Why is my teenager so unmotivated?
My children don’t seem to be interested in doing anything but playing video games and watching movies. What can I do to get them interested in school, doing chores, sports or creative activities?
It is very hard to compete with the media activities that have all the core ingredients that children desire: adventure, success, fun and rewards. The media themselves can be addictive and time consuming and the children miss out on a healthy, balanced active lifestyle and may become socially isolated and withdrawn.
Many parents are struggling with the same problem and have become frustrated that they can’t seem to engage their children in a balanced lifestyle and complain that their children are lazy and defiant.
Parents are wrong in thinking that they have lazy children when they are defiant and refuse to engage. This defiance is typically stems from a child’s lack of confidence, anxiety about past failures and doubting their success and seeing no reward for themselves. If a child can be engaged in tasks that meet their needs for success it is more likely that they will be motivated to attempt what they are asked.
If you approach life tasks with enthusiasm and show you really care about what a child does and pass this on to your children by remembering to use descriptive praise liberally you can increase motivation. Start where your child is at and remember to teach them the tasks that you expect them to complete, help them out as they go and let them add some adventure and creativity into the job.
Using the strategy of Teaching Backwards, whereby you help them complete all but the last step of a procedure, lets them be successful in even their first attempt. A child who knows they will be praised when they complete a task will feel rewarded and grow in their self-confidence.
Confidence is the lack of anxiety and gives a child the motivation to engage with real people and situations rather than withdrawing from the real world into video games and movies.
Willow Creek Psychology has family and teen counselling that works in building connections with family members, community and school. We offer a four week of 1.5 hour sessions where the parents complete sessions on Emotional Coaching and the children or teen work independently with a psychologist on Emotional Regulation . The family meets together each week to discuss progress and practise the new techniques.
We bill most insurance plans directly and offer a free meet and greet to make sure we can help you out. Call today let us help . 403 -454- 5388 .