Motivating Teens to Do Well in School

The teen years can be a scary time for kids. They no longer have the comfort and safety of elementary school and are now in many different classrooms with all kinds of unknown kids. They don't get much support from their teachers but are expected to perform well anyway. On their own in a big, intimidating world, they often feel lonely and isolated.

The problem is teenagers won't be coming to Mom and Dad saying, "I need you." Their cry for help is often masked as belligerent, aggressive or even passive behavior. They may throw tantrums, refuse to do their homework, complain about school, become apathetic or go "Goth." They desperately want to fit in so they follow the crowd, which may not be the best course for them.

Hoping to put their teen on the right track parents often "lay down the law." They "encourage" their child to study in ways that seem like nagging, punishment and criticism. Instead of creating a love of learning, these methods can backfire turning kids off from school; leaving them with feelings of frustration, depression and hopelessness that they don't tell you about.

Motivating teenagers to go in the right direction can be difficult. However, with effort and skill, you can help them "see the light". The key is to do it in a supportive, loving way.

Here are seven ways to get teens on track:

Shift the Criticism Ratio - In your desire to have your child be the best he can be, you may be focusing more on what needs improvement instead of what's working which can be demoralizing. With kids, you need to take the time to give at least three positive comments for every "suggestion for improvement." These should be specific, sincere and authentic expressions of recognition, and given frequently.

Create a Secure Bond - If you want your children to trust you, listen to you and follow your advice, they have to feel safe with you. It is essential that they know, deep in their heart, you want what's best for them, even when they don't like what you are doing or saying.

Teach a Growth Mindset. - When kids know their brain actually grows and they become smarter by working and struggling through problems, instead of dreading challenges they often embrace them because they are confident they will learn something valuable.

Set a Routine Together - A routine that is followed consistently, every day can get your child into a "groove" of getting their studies done. Work with your child to set up a specific time and place to study every day. It is okay to make minor adjustments when getting started, but once it's set (within a couple of days), stick to it. There may be some moaning and groaning at first, but, in time, it will become as Habitual as brushing teeth and that will make a world of difference.

Have Chores that Contribute to the Family - Instead of dictating what she will do, have your child help decide which chores she would like to do on a daily basis to contribute to the family. These should be things like taking out the trash, washing dishes, setting or clearing the table - maybe making dinner once a week. If she helps choose, she will be more likely to select jobs that are a good fit for her - and she will be more likely to stick with them! World famous scientist George Vaillant found chores to be an astonishing predictor of adult success. After years and years of research, he discovered that doing chores as a child is one of the only early predictors of positive mental health later in life. Educators confirm this by saying, "Kids who are used to doing chores at home - without reminders - without pay, and without arguing are far more respectful and motivated at school."

Teach Problem Solving - Kids who know five ways to solve a problem have better, closer friendships and less conflict in their lives which makes school more enjoyable. When children learn there are specific steps to solving problems, and there are many possible solutions, it can be exhilarating for them because they know they have a choice and real power to determine what happens to them. Also, share some of your struggles with your child, so they know it's a normal part of life.

Make Learning Practical - Take an interest in what your child is learning. Read your child's schoolwork and give Can-Do Recognition. Don't do their work for them - that sends the message they are incompetent - but have them share what they learned in school and listen. This process can be challenging but if you keep at it; pretty soon, your kids will be excited to share what's going on at school and with their friends. Take an interest in what your children are learning and relate it to the real world. Go over your grocery bill and relate it to how many hours of work it took to pay for it, or what it took to buy that new skateboard, bike or car.

The key to success is making each one of these principles a daily habit. It won't happen overnight, but with effort you are both sure to be thrilled with the results.

Also, did you know there is an amazing difference in the impact of how your praise your child? One type of praise can cause your child to give up in defeat when he runs into an obstacle. Another kind of praise can motivate your kids to positive action! Changing a few words can make a night and day difference in your child's life.

If you like to get started learning how to give praise that motivates your kids to succeed please download your FREE EBook at:

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