The 7 Secrets of Motivating Teenagers

 In Parenting, Relationships

There is a good reason that the stereotypical view of modern teenagers is they are lazy kids who just want to sleep in, play computer games, surf the net and hangout with their friends. The reason this view exists is because all around the world this is all parents see their teenagers doing.

The image of the lazy teenager has become so commonplace that many people simply assume that being lazy and unmotivated is a natural consequence of adolescence.  Such thinking, while understandable, is essentially misguided.

Once upon a time, teenagers where some of the most hardworking members of society. Long before shopping malls, computer games, and high schools, teenagers were expected to work with the adults, and work hard.

Many teenagers responded well to this invitation, did work hard, and were motivated to do so. They did this because what they were doing had a point, and it matched their natural desire to be treated and considered as adults.

Teenagers worked hard learning a trade, taking on responsibility around the farm, learning to cook and keep house, striving to prove themselves in adult company because they could see these tasks mattered. They understood how what they were being asked to do was preparing them for the future. The jobs themselves were real jobs that had to be done and hence provided a sense of significance and value.

A lot has changed you might say. And you are right a lot has changed. But despite all the changes, teenagers are essentially the same. What has changed the most is the context in which teens grow up and the significance of what they are expected to do.

Very few teenagers completely lack motivation.  What many teenagers lack is the motivation to do stuff that doesn’t matter, doesn’t seem important, or is about satisfying an agenda that doesn’t relate to them.

With this context in mind, here are my 7 Secrets to Motivating Teenagers

1. What is In It For Me?

This is the most important motivational ingredient of them all!

If your teen does not understand what the task has to do with them, or their well-being, then it will be a struggle for them to find the desire to carry it out.

Teenagers long to feel significant. They want to demonstrate to themselves and the world that they matter and are capable of making a difference.  Many of the problems teens encounter today is because their desire to be significant is ignored or diminished.

If your teenager understands the value to them of the task, you will have little problem motivating them to do it. At this point, I need to tell many parents that teenagers do not regard “making their parents life easier” as being something of high value to them.

If your teenager wants to wear clean clothes, they will be motivated to cooperate with requirements relating to laundry. If your teenager wants to eat they will find the motivation to cooperate with meal time chores. Some tasks don’t have consequences quite so obvious. Personally as a teenager I couldn’t see how vacuuming the carpet made any difference to life, so maybe this wasn’t the best chore for me to do. I did however notice when the rubbish bin was overflowing. Give your teen chores that they can see value in doing.

The other common task that is not meaningful to teenager is homework. Many an adolescent has failed to see the point of learning algebra or ancient history. Trying to explain possible practical uses of abstract learning can be an exercise in futility.

Youth expert Josh Shipp has a helpful way of dealing with these types of issues.  He talks about helping teens understand by using the statement:

You have to do what you have to do so you can do what you want to do.”

This is a helpful statement because it is true in so many areas of life. Sometimes we all do work  for no other reason than it needs to be done. Helping teenagers see meaningless tasks as part of life’s greater goals is a valuable message to pass on.

Getting schoolwork done is necessary for a teen who wants to get into the university course of their choice, or be considered for their dream job one day.  Getting out and finding a part time job is needed if they want to have money to spend on going out, buying a car, or getting the latest piece of technology.

This axiom also applies to the chores your teen doesn’t see as important. By linking the completing of chores to privileges such as use of computers, cars, TV’s etc. your teenager learns that sometimes we do things we don’t want to do in order to enjoy the things we want to do. Regular practice is vital to being able to play well when it comes to the day of the game or the performance.

2. Let Them Have a Say

If your teenager feels like all they are being asked to do is to fit into your agenda, your timetable, and conform to your way of doing things they are not going to be terribly motivated.

When parents give the reason “Because I told you so,” they create a demotivating environment. Developmentally, teenagers are seeking to establish themselves as their own person, independent from their parents. Is it any wonder that being asked to conform to a parent’s agenda is demotivating?

Give your teenager a say in what and how things are done. If your teenager has had a say in setting the agenda and the timetable they will be much more motivated to participate.

  • Discuss with them what chores they would prefer to do around the house.
  • Set deadlines, but give them the freedom to choose when and how a task is completed
  • Discuss with them what they think is a reasonable expectation and then share your expectations. Try to work to a compromise position you can both live with.
  • Give your teenager responsibility for whole tasks. For instance if they have to cook one night a week, let them set the menu and arrange for the shopping to be done. Or if their job is to clean the bathroom let them be responsible for decorating it as well.

3. Let Them Learn From Failure

When parents constantly step and rescue their teen’s from failing they undermine their teenager’s ability to grow up. No parent wants to see their kids fail, but it is through failure that we grow and learn to improve.

What gives a task significance is the consequences or what is at stake if it doesn’t get done.  When parents prevent teens from experiencing the consequences of failure they rob a task of it’s significance, and hence their teenager’s motivation to do better next time.

If your teen is responsible for taking the rubbish out every week and they don’t get it done, then they become responsible for managing the mess and overflowing bins for the following week. They will learn more from this than by a parent repeatedly nagging them at 11pm the night before, or doing it for them.

Similarly, if your teen chooses not to study for an exam and fails they are more likely to be motivated next time. Parents can maximize these opportunities by asking questions rather than giving lectures. Discuss with your teen how they feel about the outcome, what they might do different next time, and ask if there is anything they need from you to help them.

(If your teen doesn’t study and passes anyway then there is no issue – except the sense of perceived injustice parents are inclined to feel.)

4. Help Them to Remember

It is not always the case that teenagers don’t do things because they are not motivated, often they fail to follow through simply because they forget. The reality is teenagers, particularly younger ones, are hardwired to forget. Their brains are reforming and haven’t yet got all the bits joined up.

With all the stuff going on in their life it is very easy for teenagers to get distracted and forget. They need help to remember what they committed to do and to get organized.

It is important to point out that constant verbal reminders from parents, also referred to as nagging, is not the solution. If you nag your teenager, you make it about your agenda and about keeping you happy. This does not help your teenager’s motivation; in fact nagging is a great demotivator.

Teaching your teens to be organized and remember is part of what parent’s need to do. Work with your teen to develop methods of remembering that don’t require you to be involved.

  • Use visual aids such as charts, colour coded rosters or timetables, and place them in obvious places.
  • Help your teen create routines in their weeks that help them to establish patterns.
  • Leave little hints around the house about a task that needs to be completed
  • Get them to use an App or program on their computer, phone, or ipod as part of the reminding process.

5. Make It Achievable

Sometimes it is the size of the task that teenagers find hard. It isn’t that they don’t want to do it, but rather they don’t know where to start and it all looks to hard.

If your teen is putting off getting started, it can sometimes be helpful to sit down with them to find out how they are feeling about getting it done. Do they know where to start? Do they feel like they will never be able to do it so can’t be bothered starting? Maybe they feel scared about failing?

Whatever the reason, offering to help your teen think through a process for getting the job done could be just the thing they need.

Break the task up into a series of smaller achievable tasks with shorter deadlines.  Teenagers often struggle with long term planning, but respond well to more immediate time horizons. By helping your teen come up with a series of small steps, you empower them to work their way through the task.

Sometimes it might be worth getting your teen to think of little rewards they could give themselves after each mini milestone is reached.

This method can be applied to school projects, sporting or artistic goals, jobs around the home, fixing relationships, future careers or even moving out of home.

6. Provide Incentives

This is a more specific example of point 1 “What is in it for me?”  But it is worth spelling out separately.

As mentioned earlier not all tasks have an obvious intrinsic consequence that can be used as motivation. Some school assignments are just there to be done, and some chores don’t seem to make a great deal of difference to the immediate quality of life.

Even more importantly, some tasks can’t be linked to larger outcomes in a way that motivates a teenager. For teenager’s who lack confidence and/or natural ability, the motivation to do better in certain subjects at school can be very hard to find. Likewise, for the teen is not naturally coordinated or athletic the motivation to participate in physical activity can be hard to find.

For these type of instances providing an additional incentive can help generate motivation where otherwise there would be none. By offering rewards for effort, improvement, or participation, you reinforce in your teenager the values of trying and perseverance, rather than rewarding the act of giving up or resigning.

Learning what your teenagers ‘love language’ is can be a great help in this regard. Does your teen respond well to encouraging words, gifts, quality time, physical affection or some other form of affirmation?  Knowing what type of incentive your teen will respond best to will increase their motivation and responsiveness.

7. Make It Fun

This motivational principle applies to people of all ages, not just teens. Most people are more motivated to do something fun rather than something boring.

Fun is the key ingredient to getting teens active and motivated to participate in social activities. If you want your teen to get out of the house, get active, and make new friends, then explore with them what activities it is they enjoy doing and encourage them to do it. Remember what you enjoy may not be what your teen enjoys. Be sure to show interest and value whatever it is that your teen considers interesting and fun.

Teenager’s, particularly boys, respond to competition. No matter how menial the task, any job can be transformed into a passion filled activity if there is a competitive aspect involved. Competition doesn’t always require having others to compete against, sometimes young people respond to the challenge to better their own previous efforts.

If your teenager can learn something by playing games, watching a movie, or searching the Internet then encourage them to do it. Using technology as part of any task makes it instantly more appealing to young people today.

So there you have 7 methods for building teenage motivation. As usual if you have some more to add please share with us all in the comments section below.

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Showing 44 comments
  • Hick
    Reply

    Our 13yo girl is very intelligent so completes most of her school work in class, so very little homework. She then spends most of her nights & weekends on a screen or reading. She does one sport which she loves but this is happens during the week. When asked to get off a screen, she asks what else is there to do. There is very few youth activities on offer in our town, especially on weekends. I am at a loss to help her become more active & I don’t want it to turn into a power struggle. Any suggestions?

    • lauraB
      Reply

      Take away the screen and book and leave it up to her!! You are unhappy about the status quo- is don’t put up with it. Where are her friends? Don’t you have housework she can help with? What did you do at this age?

    • jessica
      Reply

      If she’s completing her school work and homework and plays a sport during the week which she loves, why do you have an issue with her taking some alone time to read and use the computer? School is 8 hours a day of being social (even if she’s not talking, she’s in a social environment). Many introverts become drained and exhausted from social interactions and need time to relax and be alone to de-stress. Try reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking, as it might help you understand her perspective a bit better. But she sounds like a perfectly motivated teen if she’s completing homework at school and playing a sport that she loves.

  • Rd
    Reply

    My 13year old son never completes his school work. Is completely disinterested in any sports or hobbies. He spends his time watching TV and playing games. No amount of punishments or corrections have any effect on him. Please help.

    • SN
      Reply

      SN Rd I just saw your comments and do acknowledge very similar to mine. I guess your son has also less friends and might be the only son in your house. I am trying to do following, – going for jogging with him at least thrice a week. Engaging him in playing outdoor games in turn helping him to mix up with others. Once they learn the fun, positive energy will come in him and slowly he will find interest. He may be completely lost out from his study hence not able to follow what teacher says, since he is not understanding, probably losing interest. He may regain once he starts understanding what Is been taught.

  • M
    Reply

    My 13 1/2 yr old daughter is not interested in any sports or anything, I ask her what she would like to do, I was going to enroll her in a hip hop class she said no, she was in dance a couple yrs ago, everything she has been in has been me forcing her..I am at my wits end…

    • martin6673
      Reply

      “…has been me forcing her…”
      as is mentioned somewhere on this site: spend time with her, value her as she is, learn to know her activities and positively value them. As positive as the effects of physical activities are: there is no need to implement negative self-esteem in her, if she doesn’t want to.
      Having a positive emotional relationship is imho 100 times more important than any other values we might have.
      Your post is from long ago, and maybe it won’t reach you, but I felt I had to answer.
      I hope it is ok that I did so. If not please tell me so Chris!

  • Aliyah Walsh
    Reply

    I myself being a teenager completely agree with this article we do find our selves wanting to work towards a goal that has a reward or incentive promised. I have a plea of help. I guess you could say i’m the smart-lazy kid,so my grades are very mediocre although my school has placed me in the gifted program. I don’t believe that i have gotten lazy because I feel like I have accomplished everything already I just simply don’t feel like doing in other words i’m not motivated. I have very prestigious goals in life meaning they are going to take a lot of work and so far i’m not where I want to be. last year I was a straight a student now well I can just say i’m not anymore. Some suggestions on how I could change my ways in school would be great!

    • much2learn
      Reply

      Aliyah, what about finding a mentor in an area of interest that can help you be motivated? I find that sometimes if kids goals are ‘far away’, they do not have clear steps and payoffs for working towards them. If you are bright, you need engagement. Ask a teacher, administrator, parent or the parents of a friend to help you draft a letter of mentor request, or connect you with some people if you are intimidated to do so on your own. If you want to do it on your own, find some areas of interest, reach out to Human Resources of some companies, twitter, or LinkdIn, and ask if anyone would be willing to mentor. You will make great connections of your future, find purpose and get great experiences.

  • mary had a little lamb
    Reply

    I disagree with this article, my brother wants to only play call of duty and watch youtube. He dropped out of lacrosse and does every chore assigned to him half assed, and his grades are mediocre. I want to see him strive, so my family and I tried stuff like the article said and more, but nothing worked.He wants to join the navy, but with his laziness he will receive a dishonorable or get killed. Is there any other option to help him be someone more active and valuable in society?

    • martin6673
      Reply

      maybe there is something deeper in his soul that needs love and healing…maybe then a mentor or counselor OF HIS TRUST can help.
      But otherwise: As I read your post, I get the feeling that you are worried about the well-being of your brother and of his social status. But I also read, that you don’t see him as a valuable person. Do your parents feel the same? Because this is a tricky situation: he has to feel valuable to act the like. And there is this thing with computer-games: your value is definded and honor comes immediately after action…
      Hope this helps!

    • Alyssa Elkins
      Reply

      Let him join the navy! It could give him the structure and motivation he really needs to get his ass in gear. And if he fails, lesson learnt.

  • martin6673
    Reply

    I very much agree with this.
    But it will work best if the relationship is good, as described in the articles about trust I had the pleasure to read. From my experience as a father (boy 17, girl 14) and as a youth-worker I would say the relationship is the basis for everything. Loving and valuing the child as he/she is. From there you can trust, that what you do and say will be of importance to your teen. Even if he/she does act different.
    Chris, I love your site, very inspiring!
    P.S.: I hope my English isn’t to bad to read and understandable

    • RandomRambler
      Reply

      The English speaking people usually do not like conversing with /
      relating to non-native speakers of English, they are xenophobes. This is why you do not have
      any comments here.

  • jenteal
    Reply

    I was reading the comment you posted from mary had a little lamb. I believe my son has terrible self esteem issues. I’m constantly telling him he is capable and smart but just tells me things like “you just say that because your my mom” Any ideas on how to make him feel valuable without saying it because he just shoots me down. Thanks

    • Christine Kelly MacInnis
      Reply

      Self-esteem comes from successes, NOT being told you are smart or capable. Anyone can be told those things about themselves and yes, as his mom, you could just be saying that. He needs to FEEL that he is successful and important. Find areas where he can shine and have talents- every teen needs to see one area that they can achieve well. For most kids that happens at school or in sports. But those don’t have to be the only two outlets. Help him find his area of expertise and I promise you will see his self esteem rise.
      #schoolcounselorwith15yearsexperience

    • Masha Makhlyagina
      Reply

      Never praise a kid just because. Always praise a good effort and him trying new things. When we praise kids as “smart” and “capable” just because they exist, they do not see how their worth is tied to their passion, effort, or interest. Get him to try a new food, a new sport, a new game, a new hobby– say ‘just try it once, if you hate it we don’t have to do it again.” Then praise him for trying something new. Baby steps.
      (Special Education teacher)

  • Bongi Gomba
    Reply

    I agree with this,because this teaches us how to stay motivated as teen and to have high self esteem to believe in our selfs. That is the teen power!!!!!!!!!

  • Leslie Maloney
    Reply

    Really good list. My kids are in their mid-twenties now so I’ve got a little bit longer view on these points. I especially like #3 because we all know that experience is the best teacher. 🙂

  • V2
    Reply

    This is such bullshit. Sorry, but there significant variation in teen problems and using these bullshit, Cosmo-type lists is borderline dangerous. If your teen is at the level where this little stuff works, great. But many parents are having physical fights, kicking kids out that are going on welfare….all sorts of serious problems.

    • Scott Updegraff
      Reply

      I completely agree. I wrote them a fairly scathing email. I can’t stand “just do this” solutions. If it was a “just do this” it would “just be done” ……….

    • Paula Reyes
      Reply

      I have interviewed parents that have kicked their kids out as well as teenagers that have been kicked out. Some parents had younger children in the h/h and were scared that because of the older child’s behavior ACS would come in the picture and mess up the lives of the younger children. Some teenagers were blunt they didn’t want to follow the h/h rules, they felt they had the right as young adults to be out where ever until whenever they wanted to be out. They didn’t want to live with rules most actually left on their own. Some were in foster homes and some were actually mature and honest enough to see that they had it good at home, now they had to study and work because mom and dad
      were no longer an assess.

      • Karen Hancock
        Reply

        I agree rules, what are they?
        Kids today are raised with do whatever you want, adults are so into their own lives, that there is little or no relationship between the child and parent. Kids today are given way too much.
        My husband had ours save their own money if they wanted something, show responsibility, they bought their own computer and ipod. Birthday money, allowances, money from small jobs, babysitting, mowing lawns etc.
        You don’t save, you don’t get.
        I had a daughter I could not motivate when in her teens, I believe depression has a great deal to do with it. But happy to say she us grown and you could not find a more responsible person. I pray for them, that is another thing, we take ours to church, always have, I know there are alot that call us hypocrites for not being perfect, but the reason for going is to help yourself be one a better person. Sure we are not perfect, but who is?
        I hope that your children will come around, this world is a very bad example for them. Be the right kind of example for them, and pray for them, you show them, and hope they will learn from what they see.
        God Bless you all!

  • Ashoka Hall School
    Reply

    I have a very moody teenage girl, she won’t talk , as soon as she meets friends she turns into a delight, is it me.

    • Lynette
      Reply

      No dear, it is not you 🙂 It is just that teenagers relate better to people their own age, people who are experiencing the same things as them. She probably doesn’t even think the problems she is facing are the things you faced too. I’m sure you guys can find a common ground. There must be something both of you like. Probably something to do with technology. Kids like techie stuff. Hope this helps. I’ll pray for you 🙂

    • Dan
      Reply

      Does anyone have any real ideas instead of take away internet time ?

  • Duke Stone
    Reply

    I find this very fustrating. I too have a teenagers who I consider not stupid but very lazy. In this article mentioned teenagers are forgetful, chores are the same everyday nothing changes. I just want to understand, when I was growing up did’nt have to tell me twice to do my chores. My teenagers 13 ,16,17, everyday I have to remind and tell them to do their chores. Only my 10yr old I don’t have to remind about chores. Like I said, just want to understand.

    • M
      Reply

      How do you remind them? Try switching it up. ie: instead of verbal reminding, write a one/two word note (short is IMPORTANT!) and place it in an unusual but obvious place (on the bathroom mirror written in soap, note taped to the inside of the toilet lid, inside the fridge, on a piece of painter’s tape placed around their ipad cover etc.)

  • Melissa Wharton
    Reply

    Apparently I need WAY MORE HELP. I have a 17 year old boy and NOTHING is a motivator. He could not care less about losing privileges and offering short or long term rewards mean nothing. We have offered small things like going to a movie he wants to see to taking a trip to Universal Studios and the beach. These are things he loves but he would rather not do his homework or assignments. He loves his xbox and we have taken it away from him and have offered him extra video time. Still nothing. He will put more effort into getting out of doing something than it would take him to just do it. I have taught for 14 years and I have NEVER seen a kid that couldn’t be motivated by something but my son is one. Any ideas?

    • Jenn
      Reply

      I feel the same with my son. NOTHING I’ve tried has worked . I’ve tried everything in this article. Positive reinforcement..Negative reinforcement!!! He does not care what we take away or what we would give him. I feel like I’m @ a dead end. I’ve tried it all !!!!
      Nothing motivates him either!

      • Allan Porter
        Reply

        If nothing works then take it to the next level. Say he can’t go out and when he has to go school drive or accompany him there and drive or walk him back. If he is not there when you pick him up then say he can’t have the food that you prepare and that he has to make his own meal. If his phone is on contract then cancel the contract.

        • e
          Reply

          We’ve done all that too, doesn’t work! He’s never been spanked, thanks to our ‘modern’ thinking. I believe that’s why he is the way he is. When I was a child I feared my dad for he would hit me, no matter where we were at that moment, if I didn’t do as I was told. My son couldn’t care less about anything because he knows we as parents are powerless.

    • kathylynnH
      Reply

      We are having the same issues with our 16 year old son. What’s crazy is that I have a younger daughter who is the exact opposite (she’s 14, gets good grades, and follows all the rules). Our son loves football but is in danger of not playing due to grades and missed practices. I don’t think he cares anymore about anything. He refuses counseling and tutoring. The only thing we are holding on to right now is getting him his drivers license – but he still won’t change his ways even though it means being able to drive.

    • Carol Brady
      Reply

      Hi just read this I feel im in the same situation with my 16 year old teen no motivation nothing seems to catch his attention only sitting in his room all night playing computer and sleeping all day…much to my dismay…sleeping all day when I go to work and just repeating this all summer..hes back in school next week and I dont know where to start to try get him back in a routine

      Advice anyone would be much appreciated thank you

      • Cindy V
        Reply

        I’m dealing with the same thing with my teen.. Everything I suggest for activity, work, voulunteerig just leads to excuses as to why he doesn’t want to or can’t.

        I finally just remembered I shouldn’t ask! I am just going to tell him what he’ll be doing. So in April he’ll begin a lifeguard course. Hopefully this will achieve keeping him active and building his resume. Of course I heard 10 reasons why he won’t be able to complete the course. To which I replied so you’ll try again til you pass the course.

        My son is 17, 5’11, 130lbs and in excellent physical shape. With proper swimming practice he can complete the course. I believe he can now the challenge is getting him to see the benefit in creating himself.

        We can’t give up!

  • Meg raz
    Reply

    In regards to motivation at school I think more needs to be done to examine what /how kids are taught. I’m not “bashing teachers” however kids are more sophisticated today than I was at their age and yet teaching styles, curriculum, schedules have not evolved accordingly. The workplace of today vs. the workplace of the late ’80’s when I was in high school is drastically different but what/how my daughter is taught mirrors my high school experience. Maybe kids aren’t as motivate in school because schools have not evolved at the same pace as they have.

  • sister6
    Reply

    When I had my son, I told my husband to take him with him..take him outside when he worked..show him how things were done. But no. Husband did not want to be bothered taking his son to the hardware store, feed store, grocery. Now that my son is a teen, but does not want to work. Why should he? Husband did not show him how. I showed my girls how, but hubby did not teach his son. What a cycle. Husbands dad did the same thing to him. Raising lazy children because they too were lazy as children.

    Before you get female crazy on me, I did show my son how to cook and do laundry. But other things..like raking, mowing the lawn, patching a wall..are things my husband should teach him.

    I cannot do it all–cannot. Little boys need a father , or at least a father figure for a reason.

    • Cindy V
      Reply

      I agree! Don’t want to point blame but it’s relative…
      A father needs to lead by example. I constantly asked my exhusband to take our son to the park, for walks, to work, museums to simply spend time, bond show him how a man functions daily… And instead my ex thought I was nagging. So unfortunate my son relationship with his father is more like a simple friendship or acquaintance.

      I took my son to the park, played ball, dinosaurs read books and tried my best, however the lessons and experiences to be learned from a father should be shared with your dad. It seems some men just aren’t natural dads.

  • aalim
    Reply

    gd post

  • aalim
    Reply
  • John Gates
    Reply

    I say this ad nauseum, but boys should play a team sport. Let them play as many individual sports as they like, and do those during the week, but get them into a soccer, Rugby, Rugby League, basketball, Cricket or a hockey team – training with a bunch of mates one or two nights a week, in the cold or wet, putting in for your mates on the weekend, the camaraderie and mateship are all essential life skills for a male. They teach selflessness, care for your friends, not letting down the side, and, even, in a funny way, treasuring the fact that their mums, wives, and girlfriends follow them and support them. In an inexplicable way, it provides a dimension to a man’s life, makes lifelong friends, and provides great networking opportunities….not to mention that it keeps them busy and not idle.

  • Radiant Holistics
    Reply

    Great article. Shares us some good content of information which is helpful and reliable. Thanks for sharing this. Really appreciate it.

  • Natacha
    Reply

    I am raising my grandson since he was 8 years old he is now 15 soon to be 16. He has his learners permit I guess due to all of those video games he not only drives with precision, he is so comfortable that at first I was a little concerned. He was a great soccer player was requested by the local FCBarcelona played for them for 3 years then Paris Saint Germain asked him to come and perform for their league. Its been almost two years ago he stopped wanting to be part of soccer. I tried everything to no avail. When he does try and gets on a field people stop to watch him play and for that one moment he is lost in his soccer world. I put it through him inheriting his father and mother(my daughter) lack of sportsmanship and reliability. If you think you can rely on him that’s a no go, it is the same with his mother when she says ” I’m coming to visit this weekend”, she may come the following week or months later. I also see a bit of anger towards her and sometimes me because I speak so well of her I think he doesn’t like it. The worse of it all his friends are not helping they have no activities one lost a division 1 scholarship and the mother didn’t do anything to get him back into the baseball league. This is embarrassing and maybe not right to say about these young men, but my grandson and his friends are like a bunch of losers that are feeding on each other, no goal, no vision. That scares me and I am at lost. Forget about the parents helping they don’t even help financially so that’s a no go. I see that we all have the same problem, so I am just adding my grain of helplessness out there as well. Oh yes, he does play video games and when he does he is connected just like the Matrix.

  • Lode Loyens
    Reply

    I am sorry but this article and so many just like it online absolutely suck. My teenager (15 yrs) is a very good student but lazy as hell and nothing, and I do mean nothing, has worked to motivate him to do anything. He is so darn lazy he is even late for class, even though he is in the school building. When I asked him how come his answer was: “Well, you know me, I go to the bathroom and I need to check my hair and how I look and you know I do everything slow.”
    My wife and I did everything we can think of to get him to do his chores which are just two (walk the dogs and clean up after himself) and it’s impossible to get him to do this (including as I already explained anything else for that matter). We grounded him, we took his video games away, we stopped giving him an allowance, we stopped him from hanging out with his friends, we reasoned with him, we explained things to him, I mean you think of it and we did it and nothing has worked. Absolutely everything he does is at a super slow pace, takes him forever to do and more often than not doesn’t get done.
    Being late in class is just one example. Son walk the dogs please. Ok dad. Two hours later: Son have you walked the dogs yet. No dad! Can you walk them now? Ok! End of the day the dogs still haven’t been walked. Give him a punishment? No punishment we put on him has any effect on him. He even came to me one day with his PS4 and his games stuffed in a bag and gave them to me. Why are you giving me this? Well … I screwed up so ….! But don’t you want to play? Nah, doesn’t really matter.
    We take his phone away, limit TV time, refuse to buy him new clothes or shoes he wants because he doesn’t do what he is told to do. No matter what we do it has zero impact on him. My son, I am sorry to say is LAZY! period. Everything evolves around his pace and no consequence is hard enough to shake him from it. He got demerits in school for being late in class numerous times. That let to detention Friday afternoon. Four hours after school ended he has to sit in a room by himself. When he got him I asked him: And did you learn anything now? his answer: Pfff nothing to learn except this is dumb. Besides I don’t care I have to sit there.
    So the seven pointers you mention here, sorry but don’t work, at least not with my son. He is slow in his walk, in his movement and in everything else he does. We had him checked medically and mentally and he is just fine. Nothing wrong with him. Except that he is extremely lazy and my wife and I have nothing left as to how to deal with it.

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