Everyone needs motivation, especially teens and in this article, we have discussed how to motivate a teenager.
Parenting can be a bit difficult, especially when you have to deal with teenagers. Becoming a teenager comes with a lot of transformation generally.
As a parent, nurturing a teenager I believe is not your typical parenting of a toddler. The transformation we are talking about includes challenging your judgement as a parent, making decisions without your consent, and dealing with stress.
As a parent, it’s your responsibility to motivate your teenage daughter or son. Although you want your teen to become responsible and self-disciplined adults, you don’t have to do that authoritatively.
Let’s talk about why it’s important to motivate a teenager.
Why is it Important to Motivate a Teenager?
Motivation is beneficial to everyone regardless if you are a teenager or an adult. It’s associated with the neurotransmitter dopamine, which is essential to us as humans.
Generally, our dopamine levels are boosted when we are winning or receiving rewards for our effort. This usually happens when we win a contest of any kind.
We experience low levels of dopamine when we feel bored or demotivated. A desirable dopamine level perhaps leads to high motivation. And that is the key to a teen’s motivation.
Between the ages of 13 and 19, dopamine levels can easily drop. The best way to prevent that from happening is to ensure that your teen’s dopamine levels never drop in the first place.
Why Stress is Unhealthy for the Adolescent Brain
Physically and medically, stress is harmful to the human body. Stress is harmful to your dopamine.
Your teen’s dopamine levels can easily fall when they go through mild chronic stress. Dealing with stress has a negative impact on teenagers. It can reduce your teen’s confidence to take on meaningful tasks.
Whether you are a teenager or an adult, chronic stress is unhealthy for you. it’s more harmful to teenagers than adults. Chronic stress can cause adolescent brains to suffer permanent changes in brain development.
Dealing with toxic stress as a teenager is far worst. The effect of dealing with toxic stress can cause damage to the learning, memory and focusing centre of the brain.
Although a child’s brain develops rapidly during puberty and adolescence, a teen’s brain is quite sensitive to stress.
Dealing with toxic stress during the teenage years often contributes to mental health issues like depression, anxiety, drug abuse, and schizophrenia.
One way to prevent your teen from suffering any of these mental health issues is to ensure they are psychologically cared for.
Tips on How to Motivate a Teenager
Let’s look at a few tips on how you can motivate your teenager.
Concentrate on the Process Rather than the Outcome
Generally, teenagers have to deal with school and other academic-related activities. There are also things to learn at home and character to learn to become responsible members of the community.
Teens are required to perform excellently at school and also participate in extracurricular activities. These things are important no doubt, but what is more important is who your teen becomes in the future.
As a parent, teach and encourage your teenage son or daughter to focus on becoming a self-motivated student. Make them understand the value of achieving goals through hard work and commitment.
They may spend time with their teachers at school, but your word of advice as a parent will be well-appreciated.
As a parent, you owe it to your teen to identify opportunities for improvement when they don’t achieve their goals. A few words of encouragement can motivate a teenager to do better next time.
How can you motivate your teenager with a few simple encouraging words?
There are a few things you can say as a parent to motivate your teen.
“Even if you don’t make the basketball team, I hope you are proud of yourself for practising each day. You showed the character of a champion. How do you think you can improve your practice to be more effective next time?
Additionally, you can also encourage your teenager by doing the following;
- Engage your teen in a conversation where you need to talk about the benefits of studying beyond obtaining good grades.
- Make your teen understand that rewarding carers and hobbies need effort, determination, and time
- Discuss your teenager’s aspirations and hopes and show them how you intend to chase your dreams
- Whenever your teen put up an excellent performance, give him the praise and rewards he deserves
Respect Your Teen’s Autonomy
Becoming a teenager comes with its transformation and as a parent, you need to accept that. Generally, teenagers are inquisitive and want to explore the world around them.
At this stage, they develop the passion to explore and discover what they truly want. They may be interested in a specific sport or career path.
Although your teen may not be a grownup just yet, the need for increased autonomy and independence are the two elements of becoming an adult.
The need for independence may be hindered due to certain reasons.
We are all familiar with parents creating rules and regulations, especially for teenagers. Most teenagers are required to obey and respect strict rules and schedules.
If they don’t, most of them are grounded for a couple of days or even more. This is some sort of “my roof, my rules” situation and most teens don’t have any option but to live by that.
Going through this situation can be frustrating for teenagers. They feel powerless since there isn’t much they can do.
We don’t advise allowing your teenage daughter or son to do whatever they like. But it’s important to not cause more harm than good in this situation.
Also Read: 12 Parenting Skills Every Parent Should Have
How will you respect your teen’s autonomy as a parent?
One easy step to achieve this is to set rules and consequences. When you do this, it makes your teen realise how much you appreciate their opinion.
Your teenager will be motivated to respect you more as a parent. Your act of respect will be more appreciated.
Let’s give you a piece of advice on how to motivate a teenager. As a parent, there are words you should not say to your teenage daughter or son.
Please avoid the urge to tell your teen “I know what is best for you”. Even if you do know what is best for your teen, helping them to accept the sense of autonomy is key to becoming responsible adults.
Set a Good Example for Your Teenager
Setting a good example for your teen to follow is one way to motivate a teenager.
You are not setting a good example for your teenager if you are delaying attending to urgent matters. Of course, everyone has to deal with procrastination, even if you are a parent.
The best you can do is motivate your teenager because they look up to you. if you are not doing things in the house appropriately, how would expect your teen to behave?
Believe it or not, you are their role model and in whatever manner you behave they will follow. Parenting can be challenging no doubt, but don’t let your teens pick up odd behaviour growing up.
How can you set a good example for your children as a parent?
Here are a few things to do as a parent.
- Don’t let procrastination get the best of you, minimize it
- Establish a family culture where mistakes will be rectified
- Do the simple tasks that can be completed in just a few minutes and do them appropriately
- Feel free to share your dreams and worst moments and accept new challenges regardless of how difficult it is
Support Your Teenager’s Interest
School is important and so is your teen’s interest.
What interest your teen outside of academics? Do they like playing basketball, soccer, tennis or playing a musical instrument? Are they interested in joining a dance class?
Whatever your teen decides to do outside academics, your support is needed as a parent. When your kid is passionate about a particular thing, they learn how to become self-motivated.
Your support means a lot to your teenager and that is the greatest motivation they need. As a parent, avoid saying things like “you are wasting your time chasing these dreams”.
Such words will only make your teen resentful and infuriated.
Additionally, if you are unsure what your teen’s interests are, try listening to them. By doing so, you will understand why they are so passionate about a specific career.
Promote Empathetic Communication
We understand that today’s work schedule can be demanding. Most parents across the world hardly spend quality time with their children.
Communication is one of the simple ways to motivate a teenager. How often do you talk to your teenage daughter or son? How is your relationship with your teen?
Communication matters in the relationship between a child and a parent. Discuss with your teen and listen to what they are saying, even if you don’t agree with what they are saying.
Whenever your teen has an issue they want to discuss with you, try not to interrupt them with your advice. Listening is important even if you have some advice to offer.
Also Read: 30 Best High Paying Jobs for Teens
Help Your Teen Create a Roadmap
One of the reasons teenagers are unmotivated is that they lack the right problem-solving skills to break down tasks. This also affects their ability to create a clear roadmap to accomplish a specific goal.
Of course, these teenagers put in more effort to succeed. The problem they face is that they don’t know how to navigate from one point to the other.
Going from point “A” to “B” is a bit difficult for them sometimes. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to offer assistance instead of making your teen feel sad by saying certain words.
We have all experienced hard times at some point in life. If your teen is going through that at the moment, be the motivation they need to make things better.
We are not saying you should do everything for your kid, no. what we are sayings is, if your child is disorganized and he or she needs to create a great study plan, this is where you come in.
Help them create a comfortable learning environment, so they won’t forget to do their homework or attend to other schoolwork.
How to Motivate a Teenager to Study
Is your teen having trouble studying? Here are a few tips to help boost their motivation.
- Don’t punish your teen for earning poor grades at school or failing to do their homework
- Encourage your teen and keep reminding him or her why it’s important to go a college
- Please, stop nagging constantly about schoolwork, rather be gentler
- Give your teen autonomous support and also help them understand the value of learning
- Build a strong relationship with your teenage daughter or son
Everyone needs motivation at some point in life. We understand teenagers have to deal with school and other activities, what you owe them as a parent is to support them when they choose a hobby or a career path.
We hope this article on how to motivate a teenager was helpful.
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