Lets Motivate Teenagers – Some strategies that may work with more to come

I was talking with my Amazing boyfriend about what I should write on my blogs and he suggested my teenager. I thought wow that is an awesome idea.

How to raise a teenager and still be Fabulous

This is my life right now and he is driving me crazy.  He’s in the 7th grade and has this attitude that he found in the sixth grade. Don’t get me wrong he isn’t a bad kid he’s just not motivated to be successful in school.  He also seems like he is energy depleted you know like a Slouth. I want to have these magical powers that lets me wiggle my nose and give him more energy and motivation.

Motivate Teenagers

First let me mention I’m a single mom with a full time job as a nurse. My son is a smart seventh grader and doesn’t get much discipline from his father. We have been divorced 6 years and he didn’t want the divorce.  Just a little background to set the stage.

Typical Morning Before School

I wake him up at 6 am by saying “Good Morning Sunshine” and he rolls over and says “Good Morning Mom.  I’ll get up in 30 minutes”.  I say cool and walk downstairs.  I have my coffee, I feed the dogs, and I blog a little for the 30 minutes that I am waiting for him to roll out of bed.

It’s 6:30 and I yell upstairs for him to come downstairs. Well you got it 15 minutes later he’s strolling down the stairs and asking for coffee with a bagel.  I feel good at this point because I know he’s brushed his teeth.  His face being washed is a whole different story but hey I got to my battles.

So he’s awake but without any energy.  He lays around all covered up and acting drowsy staring at the TV.  Can anyone relate? Drives me nuts. I have the coffee and his bagel sitting in front of him and I keep telling him to get started.  Every time I say something he says “I’m starting” without moving

This generation is something else or maybe it is just a boy thing. How do we get them motivated?  From the article I found on the Internet “Motivating the Low Achieving Teen” by Laurisa White Reyes there are 6 ways to motivate my teen.

SIX ways to motivate teenagers to stay on task

  1. Pay Attention. Parents often assume that teens do not need the same amount of attention they received when they were younger. But nothing could be further from the truth. “The most motivated students,” says Larsen, “are those whose parents sit with them during homework and do not ignore problems until it’s too late.”
  2. Communicate. Parents should be aware of what is going on at school and what assignments their children have been given. Larsen advises parents to communicate regularly with teachers about their child’s progress. “Teachers want your child to succeed as much as you do.”
  3. Don’t Make Excuses. Sometimes parents enable their kid’s poor performance in school by laying the blame on that child’s disability or situation. Instead, parents ought to expect teens to be responsible for their own education, while keeping such expectations reasonable. “Parents should also set the example for their kids,” says Messersmith. “No double standards.”
  4. Recognize Achievements. For teens who struggle in school, even the slightest improvement is an achievement. Praise your child for his efforts. Receiving recognition for accomplishments is a great motivator.
  5. Celebrate Strengths. “We all have different abilities,” says Larsen. “Parents can motivate their teens to succeed by focusing on their strengths and helping them improve on their weaknesses.”
  6. Never Give Up. High school students who face academic challenges can sometimes feel like throwing in the towel. But with the love and support of their parents and teachers, even the most frustrated teen can set and meet goals. “It’s so much easier to give up,” says Messersmith, “but don’t get discouraged. Stand your ground.” The key, as Larsen reminds us, “is to never settle, but also don’t have crazy, unreachable goals.” In other words, set realistic goals and never stop helping your child attain them.

Here is one Strategy that I did this week.

So I will let you all know how these strategies work on my child this week. I started with Pay Attention this week.  I asked him every day to tell me something good that happened today. Then I say tell me something bad that happened today.  The first 2 days I got some really crappy answers like “The good thing was that I thought you wouldn’t ask me the question.  Then he said “The bad thing was you asked me these stupid questions.”.

We are working on this technique.  Besides doing that I spoke with his English teacher and we are now on the right track to get higher grades because we are dong his homework together. It is hard to motivate teenagers because of all the distractions.  Not only do they have their hormones raging but they have electronics for them to escape too. It’s hard but I believe we can do this.

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