Cindy Gullo, LCPC - Therapist & Counselor
The Blog

How To Motivate Your Teen

Teens are motivated by three essential F’s of our life, i.e., fun, friends, and freedom. On the other hand, the desire for release from anxiety is often the most significant motivational factor among adults.Teenage kids always want to feel connected, accepted and acknowledged within their group. This may seem like this is more important to them than other essential things like eating, breathing or sleeping. Most teenagers are inherently motivated, but what many of them lack is the motivation to do things that do not seem necessary, do not matter to them, or are merely about satisfying an agenda which do not relate to them. Keeping this context in mind, here are four smart ways to motivate your teenagers:

1. Provide an incentive

This is the most influential motivational element of all the tactics that you will employ to encourage your teens. This is because, for better or worse, they typically have a me-centric view of the universe with a robust now-orientation. When they figure out any personal benefit, they may be more willing to do it. There is no character flaw here. In fact, everyone among us needs a logical reason to accomplish any task. Thereby, your teens may require some assistance to find a purpose to get themselves moving. The incentive could be in any form like money, gift, an experience or opportunity to enjoy a picnic, or driving Dad’s new jeep.

2. Let them have their say

When your teenager feel as if they are only being asked to fit into your agenda and follow your approaches of doing things, they are less likely to be motivated. In fact, reasons like ‘because I told you so’ create an uninspired environment. Teens are looking for ways to gain independence from their parents. Therefore, allow your teenager to have an opinion on what and how tasks are done, and goals are achieved. Their participation in setting the agenda will make them more motivated to do what needs to be completed.

3. Let them learn from failure

If you constantly stop and save your teens from failing, you are undermining their potential and ability to grow up. Though no parent likes to see their kids fail, these are failures that cause them to grow. The consequences of not doing a task give it significance. Thereby, when parents prevent their teens from experiencing the results of failure, they are eventually robing an activity of its significance, and thus their motivation to perform better next time. In fact, teens learn from their failures more than by their parents’ experiences.

4. Make it fun and challenging

Nothing is more important for teenagers than fun. Therefore, playing football or dancing would be a smart way to motivate your teen to lose weight than by asking them to join a boring walk. The more challenging an activity is, the more interest they show in that. So when you present a task as not just fun-oriented but also challenging, your teens will push their limits and perform beyond their ordinary limits due to high levels of motivation.

If you need help motivating your teen, contact me to schedule your free 15-minute consultation today.