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Let's not ignore the fact that we ALL get unmotivated at one point or another.

As adults, we often feel unmotivated for one reason or another. Teenagers are the same too. The trouble with teenagers is they are still young and might not be in a place where they have enough experience to deal with it or address underlying issues that are causing them to be unmotivated.

The lack of motivation might come across as being lazy but please don't call it that, not until we know the underlying truth. Uncovering that would be the most important.

It's often heartbreaking and frustrating seeing your teen lose interest in almost everything whether it's homework, studying for that test, sports activities he once loved, going to school or even going out with friends like he used to.

You watch them isolate themselves more than usual, their grades might start falling and they might always come up with an excuse for not wanting to go to school more often than should. As quick as we want to label it as being 'lazy', I would like to think that there is always a reason behind it all.

Teenagers today are faced with a lot of challenges which might lead to their lack of motivation. There are plenty of reasons why they might feel this way, but there are also things that they can do to change their mindset and become more motivated.

Sometimes, just getting them to open up to you about what is happening in their lives gives them the perspective they need to address their issues head-on.

They might just be dealing with something deeper that they are unable or incapable of figuring out by themselves.

That's where we come in and hopefully, we can help them uncover the underlying issues and address them together. Not to say that we should try and solve their issues for them but more of helping them get more clarity and hence allowing them to see the issue in another light.

As parents, we might feel frustrated and helpless because we don't know how to help our teenagers feel more motivated. It can be hard to know what to do. Here I share 6 possible reasons why your teenager lacks motivation and what you can do to help them.

01 - Your Teen Is Overwhelmed

Teens feel pressure to succeed from all sides. Parents want them to do well in school, their friends are all trying to one-up each other, and they see the constant success of strangers on social media. All of this can lead to your teen feeling overwhelmed.

Being inundated with schoolwork, extracurricular activities, and social obligations, can all feel like too much. There are a lot of reasons why a teen can often feel overwhelmed and it's easy to feel that way, especially when everything is happening all at the same time.

I'm amazed at how my son is dealing with all that surrounds his life, especially in this era that we live in. There is so much more pressure on them now than when we were teenagers. Would I be overwhelmed if I was in his shoes? Hell, yes.

The best way to help your teen is to encourage them to take a step back and assess what is truly important to them. Try to help your teen prioritize their obligations and focus on one thing at a time.

You can help them compartmentalize their issues into smaller portions and address them one by one. Smaller portions and asking them questions about what is overwhelming them and what they think the possible solutions are can often lead to them examining the issue in a calmer, clearer mindset.

You can also encourage them to take breaks and relax whenever possible.

02 - Your Teen Is Struggling With Perfectionism

Perfectionism is another reason why teenagers feel unmotivated.

Perfectionism can be a double-ended sword. Whilst your teen might be a perfectionist - not achieving perfectionism in a task that they have set out to do can often lead to procrastination and discouragement at the same time. It can be very debilitating as well.

Achieving a grade less than what they have anticipated and the obsession with getting everything just right puts a lot of pressure on teens. This plus the intense fear of failing can be too much for any perfectionist to handle.

They are afraid to fail, so they don't even try. This can be a vicious cycle, as the more they don't try, the more they feel like a failure. To help your teenager, encourage them to take risks and celebrate their accomplishments, no matter how small.

It's important that you remind your teen that it's okay to make mistakes and to fail. It's only through making mistakes and failure that we truly learn. Learning how to handle failure in itself is something a lot of us lack. Mistakes and failure teach teens to manage the difficult emotions of being disappointed, let down, scared, etc.

I know my teen has often, in the past, worked so hard, only to be disappointed in the end because the results were short of his expectations and I could see how deeply it affected him. The constant nagging voice in their head that they're not good enough is demoralizing and detrimental to their self-esteem and mental health.

All of this can lead to your teen feeling like they can never measure up.

Positive encouragement and unwavering support are what your teens need from you. Be generous with this. Let them know that you are proud of them regardless of the setbacks they're facing.

03 - Your Teen Is Having A Hard Time With School

Demands of schooling are simply unavoidable, but there are a few things that you can do to help your teen cope.

Many factors may contribute to your teen struggling with school, which can be anything from challenging subjects, boring teachers, strict teachers, managing high expectations, a learning disability, or even conflicts with teachers and other students.

I know my teen hated school. Actually, he liked everything about school except for the studying or the homework. It was always a struggle to get him to be interested. He always felt that school was a waste of time.

Should challenging subjects be the issue you might want to look into encouraging your teen to be open to extra classes or tuition. Alternative teaching options oftentimes can help with your teen's specific needs.

Regular failing of a certain subject can result in negative associations with that particular subject and can lead to your teen being unmotivated to study.

One of the best things you can do is provide support and encouragement. Tell them that you're there for them, and help them to identify the things that are making them feel overwhelmed. Let them know that they can always reach out to you for help.

Whatever the reasons are, it's important to talk to your teen and help them identify the problem and discuss in detail the possible solution for it.

04 - Your Teen Is Depressed

Even though you may feel like your teenager is depressed, it doesn't mean that they are actually in a bad place.

In fact, many teenagers struggle with depression for a variety of reasons. It can be difficult to cope with the demands of school, social media, and other responsibilities. There are a few things that you can do to help alleviate the pressure and help your teen feel better.

Try talking to your teen one-on-one, if it's at all possible, to get some insight into what's going on in their lives. If you think, your teen won't open up to you, then get a family member they are close to. Sometimes, it's easier for them to open up to someone other than their parents for fear of the reaction they will receive.

If all else fails and you notice signs of constant fatigue, loss of appetite, isolation from friends and family, acting out, or participating in any risky behaviour, like substance abuse and irritability, then seeking professional help might be your best option.

05 - Your Teen Feels Micromanaged By You

Teenagers who feel micromanaged by their parents often have low self-esteem.

They feel like they can't do anything on their own, and they feel like they're never good enough. This can have a negative impact on their school performance and their overall mental health.

Your teens are at the age where it is in their nature to want independence and start managing their own lives.

Setting clear rules and boundaries and involving them in the process will most likely make them follow those rules which means you won't need to micromanage them.

As a parent, you can help your teen by being supportive and non-judgmental so resist trying to control every aspect of your teen's life: the clothes they wear, what they eat, friends they hang out with when they do their homework or even interests they have.

After all, a healthy, motivated, self-disciplined, successful teen has a strong sense of control over their lives, and this is exactly what we want for them so have some trust in them.

06 - Your Teen Doesn't Feel Loved/ Seen/ Appreciated

Many teenagers feel unmotivated because they don't feel loved or appreciated. They may feel like they're not good enough, or like their parents don't care about them.

You can help your teen by communicating with them in a way that they understand. You can also show your support by engaging in activities with them, and telling them how much you appreciate them.

Encouragement helps. Take interest in their studies, in their sports activities, in their interests, and in their lives.

When my teen talks to me, I make it a point to stop what I'm doing and just listen to him. Conversations with teens are a hot commodity so I immerse myself whenever my teen voluntarily wants just to chat. He always comes back to tell me about his highs, lows, and everything in between because he knows that I am interested to know and I'll always listen.

It doesn't take much to show your teens you love, appreciate, and respect them, but it has so many positive effects on their overall well-being.


There is always a reason for the lack of motivation in our teens. Once we take the time to understand the problem, we are one step closer to helping our teens find a solution. It's important for them to take it one step at a time and let's do what we can to help them get back to their happy, motivated selves so they can continue to thrive.

Have any of these caused your teen to be unmotivated? How are you coping with it?


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