When it comes to motivating others, especially teenage children, there is not a “one-size fits all” strategy. In fact, motivating teenagers can be likened to pushing water uphill.
If you have ever struggled with procrastination and a lack of motivation yourself then you will appreciate that what works for you one day, may not work another. And so it is with kids, especially teenagers. I should know I have two, one girl and one boy. They are a mass of raging hormones and under immense peer pressure. Add new schools to the mix, lots of new people to interact with, new classes to master, homework to complete, along with the social scene and you have the potential for disaster if not handled with tact and diplomacy.
Establish the ground rules early on:
As my children were growing up, certain rules were put into place. Homework was completed before computer time, or outside playtime was allowed. Bed times were non-negotiable as were showers and teeth cleaning routines.
As the children have grown up, additional chores and duties were added to the mix. As they grew in stature it was important to allow them to grow in maturity too.
However, this latter group of tasks are now linked to monetary incentives. If all chores are done, then pocket money is allocated, with a sliding scale of reduction based on the number of chores not completed. However, this was pre-agreed with the children setting their own KPI’s.
In allocating their money though, there is one major strategy that was explained and the children now insist upon. Part proceeds of their pocket money is withheld for savings. This too was agreed upon in the early stages. If you explain the importance of saving 10% of everything they receive, and saving another 10% for capital purchases (houses and cars) they will never struggle financially later on in life.
Neither of my two children has yet to get a weekend job, but when that does happen, the next set of rules will apply. But the initial ones will remain. Keep 80% for whatever they want to spend their money on and save 20%. Chores are done; homework is completed all before MSN, Television and “play time”.
What happens when it goes wrong?
1. Go back to the pre-agreed rules and ask if there needs to be any changes made to the agreement.
2. In my case, as a single mother who works full time I cannot hope to keep house, cook, clean and do everything, and nor should I be expected to. They make more mess than I do, and they are expected to clean up after themselves.
There have been set backs, there have been disagreements, but in the main, the children know that standards are expected at home, and the reason why is important – sooner or later they will get jobs, and they will be performance based. In today’s work choices climate, if you don’t perform you are out.
Do not deal in double standards:
1. However, what has really worked the most, is the fact that I do not and have never dealt in double standards.
2. I lead by example. I cannot expect the children to clean their rooms if mine looks like the roof has caved in. I have my own set of chores and homework tasks that I have to complete before I get to “play” – for me, reading is my main pleasure, so I do not sit and read if there is work to be done.
1. Establish pre-agreed ground rules
2. Make it incentive based
3. Do not deal in double standards
Compare my two with the children next door. We all like to compare our children with those around us. Well my neighbour’s children are not known for cleanliness (of themselves or their house and yard). The mother is both a smoker and a woman of colourful language and wide girth. Consequently the children also use very colourful language and are fat to the point of obesity. One child at the age of 14 is also a smoker and has a regular boyfriend who stays over. They do not have set bed times, are not expected to complete their homework, and appear to have every excuse known to man, woman or beast for why they shouldn’t go to school today.
They are also regular visitors to my property and will come and talk to us when we happen to be outside, which is quite often given the fact that it is summer and my garden is being remodelled.
They don’t like it when I start to ask questions about non-attendance at school, or whether they have done their homework or not. They are also amazed when I explain to them that mine are inside at 9.30pm having had showers and are getting ready for sleep.
Kids who are bored will find all sorts of things to do, and most of the time it’s not constructive. So get them involved and the earlier the better. If they can see the benefits, they will do the work.
It's hot, it's supposed to be Autumn yet the temperature has reached the magic 40 degrees, and will stay there for the next 3 or so days. Thanks in part to the High Pressure system sitting in the Bight (southern part of Australia - the bit that looks like a shark has taken a chunk out of the bottom of the country) and the hot winds from the East which will keep the HIgh stuck there.
It's also a bank holiday today - which is both a good and a bad thing. Good because the kids can stay home withut getting fried going to and from school, bad because they are bored. Every suggestion has been treated with derision, so much so - the two girls (my daughter has a freind over) walked round to the shops (about 20 minutes) to buy cake mix - so they could do some baking. Why when we have the ingredients at home is beyond me, but - it has kept them amused for the past hour and a bit. But unfortunately my house is now the same temperature as the oven.
Thankfully the forecasters tell us that it will drop to a mere 35 by Thursday and then dip under the 30 on Friday. But there are positives. The local kids are not outside causing havoc, the cats are sleeping and the kids are going through the DVD collection, so I get time to write....there are always positives no matter what the situation.
So how do you cope with bored teens? Easy, let them get on with it. Offer them suggestions and alternatives by all means, but like the rest of us, they will only do what they want to do, especially if their brains are being fried.----- COMMENT: AUTHOR: Henry Tan EMAIL: email@example.com IP: 184.108.40.206 URL: DATE: 07/23/2009 04:10:59 AM I've a 15 years ago son. Actually he is quite an intelligence boy, but I think he is quite lazy. He has been doing badly in his school exam. I suspect it is due to lack self-motivation. I've tried to motivate him by words of encouragement. I've also tried teaching him to have the right attitude in study, memorizing skills and some time also threaten him with punishment. Nothing seem to work, his result has gotten worst. What shall I do? Any tip? ----- -------- AUTHOR: Elle TITLE: Motivation - kids style STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Motivating teenagers DATE: 07/19/2007 05:54:55 AM ----- BODY:
My son decided he would like to help paint the spare room last night. He and a friend had had a ball during the day, ripping up carpet and underlay.
See the results of his labour - here - http://www.motivateme.info/daily-dose-ezine/motivation-kids-style.html
----- -------- AUTHOR: Elle TITLE: Help with assignments STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Homework assistance CATEGORY: Student motivation CATEGORY: Study motivation DATE: 07/24/2008 03:02:25 AM ----- BODY:
I remember what it was like being a student. Yes, believe it or not, I once was at school, then work, followed by uni whilst working and then came higher paid work after completing my degree. During that time I have seen the explosion in the online world.
As strange as this may seem, but once upon a time the internet belonged to the realm of the computer geek. You had to be able to code stuff and search engines were merely a term paper (the creators of Google never gained their doctorate...their research paper - became Google and the rest as they say is history). I could give you the actual dates, but would you be interested? Probably not....Anyway, the point I am trying to make is this. There were no personal computers. Assignments had to be handwritten or typed - using a manual typewriter and lots of correction fluid. Databases were expensive to use (assuming you could pay for the librarian's search time) or you resorted to those large paper things with lots of words in them.
I remember wading my way through volumes of abstracts, looking for relevant papers, tracking authors, following bibliographies and reading vast forests of paper based articles trying to find those bits I needed to support my argument.
Keeping everything together was a nightmare - ring binders, dividers, papers stuffed everywhere.
But today - you have a different problem - well associated problem. Everything (or so it seems) is available on the net. It's not that you can't find it, just there is so much of it, what do you do with it.
One of the many tools I am using at the moment is something called eCorral - I tried Google notes, but prefer this one. Sure its a paid for bit of software, but its already paid for itself in terms of saved time - As an online researcher, librarian and writer I am constantly researching - and always looking for ways to shorten the time between research and writing. I don't know about you - but sometimes I can't remember where I put something...most frustrating. Thankfully I don't have that problem anymore. Now, like you, I have to decide what not to use in my research reports.
----- -------- AUTHOR: Elle TITLE: Homework Assistance: Teachers need to make it memorable STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Homework assistance CATEGORY: Student motivation DATE: 10/22/2008 04:03:51 AM ----- BODY:
Just read a brilliant post on how to make teaching memorable so that students can remember what they are supposed to remember come exam time.
If you want to read - go to - http://www.corralmystuff.com/blog/2008/10/22/homework-assistance-exams-tests-and-grades.html----- COMMENT: AUTHOR: Becky Taylor EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org IP: 220.127.116.11 URL: DATE: 10/22/2008 12:55:00 PM After hearing Bruce Perry this week at the International Association for Play Therapy Annual Conference in Dallas on how the brain makes connections, I think one of the main ideas in motivation is to create a habit, to form new neural connections, to repeatedly do that which we put off over and over again, so that we get in the habit or doing it, make new neural connections and carve new pathways. ----- -------- AUTHOR: Elle TITLE: Bill Gates: What they don't teach you in school STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Schools and Teaching DATE: 11/10/2009 03:02:22 AM ----- BODY:
Bill Gates recently gave a speech at a High School about 11 things they did not and will not learn in school. He talks about how feel-good, politically correct teachings created a generation of kids with no concept of reality and how this concept set them up for failure in the real world.
Rule 1 : Life is not fair - get used to it!
Rule 2 : The world doesn't care about your self-esteem. The world will expect you to accomplish something BEFORE you feel good about yourself.
Rule 3 : You will NOT make $60,000 a year right out of high school. You won't be a vice-president with a car phone until you earn both.
Rule 4 : If you think your teacher is tough, wait till you get a boss.
Rule 5 : Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity. Your Grandparents had a different word for burger flipping: they called it opportunity.
Rule 6 : If you mess up, it's not your parents' fault , so don't whine about your mistakes, learn from them.
Rule 7 : Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now.. They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning your clothes and listening to you talk about how cool you thought you were. So before you save the rain forest from the parasites of your parent's generation, try delousing the closet in your own room.
Rule 8 : Your school may have done away with winners and losers, but life HAS NOT. In some schools, they have abolished failing grades and they'll give you as MANY TIMES as you want to get the right answer. This doesn't bear the slightest resemblance to ANYTHING in real life.
Rule 9 : Life is not divided into semesters. You don't get summers off and very few employers are interested in helping you FIND YOURSELF. Do that on your own time.
Rule 10 : Television is NOT real life. In real life people actually have to leave the coffee shop and go to jobs.
Rule 11 : Be nice to nerds. Chances are you'll end up working for one.
When it comes to finding motivation to study, the thought of hour after endless hour of reading, taking notes and answering test questions can hardly be deemed to be very exciting can it?!
Believe it or not, that is not the best way to study. There is ample evidence to prove that to study effectively, you need to work in half hour blocks of time. Now I am not saying you should only study for half an hour, just that your brain cannot absorb any more after 30 minutes as it needs to consolidate what is has just taken in - before you cram any more in.
So what do you do?
Work out a realistic study timetable, that takes every subject over the course of a day, break each down into half hour segments - and then stop working on that topic.
Get up, stretch your legs, fetch a glass of water, do a circuit around the block
Then sit down and start on another topic - now it may be a related topic - but you should leave the one you have just looked at and reviewed for another day / part of the day.
It sounds really strange, but I know when I am working at an intense level, 30 minutes is a good time frame, especially if you don't like the topic that much - you can do anything for 30 minutes can't you.----- COMMENT: AUTHOR: torrent download EMAIL: email@example.com IP: 18.104.22.168 URL: http://www.areze.com DATE: 09/23/2010 03:59:20 PM I motivate my self by saying I'am strong.. Thanks.. ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR: Alexandra EMAIL: IP: 22.214.171.124 URL: DATE: 11/01/2011 02:02:55 AM Im never motivated, I think 30 minute blocks are the best option. It pushes you to last to the end because you know a break is not oo far away. I am supposed to be doing homework right now but im on this website and if i dont hand in this work, I fail...wish me luck.
There are a number of aspects we need to discuss to set up what could be termed "good study habits". These include:
1. What is your study motivation: When you leave the confines of "normal schooling, you have a choice - namely "what do you want to be "when you grow up"". What are you hoping to achieve as a result of the time you spend studying. If the reason you are studying is great enough, the motivation to study will always be there.
2. Making sure you organise your study time: Whilst, having the motivation to study is perhaps one of the main aspects of generating good study habits, you do need to sit down and do some.
When you are organising your study time, remember to block in an entire week and remember all the other important (can't get out of) things for example - sleep, eating, travel time, work if you have any.
3. Be prepared for studying by organising resources: Before you begin to study you need to make sure you have all the resources you need. Make sure you have coloured pens to high light portions of text, or erasers, or flash cards to write your notes on.
If you don't know where to start, then start by reading the synopsis of a book / text then making notes.
4. Organising the right study location: Some people can study with noise in the background, others can’t, it’s a personal preference. You may need to invest in a series of earplugs or have a music you can listen to, to drown out the noise. But you do need to limit the extraneous noise if you want to succeed with your study and retention of information.
5. Study in 20 - 30 minute blocks: It may sound a little strange, but believe it or not you have to make every minute count, and there is endless research that says - your brain can only study in 20 - 30 minute blocks before it starts to forget things. Set some kind of alarm and start. Once you reach the end of your allocated time block - change track. Either change subjects (tandem studying) or get up, stretch, have a drink of water and then go back to what you were reading. It wakes up the brain.----- COMMENT: AUTHOR: torrent download EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org IP: 126.96.36.199 URL: http://www.areze.com DATE: 10/23/2010 08:02:40 AM Interesting Blog... Thanks! ----- COMMENT: AUTHOR: torrent download EMAIL: email@example.com IP: 188.8.131.52 URL: http://www.areze.com DATE: 10/28/2010 02:47:03 PM Pretty Cool.. ----- -------- AUTHOR: Elle TITLE: Studying for the future STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Student motivation CATEGORY: Study motivation DATE: 04/04/2010 07:55:50 AM ----- BODY:
When it comes to deciding on what course you should study, you need to look to your future. What do you want to do after you have finished studying and qualified?
Whilst some courses of study automatically lend themselves to a particular job - doctors, dentists, veterinarians and so on - other jobs require some additional thinking as believe it or not a lot of courses can lend themselves to many different careers. I am a qualified librarian, whilst I still consult in my original field of study - usually - how best to create a new information centre for businesses, I don't practice the daily running of a library anymore. What I do do however, is use those original skills, plus a lot of others I've picked up along the way and have moved into marketing, training, administration and of course writing. But when you don;t know what job you want to do, just have a vague notion of - well that might be OK, what do you do? How can you choose a course of study based on that?
One of the easiest ways is to use job boards or advertisements.
Job ads can be a very important starting point when it comes to determining your choice of degree and the modules you choose within that degree. If you know what job you would like to have when you finish school or study, go to one of the major job boards such as Monster.com - locate a job that sounds like it may suit you and download the job specification. In the job spec you will be given a variety of employer wants, needs and would like candidates to have statements - including years of experience and type of qualifications required.
Armed with this information, you can then make an informed decision on the type of courses or training you need to have in order to reach that particular level.
If you are already part way through your study, this can be a good way to test to make sure you will be able to apply for that perfect job when you graduate. If you find there are a few gaps, this technique also allows you to determine what (if any) additional study units you may need.
One of the other ways you can check this is to ask friends and family members what skills and abilities they need to do their jobs. You'd be surprised at how similar a lot of these are. Good time management, good interpersonal skills, good communication skills etc etc. The rest of course are job specific - which pieces of software should you learn and so on.
It is easy to make an informed decision if you have done a little bit of homework.----- -------- AUTHOR: Elle TITLE: Getting the most out of homework time: Study Motivation STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 CATEGORY: Homework assistance CATEGORY: Student motivation CATEGORY: Study motivation CATEGORY: Motivating teenagers CATEGORY: Creating good study habits DATE: 04/04/2010 08:03:49 AM ----- BODY:
In order for a child to get the most out of homework time will depend on the child. But there are some guidelines that may help.
Create good study habits:
Create a good study environment:
It is good to have a room or area set aside for thought based activities. Most homes don't have a library, but try and organise a room where important reference material can sit, alongside printers, pens and other stationery.
Persist until you succeed:
Most people don't feel like doing homework, do you think your parents were any different to you. But you still need to sit down and do it anyway - if you want to get a grade. To get a better grade though, try pretending you are enjoying what you are doing and beieve me when I say - you'll get through it a whole lot faster.
Never leave homework until the last minute, always leave yourself a couple of days before it is due, so you can write a draft first.
As any good writer will tell, drafts are essential. Unfortunately most students don’t realize the value in leaving enough time to write out assignments and homework in a draft form.
In simple terms - draft copy allows you to refine your thinking.
But what should go into a draft copy?
If you are not sure what you are going to write the piece on, don’t try and write the introduction first – especially if you have not done any planning or preparation prior to sitting down to write your assignment.
Well that is up to you, after all, no two people think alike. But it is a good place to write down all the main headings you need to incorporate into the final piece of work. Under each heading you can then add the points you should cover in that section. Once these points have been added you can begin the writing process, once these have been added - use bullet points if necessary - then stop writing. Don't begin editing the piece the same day as you wrote the initial draft.
Leaving time between writing your initial draft copy and your final (to hand in copy) of the assignment allows you to re-think what you want to include in the final piece. Once you begin to read the draft copy, you will edit out all the badly chosen words and sentences. You will see where the sentence construction, spelling and grammatical errors are and you will easily be able to correct them. It is at this point you can write the introduction to the piece and of course the conclusion.
Your thought processes would be much clearer as a result of writing out your assignments in draft form.
Most people will have a number of careers over the course of their working life. I don't know of anyone who started out on day 1 of their working life and stayed doing that same job in the same company until they retired. It's unheard of because it doesn't happen. No-one in their right mind would want to do the same job every day until they retired - they would die of boredom.
The problems I see are this:
But what if you don't have a safety net of being able to live at home, don't have massive bills to pay and can re-train? Does that mean you can't? Does it mean you are forever stuck doing a job you hate?
Of course not, but it's just going to take a little while longer - distance courses, evening classes - it is possible if you want to do it.
If you are not sure about where you want to work - one of the questions to ask yourself is this - do you want to do "that" for 8 hours a day, 5 days a week?
Get some kind of work experience in the profession you think you want to be part of. "See" what it's like to work in an office environment, or experience the life of a labourer. it comes as a handy research exercise. And in the mean time start looking at the online job boards, download some job application packages and find out what experience and qualifications they want in an ideal candidate. Can you answer their selection criteria based on what skills, knowledge and qualifications you have now?
When it comes to work or study, sometimes there aren't options we know that. We may need to work to support ourselves and our families, but that doesn't mean to say we have to stay in the same job forever, now does it.
Speaking from experience, the best way I found to motivate my teens to study and work harder, was making them get an evening and weekend job - in fast food.
The hours are usually lousy - as I can attest to the many evening spent sitting in the carpark at 10pm each night for pick ups. They are usually put on, on the weekend which means they don't have a social life. The money isn't great, the customers are usually rude and it is the best eye opener to what can happen if our teens don't do well in school.
My daughter had always wanted to work in the hospitality industry - until she a) got a job in fast food and b) took the courses and discovered that just because people are older doesn't make them any the politer. The hours were just as lousy and she wasn't getting paid while studying.
However, as she is still studying (albeit it now at degree level) the hours now suit her, so she has stayed in the FF industry and works as a crew trainer.
My son got out as fast as he could and now works in a retail sports store while studying.
Sometimes there can be no better way than real life experience of what happens when you don't do well in school. And if you think I am being facetious - just look at the average age of the managerial level behind the counter. Granted some may not want to advance any further, but given the choice I am sure most teens would prefer to do something they want to do with their lives rather than having to do something because there are not many options for people with few skills and qualifications.
Now I am expecting a barrage of complaints about this one - please bear in mind I am talking about my kids and our experience of life here in Australia, and it will be very different across the many countries around the world. I know I have seen a lot of young Irish people make their way to Oz because of the lack of opportunities in their own country.
But that is another important point - these kids decided that if they wanted to get on, well then a change of country was needed. How motivated were they to improve their lot in life?
I'd love to hear your suggestions for motivating your teens. As parents we all have our own ways that work.
----- -------- AUTHOR: Elle TITLE: Does motivation beat intelligence at school? STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 DATE: 01/24/2013 06:50:18 AM ----- BODY:
Research published in the journal "Child Development" has indicated that a young person's growth in mathematics achievement is driven more by their determination and how they study rather than how smart they are.
Does motivation trump intelligence at school? | BPS
Kou Murayama, a postdoctoral researcher of psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, who led the study while at the University of Munich, said: "While intelligence as assessed by IQ tests is important in the early stages of developing mathematical competence, motivation and study skills play a more important role in students' subsequent growth."----- -------- AUTHOR: Elle TITLE: How good are your teachers? STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 1 DATE: 09/20/2013 03:38:02 AM ----- BODY:
I cannot honestly say I had any brilliant, passionate teachers. Most were OK, some were much better than others. But if my grades were anything to go by - their teaching methods left a lot to be desired.
So when I came across this video courtesy of Facebook (of course) I thought I would share it, in the hope it inspires teachers everywhere to take their teaching to the next level and care about their students.
And for those parents who read this blog, I hope it inspires you too... watch the video and you will see why.
Elle----- -------- AUTHOR: Elle TITLE: My teenage kids have moved from fast food into retail STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 0 CATEGORY: Student motivation CATEGORY: Motivating teenagers CATEGORY: Work motivation DATE: 01/24/2016 07:43:52 AM ----- BODY:
First a caveat - my kids are now in their early twenties. School has given way to university and college, and the fast foods joints have been replaced by retail. the hours are still lousy, the pay not much better and the run up to Christmas was a nightmare.
They still don't have much of a social life, their hours especially in the run up to Christmas was just dreadful. They all got one whole day off and we didn't get to open family christmas presents until the 28th December.
Customers were still rude, there were threats, there was theft - and the kids just had to smile and go with the insults.
They were also of the opinion that everyone, not just kids and teens should get a job in retail especially in the lead up to Christmas - because then they might learn to treat the servers with a little more respect...
They are all now looking for "proper" jobs.
What can I say to motivate your teen?
If you don't have some sort of plan you will live the life someone else has designated for you.
Want to be a shop assistant for the rest of your life - fine, but don't expect your parents to waste money on your education.
If you do decide to go down the study route, be prepared to change jobs and careers. Most people will have multiple paths during their lifetimes. You may get to your dream job AND HATE IT. My daughter did. She went back to study and has since requalified. But before then, I did say to her (and what does mum know) that she would not like that particular career choice... gotta love the sound of I told you so. But she was doing it because her friends were. So - don't be like your friends - true friends will like you regardless of the career choice you make.
You have a lot more choice than your parents did. Which is both a good and a bad thing. So I will say this - go with your passion and then find a way to make that passion pay you enough so that money no longer matters.
With love and light
----- -------- AUTHOR: Elle TITLE: How to find motivation to study STATUS: Publish ALLOW COMMENTS: 0 CATEGORY: Student motivation CATEGORY: Study motivation CATEGORY: Motivate me to study DATE: 04/17/2016 07:58:18 AM ----- BODY:
When you are looking at ways to motivate yourself to study - ask yourself this one question
Will this piece of paper allow me to get the job that I want to do?
If the answer is yes, and if you want the job badly enough, you will find the time, energy and motivation to study. If you don't want the job badly enough - then you will rarely put enough effort into the process, and you might as well save yourself the school fees and go and find a career path that does excite you.
There are a couple more things to think about when it comes to finding motivation to study:
Only you can answer those questions. Just as you are the only person who can decide on the path where your future lies.
Be honest with yoruself, and if that means hitting the books again - well that should be all the motivation to study you need.