We can tell our children that they need to become more motivated, but if you have a teenager struggling in school and they don’t seem to be motivated, it’s important to remember that some children have difficulty pushing themselves for a number of reasons. But what can parents do to help their children uncover that motivation to try harder?
Help Them Understand the Big Picture
For older children who have become lackluster in their approach to work, sometimes a simple reminder of their long-term goals can give them that motivation they need. If your child is looking to go to college, good grades can mean they get into their college of choice, but they could feel that there’s no point, especially if they have noticed you struggling because of finances. A child can feel they shouldn’t go to college when there’s a lot of financial pressure in a household, but it’s important to remember that there are ways around this, such as the School spirit scholarship and other bursaries. When we link school with long-term goals, it can make their work feel more fulfilling. Because if they let their grades drop too much or if they were not prepared enough for college, this could have a big impact on their lives.
Become More Involved
You might already find yourself struggling to motivate them, but is this because you are not as involved as you should be? Getting into the habit of asking them about what they learned in school and engaging them is showing them you’re interested in their school life but it’s important to remember that with teenagers, you’ve got to focus more on conversation rather than interrogation. Being involved is crucial, but with teenagers, you’ve got to give them that space because it could put a big strain on your relationship.
Reward the Effort, Not the Result
One of the biggest mistakes we all make as parents is rewarding them if they get good grades. Instead, we need to reinforce the message that we respect hard work. Praising our children for doing things when life gets tough, making a bigger effort, or trying things out can help them realize the benefits of pushing themselves. Rewarding them for making the effort is far more important. Because if you reward children for good grades, this can make your children feel like they don’t have to push themselves, especially if those good grades came easily.
Do Not Focus on Perfection
As important as it is to push our children for them to do their best, we’ve got to remember that mistakes and setbacks are a great way to help them develop. Sometimes, we have to let our children learn a big lesson in not being prepared. Because if they don’t cram effectively for a test, this is a very important lesson for them. Letting them make certain mistakes is crucial, but it’s about making sure that it’s on an insignificant test rather than a major exam.
Everyone can feel demotivated from time to time, but when it comes to raising teenagers, we’ve got to get the balance between nurturing while also keeping our distance.