No Care Factor? When Motivation Is A Problem

No care factor?

So the summer holidays are over and your child has finished school, but there's a lack of motivation for them to get a job?

Is "I don't care" a familiar answer to almost everything?

Well while we can't make our children care, we can try and understand the motivation behind this attitude and coach them to help them get on track.

Firstly, let's look at where these words are coming from. As parents we need to realise that being an underachiever or showing no motivation towards being successful can be a shield, giving your child a sense of control and power.  It's often a reaction to the anxiety associated with failing or meeting responsibility. Perhaps your child is scared of competing with other teenagers and meeting yours or others expectations. "I don't care" gets them out of the stress of having to meet any responsibilities.

As a parent, you can help your teenager by coaching her/him to meet their responsibilities and take control of their destiny, despite their fear of failure.  Here's some tips:
  1. Make them accountable and don't give them a free ride. If they aren't out looking for a job or enrolling in further education, then make sure everything they have at home is earned. Life at home for an unmotivated teenager should be one day at a time. If you're giving them money, they should earn it by doing things for you around the house. If they have a mobile phone, they get credit by achieving tasks you've set for them. If they don't do it, cut if off.
  2. Talk to your child about things they want in life. How are they going to get these things if they don't get an education or get a job?
  3. Stay calm and be cool. Don't let them see your frustrations, as its showing them that they're in control. Instead be very clear and tell your teenager that what they do matters to you and that you can't force them, but you want them to do well.
  4. Don't do your teenagers tasks for them! Many teenagers have grown up with mum driving them around, mum making their lunch and generally doing everything for them. If you keep doing this now, they won't learn independence and take responsibility for themselves. It's important to stop doing things that she/he needs to do themselves.
  5. Set deadlines and use structure at home. Tell your teenager what you want done and by when. If they don't do it, make sure there are consequences. Again, don't give them a free ride.
  6. Be a coach and keep your teenager looking forward.  When they do something well hone in on that specific thing. Comment on their progress, but don't tell them how great they are when they haven't put forth that much effort.
If you are concerned that your child may be depressed please seek professional medical advice.

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