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5 Ways Parents Can Inspire Their Teenagers To Finish College

Oct 30, 2017 by

Parents can have an instrumental role in helping their teenagers finish and succeed in college by being informed and offering some little guidance and support. More often than not, teenagers will lack the motivation any parent wants, i.e. :”work harder in school, achieve better grades, be ambitious and care about being successful” but they will obviously have the motivation to do anything they want. Moreover, convincing your teenagers to finish college when they do not want to can be challenging. Besides, making them stop doing some of the things you do not want them to indulge in can be trickier.

Parents often ask, “How can I inspire my teenagers to finish college?” With this question, most of them just expect a single-size-fits everyone response which is actually wrong. Transformational inspiration emanates from particular tailoring of the individual and discovering their psychology type. For sure, some general principles usually are very effective. For instance, behaviourism works to some extent. The old-fashioned carrot-and-stick approach also has a long history of being successful. Vision creation does wonders as well. For real inspiration, however, the individual details are essential. Since teenagers have different personalities and psychological traits, it is crucial to have an approach that is not too generalized. So, how can parents inspire their teenagers to finish college? Here are a few tricks that might work.

  1. Reconsider Rewards

When many parents were toilet training their kids, they probably had to offer them small pieces of chocolate every time they did the peeing right. With the reward, kids are able to get instructions right and execute them as required by their parents. Unfortunately, smart kids will often work their way around your reward system. Besides, research reveals that the positive effects of a reward are just short-lived.

Of course, giving teenagers some rewards can at times be temporarily useful to get them over a hurdle such as learning a few physics concepts. And while this reward will motivate your teenager to do a particular task correctly, their behaviour gradually becomes dependent on your rewards, and they will stop performing when there are no more rewards. A good example is that adults go to work for the pay and if the payment is stopped, they will no longer show up for work.

Instead of giving your teenager lots of short-term rewards, it is best that you encourage him/her to follow the lead of what makes him/her feel good on the inside like satisfaction in an exam well done or a newly learned concept. The teenager is not only more successful in the long run but also happy all through, and inspired. For instance, when a kid learns to ride their bike, he is usually thrilled with the newly acquired skill, very eager to perfect it and can hardly stop. The feeling of mastery is tremendously inspiring.

  1. Having Meaningful Conversations

One-on-one conversations with your teenagers are vital in tapping into the teen’s intrinsic inspiration and motivation. If your teenagers are always complaining about a task at hand, it is advisable that you as the parent start seeing it from the child’s perspective. After that, you can talk to them about the essence of the task in a respectful way. For instance, if your teenager does not want to go over a particular calculus concept because he is tired from hockey practice, say, “Why not take a rest and once we’ve had dinner you can organize your room so that you find everything you need to understand the concept?” It is advisable that you refrain from words like “must” and “should” and promise to be there to assist your teens when they need your assistance.

Additionally, giving your teenagers feedback during one-on-one conversations about the manner they are dealing with their responsibilities can also be motivating. Instead of dangling a trip to an amusement park as a reward for completing a set of exam trial questions, try to catch them on a day when they have finished their college work on time. And as you go out to the park, remind them of the natural consequence of having their work done on time created time for fun.

  1. Offer Help With Studying

Planning is crucial in helping your teenager study while juggling assignments in different units. And since good grades count in college, planning for studies is essential for success, especially when a chunk of your teen’s time is taken up by extracurricular activities. When there is a lot for them to study a professional tutor can help them break down their tasks into smaller sections and adhere to their studying calendar so that he isn’t studying a single concept all night.

If the grades are good, your teen may not need help studying. But if the grades start to slip, it may be time for you to step in. You could help your teen review course material and study in different techniques like simple questioning and create simple practice tests. The more processes their brain uses to handle information, the higher the chances of the information being retained.

  1. Take Their Attendance Seriously

Teens should naturally take a sick day when they have a fever, diarrhea or are vomiting. Otherwise, it is crucial that they arrive in college on time every day, since having to catch up with homework, class work, tests and projects can be overwhelming. Teens may have numerous reasons for not wanting to attend college like difficult assignments, social issues or bullying. Have a conversation with your teen and perhaps with a counsellor to try and find out what could be causing their anxiety. Students might also be late to school because of some sleeping problems. Keeping teens on a consistent sleep schedule will help avoid tardiness and tiredness.

  1. Attend Parent-Teacher and Back-to-School Conferences

Teens will often perform better in college when parents support all their academic efforts. Attending their school’s back-to-school night is a good way to know their teachers and what they expect from your teen. Attending parent-teacher conferences can also be a good way always to stay informed about your teen’s involvement in school. This way, a teenager will see that you’re concerned about their academic welfare and as a result have the inspiration to finish college.

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