Many very wise people have said that each of us has a unique talent. I believe that’s true. I also believe that MANY people have never searched, explored nor found theirs. Why not take this time when your teenager may be going through some very rough self-understanding times to help them to explore and identify and begin honing their gift. I'll bet they've got one!
I had a friend in high school who sat in the back of the room drawing cartoons and such. He’s now been on the Art faculty at Ohio State University for many years.
Watch, observe, listen, ask innocent questions, note where they go, what they do. Again, great minds tell us that all human beings are achievers. If yours isn’t, you may need to stir the pot [no pun intended]. Remember: ASK, DON’T TELL. Don’t lecture, instruct, try to teach – unless they ask.
Suggest some ideas, opportunities, activities.
Encourage just about anything. If you see movement - support, reinforce, compliment it. Remember – as much negativity as you may see, realize it’s just a scared kid trying to establish themselves. If you’re negative, what would you expect them to be?
CRITICAL ISSUE: if you have given them anything and everything they’ve ever wanted or needed, why would you question why they have no motivation? OF COURSE they don’t!
Don’t be afraid nor hesitate to take things away. There are three types of motivation: fear, incentive, achievement. Each has a role. Fear motivation may be needed now to instigate different behaviors. I once knew a father with a problem teen who, step-by-step, took things away down to the mattress lying on the floor of his son’s bedroom. His son was very stubborn. Sometimes, it takes that!
FIND THAT TALENT!!!