• Mandi Frost

How Do I Motivate my Teen?

Updated: Apr 1

Motivation is defined in Marriam Webster as "a motivating force, stimulus, or influence: incentive, drive." Essentially it`s a feeling that causes you to act. This is intrinsic motivation (inspired from within).

The fact is that we are NOT always intrinsically motivated. Life is about doing things we don`t always like doing but we know they have to get done or there will be consequences.

Teenagers need to find ways of being self-motivated. Parents can certainly encourage and support their teenagers but when parents try and push, force or nag their teens into action, it creates negative relationship and behavioral cycles. Parents cannot make them do anything.

Controlling, nagging, reminding, managing simply DO NOT work. These things make teens less likely to want to do what their parents want them to do. Conflicts arise because teens don’t feel they have enough control and choice.

Adolescents are going through a challenging time as they make sense of the confusing world around them. They desire three things: control, choice and credibility. When they don`t feel these things, they push the limits and fight for them because they desire more autonomy. When parents control and micro-manage, teens become more dependent which frustrates both teens AND adults. When teens know they are going to be reminded, they don`t monitor themselves and feel less confident in their abilities. This affects their self-worth and credibility.

Well meaning, good parents manage and control their kids because they want their teenagers to succeed. The irony is their good intensions and managerial parenting decrease motivation, confidence and self-discipline; the very traits parents desire to see in their teens.

Parents need to make a shift in their parenting from being a parent manager to being a parent coach. This involves asking them more questions and listening to their solutions and ideas as opposed to telling them what to do. A parent coach is still involved and supportive but the focus shifts in how they show up and how they relate to their teens.

When parents make this shift, its transformational!

Join this amazing parent education summit starting on April 13th - 15th 2021to learn more about engaging your teenagers.

How do parents create more motivation in their teenagers?

By giving them more control, choice and credibility.

1. Give them more freedom:

Giving more control, choice and credibility means giving teens more freedom to fail on their own and succeed on their own! They need to own their failures and own their successes and experience more autonomy in their daily lives. It`s important for parents to make peace with the pain and discomfort in watching their kids fail and it will hurt. Letting go of fears, control and their own perceptions of failure, parents will be richly rewarded in the end. There will be more pain in the long run if parents continue to micro-manage.