If you have a teenager in your life, you know it can be a unique life experience, ha!  I still have one teen at home and must admit, getting her to do chores is still a struggle.

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So, how the heck do you motivate a teenager?

Four suggestions from Dr. Christine Carter might seem unusual, yet she is an expert in the field of teen development so worth a shot.

1)  Give them some freedom to fail on their own.  She writes,

Instead of directing your son/daughter, ask them: “What’s your plan?” As in, “What’s your plan for getting your homework done this weekend?” Asking kids what their plan is makes it clear that they are still in control of their own behavior, and it helps put them in touch with their own motivations and intentions.


2. Help them feel more competent,

Help them see where he or she has done really well in the past through his/her own effort (rather than your nagging). Don’t be afraid to ask them: Where do you feel most confident? And then help him see that it is their own effort that has led to that capability.

3. Lastly, support their sense of connectedness with others.

 Particularly at school. Is there a teacher whom he/she feels connected to who can encourage him or her? Or a coach who is also willing to talk to him/her about life as a student? Sometimes the best way we can help our kids is to help them find a community where they can thrive.

4.  Take the training wheels off,

When he/she falls, let him/her pick themselves up and try again. This will build autonomy and competence. You can celebrate his successes—this will build relatedness. Let him learn how to ask for the help he needs; when he gets it, it will expand his sense of belonging and connection to others.

Go get 'em, and remember you are NOT alone!  Jules

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