Troubled Teen Options

How To Motivate A Teen

At times, it may seem impossible to motivate a teen. They are feeling more and more independent and want to do things on their own terms. Constant lecturing, telling a teen what to do, or negative criticism will only make the teen unmotivated, withdraw, and probably do the exact opposite of what the parent wants them to do. Instead, teens need to be treated as people, not just children or students. They need to learn from their parents’ example. Parents should keep positive attitudes towards life in general. Parents themselves should be active and participate in wholesome, uplifting activities to motivate their teen. When parents do this, their positive outlook and behaviors will influence their teen for good. One example is a father and mother of a family of four who were avid runners. The parents participated in marathons across the country, and all kinds of local runs and events. Their motivation and hard work rubbed off on each of their four children. Each child quickly gained a love for marathon running. The mother said she loved training for marathons with her children because that was the time they could really talk one-on-one, work through problems, and set goals for the future. What a positive way to motivate teens- merely through a parents good example.

Good Example

Along with being a good example, parents need to give instructions, advice, and criticism in a loving and positive way in order to motivate their teen. Teens need all the direction they can get in order to stay motivated. But often time, parents can give direction and counsel in a “do this or else...”kind of way. Parents may sometimes push a teen too hard in one direction, such as to play a certain sport or participate in an extra curricular activity that the teen isn’t interested in. Parents should be sensitive in these situations. A teen may feel resentment and bitterness towards the activity or even the parents themselves. Instead, parents and teens should regularly set goals together and evaluate all the aspects in the teens life and check to see that those aspects are headed in the right direction. With a little love, patience, and positive criticism, parents can motivate their teens and direct them for good.