Motivation is internal. Manipulating someone into ‘becoming motivated’ is
· temporary and
Many, many parents report that their teen is ‘completely unmotivated’ and they just want to do nothing or play video games, etc. FACT, however is that years of research tells us we are all inherently motivated. That teen may be backing away out of SELF-DOUBT, SELF-PITY, FEAR, ETC. And it may even show itself as ANGER TOWARD YOU OR THE WORLD, ETC
So the question becomes: how to begin to build that motivation? Let’s begin by recognizing that a teenager’s usual natural reaction to anything from a parent is to laugh at it, walk away, reject even considering it – because they already know it all – and Mom/Dad don’t know squat! Don’t react or overreact. Keep an easy, unemotional demeanor and proceed on. With tactful gentleness and subtlety it’s not that difficult to overcome such issues.
In our experience every teenager with whom we’ve worked has significantly increased their own motivation when we (1) first help them to IDENTIFY their very personal and meaningful dream goals and (2) then SET and (3) then MOVE AHEAD PROGRESSIVELY, DAILY with small, micro-steps toward those dream goals. Once they’ve set and are working toward them, surprisingly enough (!) their SELF-motivation increases significantly!!
So the process is
(1) Brainstorm dream goals,
(2) Whittle them down to one or two to work toward,
(3) Guide them in daily MICRO-steps – the smaller the better - actions toward their dreams.
BUT WAIT – there’s more: you CANNOT simply ask them what their dreams and goals are. They will laugh or run from the room or ask “Why? What’s it to you?” or similar. As a parent of a teen, your greatest tool is subtlety.
So – approach it ‘sneakily’ – to evoke or build a dream list [dreams, NOT goals] è
· “I heard _[your teen’s friend]_ was writing down their lofty, wild ’n crazy dream goals – just as an exercise. Do you have any?”
· “I’m just curious – what do you want to be doing and where do you want to be living – when you’re 35 years old?”
· “If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be?”
· “Humor me – make me laugh – list me the top 10 dreams you have in your life”
· “If you had all the money you needed, what would you do as a job, and where would you live, and with whom?”
· Do you remember that movie that had a Bucket List? If you developed your own Bucket List, what would you put on it?
· [insert your own here] _______________________________
· [add another one here] _______________________________
And the number one excellent FOLLOW-UP question to every one of these is
· – Because the answer to that question will reveal A LOT more than the starter question!!!
WHAT IF IT DOESN’T GO WELL? - Tune in next for Episode Three
If you’d like clarification or more information or tools or guidance, please message us at CoachSteve@Launch-Your-Life.com – and we’ll be back to you quickly!