Teens are indeed unique, and very often, self-contradictory. They’re known to strive for individualism; however, still want to be accepted by peers; they act like they’re a ‘know-it-all’ despite their lack of experience.
Having a teen isn’t easy, regardless of your role in their lives (parent, caregiver, teacher, student, etc). Among the many challenges they put in front of us is their lack of motivation.
Some parents claim this to be one of the most frustrating problems.
Whether it’s poor academic performance, avoiding work or school assignments, procrastination or not caring for the future, laziness among teens isn’t uncommon.
All of a sudden, your teen doesn’t want to do what you want them to do and they’re always full of excuses.
The only thing we get to hear is to ‘leave them alone’ and we see them lying in their rooms, doing nothing. However, what parents don’t realize is that there’s no such thing as a ‘lazy child’ or a child that completely avoids our expectations.
Sometimes, teens can seem lazy because of their turn to fantasy, a common escape method of this age.
Even though this can be a healthy thing when done in moderation, when it’s overtaking most part of your teen’s life, you may need to find out the reason behind the behavior.
The problem may happen when parents somehow accept the fact that teens are generally lazy and that this phase will pass on its own, so they don’t talk with their children to find out the reason for their lack of motivation.
Let’s not forget that young people go through a lot of growth and come across numerous challenges, so it’s understandable to notice them struggling.
The challenge for parents is to learn how to tap into their children’s motivation because there’s no such thing as ‘no motivation’ and we’re all motivated in this or that way.
In teens’ case, they may be motivated to resist and thus, do nothing. Doing nothing is still something- your teen is trying to resist you, their teachers, etc.
Parents need to realize that we can’t make our children care; however, we can make them eager.
If you’re also worried about your teen’s lack of motivation and want to learn more about why they may be behaving in this way, check out the detailed guide below.
Teenage Laziness- Insights & Tips
According to Josh Shipp, book author, motivational speaker, and renowned youth empowerment expert with a degree in Social Psychology from Central Oklahoma University, most, if not all, children are motivated in some way.
However, they need a reason behind their motivation or the ‘why’.
If our child wants to know why a certain school project is important for them, our answer can’t just be because you tell them it is- they need to know the sincere reason why it’s good for them.
Teens are known to be keen on questioning and debating things. Unfortunately, when the only reason why our teen is doing something is because it matters to us, it’s only a short-term motivation that will probably stop soon.
Shipp further notes that it’s unlikely that a child is 100 percent lazy- it’s probably that he/she drives you crazy in some areas in their life they don’t seem to be particularly interested.
For example, she may be committed to her grades and unfocused on her health or he may be all into sports, without caring about his academic performance.
As parents, we need to help them understand why they can’t just focus on one thing and neglect other important stuff in their life. Though at times difficult to achieve, balance is what life is all about.
6 Useful Insights & Tips to Help Motivate Your Teen
1. Discuss his/her desires
When you’re both in good mood, discuss your teen’s desires and goals. Use this conversation to add your suggestions about how she/he can achieve them easier.
For example, if she says ‘I want to become a singer’, explain to her that having good grades is essential to enrol at a good music school.
Or, if they say they want to have their own apartment, note that they can’t have one without a job that pays well and a good paying job is intertwined with good education.
In these moments, forget about being the parent who lectures about what their children should or shouldn’t do.
Instead, strive towards sparking your children’s motivation and empower them to finish their responsibilities because it’s the best way to create the life they want.
2. Don’t cater to all their needs
Learned helplessness, as explained by James Lehman who was a parent program developer and book author with a BA in Social Degree and a MD in Social Work and who worked with families, children, and parents, is when we learn that if we act helpless or give up, someone else will come and help us.