Can I Give Oats To My 1 Year Old Baby Motivating Your Unmotivated Teenager – How Not to Do It

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Motivating Your Unmotivated Teenager – How Not to Do It

Your teenager is bright but unmotivated, not using their innate intelligence. His school results are mediocre, well below his potential. You are very frustrated, worried and heartbroken, and none of your efforts to motivate him have worked. You see his future fly away.

Part of the effort you put into motivating him is to be very positive and encouraging. You support him with great enthusiasm, emphasizing how smart he is. You express your faith in his abilities and let him know that you are convinced he can do better.

While there are a number of reasons teens lack motivation, this approach rarely works. Although the teenager himself may not know why he lacks motivation, it may not be a lack of confidence in his own abilities. But if the teenager is, as is often the case, discouraged or discouraged by their school work, this kind of cheerleading usually backfires.

One reason is that the teenager feels patronized. Too much “rah-rah” is condescending. The teenager, smelling his oats like a teenager, feels that you are treating him like a child. And it doesn’t do him any good.

Second, if your comments don’t match the teenager’s opinion of themselves, they feel misunderstood. As a result, you lose credibility in the eyes of your teenager. Parents who have little credibility with their teenager will not be able to have a motivating relationship with him. Thus, the well-intentioned strategy of positively supporting your teen backfires, producing the opposite outcome to what you intended.

Third, some children will feel guilty in response to their parents’ encouragement. You now have a demotivated teenager who, in addition to his poor grades, also feels guilty for his poor academic performance. You have unwittingly made the situation worse.

What are you going to do about it? Step back on the “rah-rah”. That doesn’t mean you have to be negative. It just means you’ll be less enthusiastically encouraging (but not discouraging) and taking the time to listen to your teen’s perspective on the subject. You’ll stop lecturing and just acknowledge (without necessarily agreeing with) your teen’s point of view.

This is the first in a series of articles on motivating your smart but unmotivated teenager. Specific approaches will follow. But for now, you’ll start by talking less and listening more.

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