How Do I Motivate My Teenager?

How Do I Motivate My Teenager?


By Teen Coach, Melanie Black

Motivating teens can be challenging and helping teens get motivated is one the reasons parents seek out coaching. Coaching promotes self-awareness about the different kinds of motivation such as conditional and intrinsic, which encourages teenagers to make better choices. Thus, they are able to keep themselves motivated and follow through with their goals. It’s important to keep in mind that motivation is a skill that needs to develop. This skill develops with everything we do. We often think that we have to be motivated to perform but it’s the other way around. Performance comes before motivation. It is with our own actions, with what we do, that gets us motivated.

What Teens Need to Develop Motivation

    • Positive Experiences: One of the greatest things parents can do for their teen is facilitate meaningful experiences. Take a visit to a university they are interested in or help them apply for some volunteer work in a field in which they have interest. Try a new activity like paddle boarding.


    • Begin with the End in Mind: One of my favorite activities to do with clients is guide them in creating a mission statement. It is a powerful exercise that gets them motivated. Not only does the process of making the statement make the teen self aware of their values and goals, but revisiting their goals daily and remembering why they want to do well helps keep them motivated. That’s why I emphasize the value of keeping it visible on a daily basis, which helps them maintain their motivation.


  • Communication: Having meaningful discussions with your teen will help them get and stay motivated to reach their goals.


Have a Powerful Discussion with Your Teen

The best way parents can help their teens is to guide them in discovering their own motivation. Here are some discussion questions to help facilitate a meaningful conversation with your teen.

  • What is something that required a lot of hard work that you have accomplished that you are really proud of?
  • How did you feel when you accomplished it?
  • Why was it important to you to accomplish it?
  • What were some of your distractions or roadblocks?
  • How did you overcome them?

This is also a good time to share your own story with your teen.

Melanie Black is a coach who helps teens increase self-motivation, self-discipline, and self-efficacy. Learn more about Melanie and the specialized coaching programs she offers by clicking here.