Motivating your 15-year-old
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We have a very smart 15-year-old
daughter. She has always been on the honor roll, an excellent athlete and just
an all-around great kid -- until this year! Now she never studies. She doesn't
even care what grades she gets. What can we do?
You're right to understand that when it
comes to success, it isn't just a matter of how smart your daughter
is or how much talent she has. If she doesn't have the desire to
succeed, she probably won't succeed -- in school or in anything
else! Many teens need a boost in motivation. Here are some ways you
Talk with your daughter about what
you've observed. But don't try to lecture her. Most 15-year-olds
already think that they're smarter than their parents, and she'll
probably tune you out.
Ask your daughter about her goals.
What does she see herself doing in 10 years? Keep in mind that her
goals for herself may be different from yours. Make sure they're
goals, though, and not dreams. If she wants to swim in the Olympics
but never goes to practice, she has a dream. Only if she takes
action to make the dream a reality can she call it a goal. Talk
about how her education will help her achieve her goals.
list her goals. When goals are on paper, they seem more real. Have
her post her goals where she can see them and suggest putting a
copy next to the TV set. When she's about to turn on the TV,
she'll see her list and she may realize that watching a rerun on
TV won't help her make the team or pass the test.
- Help your daughter visualize
success. Successful people, from Michael Jordan to Albert
Einstein, have all done the same thing. They visualized themselves
being successful, seeing themselves in their mind's eye making the
basket or solving the problem. Before a big test, suggest that she
try to imagine herself sitting in the classroom, calmly looking at
the test paper, knowing the answers and making a good grade. It
won't replace studying, but it will keep her motivated to hit the
books again -- and do her best on the test.
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- Have her start every study
session with the subject she likes least. If she hates studying
foreign language vocabulary, have her get it out of the way first.
Once it's over, the rest of the study session will seem more
As your daughter walks out the door
for school every day, offer her words of encouragement. Say "I love
you" and "I believe in you." Tell her that you know she will try her
* * *
For more information about helping
children learn or to submit your own question to The Learning
Advisor, go to
http://advisor.parent-institute.com. All questions will receive
a prompt answer by e-mail.
© Copyright 2005, The Parent
"Ask the Learning Advisor -- Ideas for Raising Successful
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