>> Apr 27, 2015
Being a teenager is really difficult. This is the very specific moment of your child’s growing up when his/her hormones are raging and they find it difficult to adjust to their environment. For each parent it is a true challenge to nurture their parent-child relationship at this stage, so it’s important you have just the right approach to do it.
If you want to avoid striking your teenager as too controlling yet give them the best support you can, here’s a few tips just how you can motivate your teenager.
Give your teenager a compliment
Everyone responds well to compliments, especially when they are well deserved. Encouragement is the best motivation you can give to your teenager, especially if you are dealing with an insecure or afraid child. These emotions are completely normal for that age, so need not worry.
Compliments are a fantastic way to give your teenager a little ego boost and show you care. Let them know their work doesn’t go unnoticed and make them feel special. Even though they may not acknowledge it, but they’ll be eternally grateful for having you as their support and knowing somebody is on their side.
Ask your child what it is that they would like others to see in them or think of them, so you have a better insight into their feelings. Once you learn what they are after, make sure you insert it into a conversation. Regardless of them having previously told you what they wanted to hear, they will like hearing it again for sure, especially since it’s coming from you.
Make deals and stick to them
Unlike adults, children and (most) teenagers aren’t fans of lies and shady deals. So, to motivate your teenager, you need to be straight with them and keep your word. Not always will things work their way, but that’s ok. They need to know life isn’t all about “Yes’s” and they also need to understand they need to stay focused and work hard for what they’ll get.
So, try something like:
· “I’ll make you a deal. If you feed the cat on workdays, you can get the car on weekends” (if she/he is old enough to drive)
· “I’ll make you a deal. I’ll take you and your friends to the cinema if you find another parent to pick you up.”
· “I’ll make you a deal. I’ll let you go on summer holiday without us and with your friends, if you get your grades up, B+ minimum” (name the subjects you want your teen to work on)
· “I’ll make you a deal. I’ll match whatever you save for that new laptop (shoes, sweater, etc.)"
Collateral has proven to work really well with teens. This doesn’t work only with deals but with borrowing stuff too. For instance, if they want to borrow something of yours, they need to give you collateral you’ll return when they give back what they’d borrowed. Good collateral needs to be an item that has value to your teen.
Make it achievable
Parents tend to think that their children refuse to do things out of spite, rebellion or simple because they can when in fact it’s because they feel the task is too hard.
If you see your teen refusing to do something or putting it off, the best approach is to talk to them in order to see how they are feeling about getting it done.
Do they understand the task? Do they know where to start? Do they feel scared about failing? Are they afraid of failing you?
After understanding the problem, offer your teen all the help they may need.
Teenagers often struggle with long term planning, so breaking the task up into a series of smaller tasks with shorter deadlines is just the thing they’ll need. That way their complete task will be achievable, not abstract.
A praise here and there
Just as with compliments, occasional praises may go a long way with a rebellious teenager. However, you need to be careful here because you don’t want them maturing into a needy, spoilt child. All in moderation! Acknowledge your teenager’s efforts by buying them a present, something you know they would love or appreciate. Or, for instance, motivate them by promising (and keeping that promise!) to teach them how to drive or send them to a driving school Parramatta. It sure will make a difference!
We hope our advice helped! Just remember – keep it real with your teen and don’t underestimate their age – they are wiser than you may think!