Motivating - Motivating a Child or Teen to Do Well in School

Teen motivation ...

... is a tricky thing. Some kids are naturally enthusiastic about school, sports and their social lives. Other kids, often boys, are undeniably smart, but seem uninterested in plumbing the depths of their intelligence and creativity. Some aren't even willing to exert themselves in sports. In recent years, I've received numerous complaints from concerned parents who are frightened by the lack of motivation in teens or preteens: "My son is smart, but in school, he just does the minimum necessary. Either he doesn't do assignments or does them, but fails to hand them in. I've never seen him study for a test." If this sounds familiar, read on.

Obviously, teen motivation is important. To illustrate, let me tell you a story. Recently, I approached an acquaintance who is a single dad to congratulate him and his teenage son for an academic award his son had just received. After I gave my congratulations, the single dad put his arm around his son's shoulder, looked at me and said, "You know when I was in school, my father tried to emphasize the importance of going to college, but I refused to listen. All I wanted to do was smoke dope and hang out with my friends. I've always told my son what I big mistake I made by not going to college. He knows that's why I have to work double shifts as a waiter to make ends meet. I am proud that my son will not make the same mistake."

Teen Motivation: Understanding How It Works

Before I detail various ways of motivating teens, you need to understand a basic principle—there are two forms of motivation—love and fear. People are motivated to do things either because they love them or because they fear the consequences of inaction. For instance, if you love playing guitar, you won't need anyone to remind you to practice. If you hate your job, you will go to work anyway because you're afraid of getting fired.

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Teen motivation works the same. Kids who do well in school, do so because they love learning or because they have specific goals. They may want to go to a particular college, pursue a career or work toward the dream of a better life.

Unmotivated teens do not appear to have clearly defined dreams, at least with regard to what academic performance can bring them. However, it's important to understand that there are factors that can impact motivation, including physiological, developmental and emotional issues.

Teen Motivation & Emotional, Behavioral & Developmental Problems

For example, if your child is suffering from depression, ADD, ADHD or oppositional defiant disorder (a disorder which characterizes teens who are constantly angry, disrespectful, defiant, talking back, aggressive, etc), then I recommend using this behavioral program. which was created by a therapist who was once a troubled, unmotivated teen himself. Over the past thirty years, he has turned around the lives of countless teens with developmental and behavioral issues using simple techniques that he teaches in his program which you can use in the privacy of your home. The program is easy to use and the techniques are simple enough to start applying right away, yet powerful enough to create quick and lasting change. Motivating teens who don't seem to care is easy once you understand the secrets.

Teen motivation can also be the difference between an average student and one who excels in school. In this case, take a look at how you treat your child. Are you always nagging him or coercing him to do his schoolwork? This technique usually backfires. It's important for parents to understand that motivation is not something that they can force. Motivation comes from within, but there are certain ways to encourage it and draw it out..

Motivating teens is impossible when teens feel that they do not have freedom or control over aspects of their lives in which they feel they should have choices.It is possible to encourage an average student into improving grades by giving him choices and more control over when he studies and does his homework. Ask your teen to come up with a schedule for after school, allowing time for relaxation, connecting with friends and doing homework or study. Giving a somewhat motivated teen more control can increase motivation, but this technique will not work for teens who are indifferent.

In order for teen motivation to work, your adolescent needs to feel that he has choices and some control over his life.

Typically, unmotivated teens who do poorly in school (but are smart and have no behavioral or developmental issues) complain that they're bored or that school has no relevance to real life. They don't see the purpose of playing the game just to get a ride to college which they believe will be the same as high school. Trying to motivate an unmotivated teen by convincing them of the importance of school does not work. In fact, it usually backfires. The reason is clear: you can't make somebody care.

Teen Motivation: The Fear Factor

The only teen motivation technique that works for parents of teens who have tried everything is fear—the fear of losing valued privileges. The problem with this is that most parents don't understand how to take away privileges in a way that will encourage the teen to earn them back by doing well at home and in school. If handled properly, this method is effective and will not only improve school performance, it will strengthen the bond between parent and child, rather than rupture it. If you have tried every possible way to motivate your teen, don't give up. This at-home teen motivation behavioral program will teach you step-by-step how to get your teen to listen, do his school work, chores and treat you and others with respect. No matter how resistant your teen is, deep down, all of us want to feel good about ourselves and connected to others. This program will show you how to turn around an unmotivated child or teen. For a limited time, the program is available on a trial basis, so you can try it out and see if it is right for you and your family.

Copyright © 2009 by Laura Ramirez. All rights reserved. You may not use this article on Teen Motivation in whole or in part without the express written permission of the author.

Laura is the author of the award-winning parenting book, Keepers of the Children: Native American Wisdom and Parenting. The book won a Nautilus Award for books that "promote conscious living and social change" along with four other awards. It teaches parents how to raise children who act from courage, integrity and strength and bring their strengths to the table both as children and adults.

Motivating Teens - Teen Parenting


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