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How Can I Make My Teen Care About School?

Your teen is on the verge of failing school, and doesn’t seem to care. But no amount of your stress or sweat will make your teen work harder at school. In fact, the opposite is true. Instead, try these strategies when your teen is phoning it in.

Your teen is barely passing high school, and doesn’t seem to care.

When teens stop trying, overparenting is rarely far behind.

Concerned parents try to motivated with more nagging, nudging, lecturing and pleading. This reaction is natural, but it’s also counter productive. How can you motivate kids to develop an inner drive? Watch this video.

How Can I Make My Teen Care About School?

Your teen is on the verge of failing school, and doesn’t seem to care.

He has time for YouTube, video games, and texting, but puts in the bare minimum academically.

He’s not a ‘troublemaker’ at school, but you worry that he’s limiting his future opportunities.

A parent’s natural instinct is to lecture and micro-manage.

But no amount of your stress or sweat will make your teen work harder at school. In fact, the opposite is true.

Instead, try these strategies when your teen is phoning it in.

1. Encourage independence.

Give your teen the freedom to make her own decisions and live with the results.

The less you push, plead, and nag, the sooner your child will take responsibility.

2. Embrace natural consequences.

When you rescue your teen, you teach her to expect a bail out. You also kill an important learning opportunity.

It’s hard to see your child fail, but better she should flounder in high school than in college.

3. Set limits and consequences.

Don’t try to control your teen.

Instead, communicate your expectations — and work with your teen to establish reasonable targets.

Spell out the restrictions and natural consequences you will enforce if he misses the mark.

For example, “To bring up your grades, you need more time to study. So no more video games until we see an improvement.”

4. Consider medication and therapy.

Therapy is a process of self-discovery that can help adolescents mature and develop their own goals.

Make sure to choose a therapist who understands ADHD.

5. Invest your time.

Your teen won’t develop intrinsic motivation overnight.

He needs the space to figure out how to do better.

And you need to understand that the problem with school lies not solely with your teen, but with a world that asks too much of him.

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Why Teens Stop Trying — and Achieving — at School
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  1. We didn’t know about the ADHD until college. Parents of kids w neurodevelopmental disorders help them stay organized and when they leave home, things can fall apart. An executive function coach helped because my son was past being able to hear me. In hindsight I wish I had piled on the positive messages, and that I had involved a coach sooner.

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