What motivates teenagers

Teens: This is how parents motivate their children

"That's annoying!", "Don't feel like it!", "I'll do it later!" Sentences that all parents of teenagers get to hear on a regular basis. After all, the pubescent life is full of chores like doing homework, taking out the trash or cleaning up rooms. Why can't you just do the things you feel like doing, the young people think to themselves. In fact, there are a few tricks that can make it easier for them to get up.

"Everyone knows their weaker self," says motivation coach Stefan Frädrich from Cologne. However, it should not be fought permanently. It is better to accept it as a kind of inner friend that is part of you. "That brings you further, because you don't get angry with him, but can use your energy for something else."

Constant procrastination only makes it worse

It doesn't help to keep moaning and just saying "I'm not in the mood for that". "Some things just have to be done," says Frädrich. Parents must therefore convey to adolescents that the longer they are delayed, the more annoying some matters are. Parents should always offer the teenagers the positive prospect, so that the children finally say to themselves: "I don't feel like doing the homework now, but if I do it right away, I'll have time afterwards, without a guilty conscience to do something nice. "

The youngsters need a goal in mind

"You can only be successful if you do something for it," explains Stefan Brandt, school psychologist in Berlin. Parents can easily convey this with an example: Even a professional soccer player is only a star because he has worked hard for it. Even when he doesn't feel like it, his coach demands that he train. The children understand that it is worth doing things that you may not feel like doing at the moment. It helps to have a goal in mind. "If I want to be a good athlete, for example, it is easier for me to go to training regularly because then I know what I'm doing it for," says Brandt.

The policy of small steps

Instead of setting a single, hard-to-reach goal, smaller goals can be more motivating. "If you mess around a lot at home and then decide to do half an hour of sport every day, you will probably not be able to do that," explains coach Kai-Jürgen Lietz from Bad Homburg. Smaller steps are more realistic. For example: "I put on my sportswear after school and go to the park. I don't know yet whether I'll be jogging." That is relatively easy and gives you the good feeling of having achieved something. "Then you don't get the impression that you are not achieving anything, but rather you are motivated to set your next goal."

This small step policy also works at home and at school. Parents can save themselves from having to spend hours tidying up their children in a mess if they get their kids to put their clothes together for a few minutes every day. In the same way, parents and students should be aware that you cannot go from a five in math to a one or two on the certificate within a very short time through endless overtime study. But doing ten minutes more math every day is easy to do and will have a positive effect on academic performance. According to Lietz, it is also practical when the young people write down what they have achieved in those ten minutes. "It's a kind of reward because then I see what I've achieved in black and white," explains Lietz.

Parents achieve little with "bribery"

Rewards are a good way to motivate yourself to do something anyway. But that shouldn't be the only goal, says school psychologist Brandt. Because then you run the risk of doing things at some point just for a reward. "It doesn't have to be, because actually it's a great feeling to have just done something." Then young people could be proud of themselves and say: "I did that well!" Accordingly, parents should be careful not to use "bribery" to encourage their children to perform well. For example, experts also advise against rewarding children with money for good school grades.

The difficult question about the future

Most teenagers have a hard time worrying about their future. The jostling of their parents annoys them, but they are not wrong if they keep bringing up the subject. Because as exhausting as it can be, it is important for young people to think about it as early as possible, says Stefan Frädrich. If you postpone the decision for too long, you run the risk of taking a path that you don't even want to go.

To give the youngsters a helping hand, parents can ask them what they enjoy and what they would like to do from morning to night. In this way they can find out over time which job suits them. And those who do what they enjoy doing professionally will probably find it easier to find a job later.

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