Now that it's spring and the end of school is practically here, teenagers across the country are slacking off at school in anticipation of summer. Of course, motivating teens is a year-round challenge, but the warm weather can sure heat up the battle ("Did you do your homework?" "No." "Do your homework!" "No."). Instead of fighting with your teen, the parents of Parent Soup recommend taking a back seat, offering support without making demands. If it sounds hard, that's because it is. But the voices below can help you realize that getting frustrated isn't the best way to get your teens to take action.
Say Good-bye to Nagging
"I have two daughters, aged 16 and 13. The way that I motivate them is to be sure that they aren't allowed to watch TV, go online, talk on the phone or go out unless their chores (homework, piano practice, cleaning up) are done. I don't tell them they have to do these things; I just tell them that if they don't, they don't get to do the fun stuff. We have many a day where nothing gets done but it's not much of a fight around here anymore. I just have to remember that if they don't choose to do the chores, I can't nag them. I ask them to give me a half-hour a day to do whatever chores they choose. They really appreciated me allowing them to pick and choose what they do to help out; it gives them a sense of teamwork around the house. It certainly makes them realize that you are allowing them to be part of the adult team that runs that household."
--Parent Soup member ValDro