How do you motivate your teen to do better in school?

By: Contributors

Continued lack of motivation in teens may stem from deeper issues, such as lack of confidence and low self esteem. Teens may suffer from being labeled as underachievers at school, even though their intelligence levels may be high. This may strengthen teens' insecurity and keep them from advancing in high school. Parents have to recognize this situation and take measures to turn it around and help their teen overcome their low performance level, so that the lack of motivation doesn't harm their chances of success in the future.

Teens need the drive to self-motivate, and that can come from you talking with them about the future, and their plans for college. When your teen realizes that without a college education the choices become more limited, he or she may realize the importance of doing well in school to advance plans for the future. Teens need to know that the choices they make today -- while they are still in junior high and high school -- will have an impact on their chances of success in the future. Parents should help their teens recognize and acknowledge their strengths, and encourage their achievements. Teens have to deal with many challenges and parents need to know when their help is needed and when to let their teen go it alone. Help your teens develop the skills they need to manage their time and schedules, making sure that their schoolwork is figured in at the top of the list. Help your teen with homework by providing a functional and comfortable workspace where there are no distractions to focusing on school assignments.


Positive peer pressure from good friends and extracurricular activities that focus on your teen's interests and abilities are good boosts for motivation on every level. Optimism and encouragement are the keys to supporting your teen on the sometimes rocky path to self-motivation.