How to Motivate a Teenager Who Doesn’t Want to Study

Many parents find themselves with a problem when their son or daughter teenager prefer to do other activities different from studying.

Parents become concerned about this, as they think that the academic future of their teenager may be in jeopardy. In these cases, which are very common, family members look for ways to motivate a teenager who does not want to study, hoping to find a way to get their teenager to focus on his or her studies.

First of all, before getting alarmed, you should stop and think about whether this is just a passing phase or something that is becoming more and more common. For example, while moving from middle to high school, every teenager needs a period of adaptation to the new pace of study. It is necessary to give them a time of margin and adaptation. In these cases, we can affirm that a drop in performance would be expected.

What are the reasons?

Without criticizing the teachers who put so much effort into their work, the lack of study motivation may be due mainly to the current traditional school system, which often imposes subjects in a not very motivating or not motivating at all. Nobody likes to spend 7 hours a day sitting in the same chair and listening to the syllabus in a theoretical and not at all stimulating way. 

There are many boys or girls who, during childhood, were good students. Still, when they reach adolescence, they begin to lower their school performance, with worse grades, lack interest in going to school, and lack of motivation.

The main problem faced by parents lies in the lack of communication or inadequate communication with their teenagers, so both parties must do their part to achieve the expected good academic results.

The lack of school motivation is due to the arrival of a stage with many physical and psychological changes due to the implementation of a neurohormonal process that affects the whole body and involves an increase in impulsivity.

It causes attraction to new relationships and decreased interest in what previously interested them. At the same time, they begin to be interested in everything new, exciting, and sometimes even dangerous. That a teenager is more interested in, for example, living new experiences than studying mathematics is normal.

So, how to motivate a teenager who does not want to study?

Here are some essential points that you can apply with your teenage son or daughter to know how to motivate a teenager who does not want to study:

Talk and listen to the teenager.

Although sometimes it is difficult to have a conversation with a teenager, but you should try to remain calm and listen to what he/she may say or think. Trying to maintain good communication with your children is essential to deal with the different problems that may arise, including their lack of motivation at school.

Important: talking is not a synonym of pressuring. You have to show interest in how studies are going if they have any difficulties, but we should not focus all conversations on moralizing the academic issue.

Look for the source of the problem.

Suppose some problems may affect the child, such as eating problems, learning disorders, social interaction problems, stress problems, academic pressure, or conflicts with teachers.

Often we only see the educational problems and do not look beyond the emotional cause behind them. For example, a teenager who has problems with social relationships is very likely to lower his academic performance, which should be taken into account by teachers and parents.

Be more flexible with your children and give them their space.

Adolescents, like adults, need leisure time. If they have already completed their day at school, they need to rest before doing their homework, just as adults do when we leave work.

If a teenager is interested in sports, music, or dance, he should be given the space to pursue their hobbies, although they should also be committed to fulfilling their school obligations. 

If you see that your child can’t handle all the school duties or has no energy to do all school tasks, you can sometimes help with it or get professional writer help if he needs to prepare some paper.

Talk about their future.

It is undoubtedly one of the most important points. Talking about the teenager’s plans and looking for information about it together is an excellent way to motivate him/her to grow and to study.

To help teenagers to set medium and long-term goals and support them to achieve these goals reinforces their effort and self-esteem

Very important: we should not put only one academic path as valid, i.e., high school and university are not the only possible academic paths. But that after that, there are several viable options (for example, vocational training). We must free them from the great anxiety due to the pressure of expectations that teenagers carry.

In conclusion

To know how to motivate a teenager who does not want to study, you must listen to him, respect him, and guide him to find solutions to the problems he faces, including the lack of school motivation.

I also highly recommend forming a study team, as it increases school motivation. They encourage each other for the positive achievement of the goal they are pursuing and, in addition, reinforce their social skills and empathy.


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