How to Motivate Teenagers

When it comes to motivating teenagers there are concepts that can be applied to just about all of them. At the same time it is important to account for different personality traits. We are all pretty familiar with the long list of teenage stereotypes. For example you have the bookworm, the nerd, the attention getter, the jock, the cheerleader, the weird one, the rebellious one, the popular one, and on and on.

There are other characteristics which are equally important to consider in terms of the type of person your teenager happens to be. Those characteristics will determine the best approach in how to motivate teenagers displaying them.

The Self-Starter

The self-starter is probably among the most desirable types of individuals. They are responsible and they take their responsibilities very seriously. When you have teenagers with this characteristic, you do not have to tell them the same thing over and over again. They tend to be self disciplined and comfortable working alone.

This is the kind of student that will come home and immediately get to work on homework assignments without being asked to do so. Why? Because he knows he needs to get his studies done before being allowed to do anything else. Your job here is simple: just recognized his accomplishments.

However you know just as much as I do not everyone fits this mold.

The Easily Distracted

This individual often times tries to be very popular. He wants to have lots of friends and knows a lot of people. He may even enjoy being the center of attention. He is likely to have a very active mind, very interested in all kinds of things. That curiosity will take him from one thing to another very easily.

This teenager is the easily distracted. For the parent it means being prepared to constantly remind him of what he needs to be doing. He has not yet learned how to focus his attention on one thing and stay with it until completion. He may start out pretty well but if something catches his attention he may drop the current task completely to chase after the distraction.

This teenager will require a lot of time and patience to help him develop good habits. You may find in working with him his particular interest. It is likely that it is the one thing he can focus on. As you instruct your teenager you may point this out to him. It will give him a concrete visual picture of what you're trying to convey.

The Master of Procrastination

A teenager who puts things off may mean well and sincerely intend to do the work, but just not right now. He tells himself he'll get around to it.

For the parent it means providing a lesson on what happens when you keep putting things off. You might search your memory for a personal experience that you can share. If you don't have one of your own you can share an illustration of what happens in his world.

Point out the outcome of not completing a homework assignment, or studying for a test. Putting those kinds of things off until later can mean that they never get done, or are done poorly.

The Lazy

The lazy teenager is clearly the opposite of the self-starter. It is probable that there is a reason behind the laziness. You as a parent will have to do some detective work to determine what that is.

Lazy teenagers generally don't see the relevance or importance of what they are called upon to do. They may even ask the question "What is the point?" When it comes to how to motivate teenagers with this characteristic you must carefully help them understand the relevance.

A teenager may complain that a particular subject is worthless. He may exclaim "Who cares about chemistry? I won't use that when I get out of school." Rather than argue you might begin pointing out the relevance of things by presenting a small challenge.

Ask your teenager to explain and describe to you what would happen if you suddenly stop doing the things you do? He may respond "Well, I don't know." Then you can point out something that he can immediately relate to: eating.

Tell him that you just decided that you don't understand the importance or the relevance of buying groceries.

Explain to him what life would be like in the household if you were lazy and didn't buy things to eat. Point out how there would be no junk food, no snacks, no dinner, no breakfast - nothing!

Then point out if everyone in the world was lazy nothing would get done. Point out how the garbage would pile up, or how there would not be any video games because everyone is too lazy to make them. Tell him there would not be any electricity or automobiles or anything else that we enjoy if everyone was lazy. Then ask if he now understands what you're trying to say? He is likely to concede he understands.

Reassure him that you love him and that you're not going to stop buying groceries. Then encourage him to see the value of being diligent and not being lazy.

No matter what characteristic your teenagers exhibit, always love, respect and care for them when you interact. Their memory of you as parents will hold that fact years into the future.

About the Author

Are you failing your teenagers? You are if you are not doing this one key thing. Among the "common problems" Lawrence T. Scott has reviewed, reaching our teenagers is among his favorites. Parenting teenagers is a real challenge in today's world and you must do everything you can to prepare them. Find out how you're probably failing your teenagers right now when you Visit =>

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