Kids of all ages need encouragement, but the type of support and motivation they need changes as they get older. For younger children, positive reinforcement and praise is a great way to encourage them, but this usually is less effective as children get older. By the time kids hit their teenage years, parents can be at a loss when it comes to inspiring, motivating, and encouraging them. Of course, it’s not an easy ride for teens either! As well as coping with school and family life, teens are facing an upheaval in their hormones. This almost always affects their mood, behavior and general well-being. If you’re unsure about how to encourage your older kids and you want to offer them more support, check out these effective ways to encourage your teen.
Actively listen to your teen
You might be used to hearing your teen talk, but are you really listening? Teenagers can change almost imperceptibly, so it’s easy to miss out on what they’re really saying when you’re trying to manage a hundred things at once. Try to take the time to talk to your teen, and find out what’s new with them. This gives you an insight into what’s motivating – or not motivating – them at the moment. You can’t effectively encourage your teen if you’re not listening to them in the first place. And believe me. They know if you’re listening or not.
Do something together
Life is full of pressures, and it can be difficult to take time out when your time is limited. However, taking regular breaks from work both outside of and inside of home is important for everyone. If you’re not spending time with your teen, you won’t be able to effectively encourage them. Offer to go for a walk or run with your teen, play a game or volunteer together, and you’ll soon start to enjoy the time you get to spend together.
As the mom of young adult children, I can tell you that life goes by too quickly. You might think that you don’t have time to do anything other than work and take care of your family. You do! Don’t forget what is most important. You will never get these years back, so cherish them and put time with your teens on the top of your lists!
Let your teens see the world in action
When kids are studying, a lot of the work they’re doing is focused on academics: math, science, reading and writing. It doesn’t matter what type of assignment it is, this type of learning can quickly become boring. Giving your teen a break from the books can be a great way to effectively encourage them.
Engaging with local communities give teenagers an insight into how the subjects they’re studying at school apply to the real world. This type of creative learning mimics the approach taken at well-known prep schools, such as AUP School, which you can read about at https://www.aupschool.org/. It’s amazing how much more motivated this can make your teen both at home and at school.
Show your teen what their future may look like
Teenagers can find it difficult to focus on the bigger picture, and your teen might be letting temporary distractions get in the way of thinking about their future. If you want to encourage your child to study, let them see why they’re studying and what the future might hold for them.
Visit colleges with your teens, and let them get a feel for campus life. We know that not all kids choose to go to college, so take them on tours of the different places they might want to work in. Most importantly, though, let them know that no matter what path they choose, you are behind them. Parents who push their kids into a path that they don’t want to take are only pushing their teens away. If you want to effectively encourage your teen, you have to let them know that you’ve got their back.
Help your teens have fun
School can be difficult at any age, but middle school and high school can be especially overwhelming. As well as academic pressure, kids often face social and peer pressure when they’re in their teens. Help your child enjoy their downtime by having fun as a family. Take day trips, visit local sites or simply stay in and have a fun family movie night.
Motivating your kids can be tough, but following these tips can help you find effective ways to encourage your teen. While you might not always see an immediate effect, constant support and encouragement will benefit you and your teen for the rest of your lives.