Be an Example When Defining Motivation for Your Teenager

Most teenagers couldn't care less what their parents do all day at work. At their age, life is often about being self absorbed and trying to distance themselves from the oppression of living in the same house as their parents. Fortunately, this stage is often short lived-say around five years-and is the natural part of feelings the need to both bond with their parents and establish their individuality. Defining motivation during this period is a challenge.

Your child is motivated, all right; they are motivated toward anything that has immediate gratification. Don't worry, if you continue to set a good example this too shall pass and your child will want to move forward in their life and their careers. I think the biggest problem here is that the media and social settings of today insist that children be successful at a very early age. This robs them of their childhood and causes early stress that you have no right to enforce upon them. The definition of motivation is,"…the psychological feature that arouses an organism to action toward a desired goal; the reason for the action; that which gives purpose and direction to behavior;" In other words, to give them a reason for wanting to succeed.

Let children be children and teenagers be young. Yes, it is important that teenagers learn to have the responsibility of a job. And your motivation is to be a force of child mentoring in their lives, but not at the risk of losing the innocence that is part of growing up. Children are pushed to achieve at school; get good grades or they won't get into college, achieve at sports or else…They are badgered by television and lectures from you regarding their motivation or their lack of it. It is no wonder they turn a deaf ear when a parent always tells them what they should or shouldn't be doing.

The best possible influence you can be is to show your child what motivation is, not tell them. I'd rather see a sermon than hear one. Are you a positive role model for motivating your child? Set aside a day to take your son or daughter to work with you, and show them what you do all day long to bring home the money. Let them ask questions, and get them involved with your life. They see your attitude in the morning-are you eager to go to work or do you dread it? Do you talk about the benefits or do you complain about the unfairness? The best way to begin defining motivation is to let them see it in action, and to push only as far as is realistic. Setting examples will do more for teaching a child than most anything else.