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10 ways to motivate your teenager

motivationtargetDuring the primary school years, disciplining children in study-related matters tends to be rather straightforward and of the 'Do As I Say' category. However, once they morph into teenagers, things get a bit more complicated (to say the least!) The concepts of personal independence, showing mutual respect and 'private space' become much more important to them, whether we like it or not. While we want to ensure that they stay 'on track'  academically, we  need to do this in a way that will keep communication channels open, and show our trust in them.

Check out our tips on how you can motivate your teen and instill in him or her the drive and desire to achieve.

1. Express your love
As parents, we need to make patience and love a top priority. Displaying this love and patience sets the stage for how they as students receive and retain educational information. Foundational support and verbal encouragement are key elements in motivating your child to develop interests and skills that he/she will use in their lifetime.

2. Provide boundaries

Provide and encourage boundaries. Talk with your child about certain TV programmes, video games, websites and music. Be aware of your child's friends and activities that they engage in. Guide them in helping to decide on how to make good decisions about their lives.

3. Be a role model
Be an example for your child by showing a continued interest in their education. Encourage them to develop proper and fruitful study and organizational skills. Don't hesitate to communicate to them that you are also in a continual process of education in your parenting and career skills.

4. Teach responsibility
Teach accountibility and responsibility. Provide areas of attainable goals and teach your child to complete the tasks they have set out to accomplish. Reward finished tasks and encourage continual growth.

5. Give variety
Offer a varied range of life experiences.Life is never just vanilla. Help them to realize the wonderful variety of subjects education has to offer. Utilize resources for fresh and fulfilling educational memories.

6. Acknowledge peer pressure
Keep abreast of life's hazards of potential negative behavior. Culture continues to offer potentially harmful acitivities. Know the pressures your child does face on a daily basis. Help them to distinguish between helpful and harmful endeavours.

7. Keep Communication Channels Open
Always realize that your child faces many issues that are of supreme importance to them. As their parent, they look to you for understanding and guidance. Be honest and humble. Never be afraid to communicate to them that you don't always know the answer. But do assure them that you will always search for a resolution. Listen even if you don't share their intensity.

8. Expect Excellence
As a young adult, your teen needs to learn that while you are prepared to extend your trust and relegate 'control' to him or her , he or she must also deliver the goods. Set high, yet realistic expectations, and make those expectations very clear. Set short terms goals and celebrate when they are achieved.

9. Agree on Courses of Action
There may be some subjects that your teen finds particularly challenging. Set achievable, short-term goals, and give him or her the additional support needed, such as engaging a tutor or finding a suitable enrichment centre. However, bear in mind that there are a lot more activities fighting for your child's time and stamina now, compared to primary school days. Discuss openly with your child on what such additional programmes would mean for their school and personal schedules, and the concept of 'sacrifice now, enjoy later'. Involving your child in these decisions rather than simply dictating them will help to make him or her a more willing and committed 'partner towards the goals that you both are trying to achieve.

10. Share in the Excitement
Your teen will find out about and experience many new things during these adolescent years. Show your enthusiasm in what they're learning and encourage them to discuss some of these ideas with you (you may learn quite a few new things that weren't covered when WE were in school!) On the social and leisure front, be a good listener and show some interest in your child's activities and hobbies, even if you don't quite share in the same enthusiasm. This would also help you to gain a deeper insight into your teen's evolving personality.

[Adapted from: http://www.articlesbase.com/k-12-education-articles/7-ways-to-keep-your-middle-school-student-motivated-638556.html]

Do you have other suggestions on how to motivate your teen? What has worked for you? Do let us know.