Does your teen refuse to clean up his bedroom? Does he drag his feet doing his chores? Do you find yourself raising your voice and telling him to stop being so lazy? Teens often get a bad rap for being lazy and unmotivated. But there is often some truth behind the cliché of the lazy teen.
It’s important to mention that what may look like laziness to a parent could be a symptom of depression in your teen. If your teen is displaying other symptoms of depression, it is important that you get him the help he needs for his mental wellness.
There may be other reasons your teen is lazy, unmotivated, and simply doesn’t care to get up and be involved. What steps can you take? Just how can you motivate your lazy teen?
How Do You Deal With an Unmotivated Teen?
Your frustration levels are high. You find raise your voice and possibly even saying things in the heat of the moment that you later regret. It’s perfectly understandable to react this way when you’re trying to deal with your unmotivated teen. But you may have also noticed that this approach isn’t the best one because it’s simply not working for you and your teen.
There is no one-size solution for dealing with your lazy teen. There are a few things that you could try.
- Ease back on the anger and negative responses. This can often just further inflame an already emotionally charged situation.
- If things escalate to the point of screaming, take a break. Remove yourself from the situation and allow cooler heads to return after a break.
- Don’t be afraid to reach out for professional help. Individual and family therapy can prove hugely beneficial in helping develop better communication skills.
- Make sure that everyone in the household agrees regarding rules and the expectation to follow the rules. If there is any room for interpretation, teens will take that confusion and make up their own rules to skirt yours.
If your relationship with your teen is strained, it’s helpful to sit down with him and just have an open conversation. He may be slow to open up, but in time he may speak to you about the things that have been going on in his life.
What Makes a Teenager Lazy?
It’s perfectly normal for each of us to simply have a lazy day or two. Sometimes we need that downtime to reset and refresh after a stressful week or experience. But this may not be the case for your teen. There are several things that could contribute to his laziness.
- Changes in the brain, or “teen brain.” There have been studies that imply teen brains are still a work in progress in terms of motivation. When MRI scans compared the teen and young adult brain, there were signs that pointed to teen brains not yet having developed the important structures that handle motivation. There are some critics, of course, who feel that this theory holds no merit.
- Too much screen time. Our devices are a part of our lives, there’s no getting around that. However, teens can find themselves glued to their phone, binging TV shows, and scrolling on their tablet. There are countless other concerns related to too much screen time, including online bullying issues and depression. Encourage your teen to take breaks from the screens, go for a short walk, and give his brain a break from the constant influx of information.
- Hormones and his internal body clock. Puberty brings with it an incredible surge of hormones. These hormones can take a toll on your teen’s sleeping patterns. Many teens will opt to stay up later at night and then sleep in longer. The result is often a sleep-deprived teen who is grumpy and lacks motivation.
- An overbooked schedule. It’s quite possible that your teen is simply tired. He may seem lazy to you, but he’s possibly juggling a fair bit of schoolwork, sports, hobbies, friends, and his own hormonal roller coaster.
- Depression. One hallmark of depression is feeling fatigued and fighting the urge to sleep more. Try not to dismiss your teen’s tiredness as purely being lazy, when he could fight with his mental health.
Spending quality time with your teen and encouraging him to communicate with you can give you better insight into what might contribute to his lazy attitude and lack of motivation.
How do you motivate a lazy teen?
How can you get your teen up off the couch? How can you motivate him to do the things that he should do? There are a few strategies that you can attempt.
- What are his key motivators? Your teen may appear to be unmotivated, but there are good odds that you can find something that will reward him. Does he enjoy earning extra money? Does he enjoy earning time to go out with friends? If he does, you’ll have a good start to working with him on a rewards chart.
- Make sure that you have structure and consistency in your home. A good schedule can also help teens who are struggling to find their motivation.
- Help your teen to learn responsibility by assigning him chores that will make a difference to him. Perhaps it’s time that he learns how to do his own laundry? Maybe remind him that cleaning his bedroom benefits him more than it benefits you.
- Encourage physical activity of all kinds. That doesn’t mean you need to get him up at 6 for a run around the neighborhood. Even just going for a walk with the family after dinner or enjoying a swim in the local pool can help to get your teen feeling somewhat more energized.
Stay respectful and calm when dealing with your lazy teen. Even if he doesn’t show you the same respect, it’ll help to keep the situation workable if you’re being the bigger person.
Coaching for parents of teens
If you’re interested in working more on improving the relationship that you have with your teen, you could consider working with a coach. A coaching program for parents can prove to be a powerful tool on your belt as you navigate the ever-changing relationship with your teenager.You’ll learn more about developing a healthy parenting plan that works for you and every other member of your family.
You’ll also feel improved confidence in your parenting skills and your approach to the struggles and stresses that can accompany parenting a teen. Parent coaching can also help you find the resources that you need, along with the support that you’ll want, as you further go through the difficulties of parenting.
Let Us Help
Parents can often struggle to find the right resources they need to help their teens get back on track. HelpYourTeenNow can connect families with the resources that they need. Whether you’re looking for local resources or a boarding school that can benefit your teen, we can connect you with valuable resources and guidance.