If your teen is struggling to do well in school, it’s probably not because they lack motivation. They’re a teenager, so they want to spend their time playing sports, hanging with friends or playing on their phones. Because they’re often not thinking long-term, they don’t place the same amount of value on education as you do.
Parents will often try to offer a reward for excelling in school and a punishment for falling behind. The drawback of this kind of incentive is that it encourages your teen to do well to please you, not because it makes them feel fulfilled.
Here are six ways to inspire your teen to feel motivated to succeed so that they invest in their own future.
Ask Them What They Value
Find out exactly what makes it hard for your teen to succeed in school and discover what it is they enjoy putting effort into. Based on this, you and your teen can make a strategy for balancing the things they want to do with the things they have to do.
Let Them Make Mistakes
Allowing your teen to fail will motivate them to do better next time. If you rescue them from failure, you’re robbing them of the opportunity to learn from their own mistakes.
There is a fine line between helping your teen and doing things for them. Ask them what ways you can help them to meet their obligations without assuming their responsibilities. This support could be in the form of a gentle reminder or help organizing their schedule.
Show Them Their Options
Let the possibility of your teen’s future inspire them. Take them on a college campus tour or introduce them to someone working in a field they’re interested in. If they find some larger goal to work towards, they’ll be motivated to focus on their education.
Tell Them You’re Proud
Tell your child you’re proud of them when they put work into something. It will give them confidence and help instill a sense of pride in themselves. Pride in their work will drive them to do better and invest in themselves.
Let Them Own Their Successes
Teens should feel like they can take full responsibility, not only for their mistakes, but for their successes. If they feel they have achieved all on their own, it will build their confidence and help them to enjoy their school work.
Feature Image: AFS-USA Intercultural Programs