Parenting Articles about Laziness & Motivation

Lack of motivation in children is one of the most frustrating issues parents face. How to manage a lazy child or teen. Ways to motivate kids that really work.
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Are You Doing Too Much for Your Child?

Are You Doing Too Much for Your Child?

As parents, many of us do things for our kids that we were able and expected to do for ourselves when we were children. Our parents didn’t often feel the need to negotiate with our sports coach, solve our every problem, or entertain us in our free time. A big difference from today, when all too often we are over-involved in many areas of our children’s lives. Sounds funny, I know. How can a parent be too involved or do too much for their child? Isn’t that just being a good parent? But when we don’t expect our kids to take responsibility for chores or their behavior, and we attempt to smooth away all the bumps and bruises that are a natural part of childhood, we aren’t doing our kids a favor. Instead, we’re bringing them up to avoid taking personal responsibility and to expect that others will take care of things for them – even when they are really able to take care of themselves. We’re teaching our kids that life is full of unmanageable problems, when what we want them to learn are the basic skills to manage those problems. Stepping back and taking on the role of coach and teacher instead of “do-er” and “fixer” was one of the hardest things I had to do as a parent. But as my husband James Lehman said, it is also one of the best things you can do to help your child build their social and problem-solving skills and learn responsibility.

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Is Your Child Responsible Enough to be Home Alone? Dos and Don'ts for Parents

Is Your Child Responsible Enough to be Home Alone? Dos and Don'ts for Parents

Many parents are at a loss for what to do with their older children during the summer months – they may get the summer off, but you probably don’t. That leaves a whole chunk of time to fill each day. How do you know if your child is responsible enough to be left home alone? What if you know he isn’t, but he won’t stop begging to be in charge of his own schedule this summer?

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Is It ADHD or Sluggish Cognitive Tempo Disorder? 4 Ways to Help Your Child Focus

Is It ADHD or Sluggish Cognitive Tempo Disorder? 4 Ways to Help Your Child Focus

Is your child forgetful, irresponsible, moody and prone to daydreaming? Does he seem to lack motivation and become easily bored? This behavior could be related to SCT, or Sluggish Cognitive Tempo Disorder. This new way of looking at certain ADHD-like symptoms in kids has been generating quite a bit of buzz lately in the media and is definitely controversial.

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How to Talk to Teens: 3 Ways to Get Your Teen to Listen

How to Talk to Teens: 3 Ways to Get Your Teen to Listen

You know the drill: you’re trying to talk to your teen about curfew. Or dinner. Or absolutely anything—and they pretend they can’t hear you. They start an argument with you, or give you an eye roll and a Whatever. Or they turn up their music. They won’t lift their eyes from their screens. They scoff or grunt in your general direction. There’s no eye contact, no acknowledgement, and absolutely no hint of, “Yes, Mom, I understand what you’re saying to me.”

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Parenting Your Adult Child: How to Set up a Mutual Living Agreement

Parenting Your Adult Child: How to Set up a Mutual Living Agreement

“I love my son, but things are getting really rough. I never expected him to still be living at home in his twenties. I don’t mind helping him while he gets on his feet, but most of the time he acts like he’s still thirteen – and he’s twenty three! This is not what I pictured!”

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Parenting Teens: 5 Ineffective Things to Avoid Doing

Parenting Teens: 5 Ineffective Things to Avoid Doing

At Empowering Parents, we talk a lot about “effective” versus “ineffective” parenting styles. In fact, James Lehman reminds us that it’s not about whether your parenting style is right or wrong, it’s about whether it’s effective.

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Manipulative Child Behavior? My Kids Are Too Smart for Their Own Good

Manipulative Child Behavior? My Kids Are Too Smart for Their Own Good

Does this sound familiar? My middle schooler blackmails me emotionally – he cries that I 'don’tcare about him and love his brother more'when I ask him to stop playing his video games. It's true that he's a more difficult kid, and his wordsmake me feel so bad that I oftenfeel guilty and let him continue to play. Or My teenager negotiates with me relentlessly to get her way. 'If you let me go to the party tonight,' she'll say, 'then I promise I'll get all my work done tomorrow.' I figure, why not?So I let her go. But then,'Oops!'She conveniently forgets all her promises.

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I Hate School! What Can I Do When My Child Refuses to Go to School?

I Hate School! What Can I Do When My Child Refuses to Go to School?

If you’re like most parents, you probably take the responsibility of getting your kids to school very seriously and get angry and frustrated when they refuse to go. This can easily turn into a power struggle if you feel this is a “battle” you have to “win.” It’s all too easy to react to your own anxiety and emotions about the situation rather than acting in a well-planned, effective way that will get you (and your child) where they want to be.

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Ask Debbie: How to Motivate Your Child to do Better in School

Ask Debbie: How to Motivate Your Child to do Better in School

There’s almost nothing as frustrating as dealing with a child or teen who’s unmotivated. You reason, plead, threaten and even fight with them, but nothing you say seems to sink in or make a difference. In fact, the more you argue, the less motivated they seem to become! Here's a secret: Even though you can’t make your child care, you can influence them to follow through on their responsibilities.

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Does Your Child Rely on Wishful Thinking? How to Motivate Him toward Attainable Goals

Does Your Child Rely on Wishful Thinking? How to Motivate Him toward Attainable Goals

Recently I met with a 15-year-old boy to talk about his future. He was getting into trouble at school and on the brink of failing all his subjects. When we discussed his career goals, he stated that he wanted to be a mixed martial arts pro or a firefighter. Had he taken any classes related to this goal, such as Karate? No. Did he have any plans to? Not at all. Was he involved in a junior firefighters program? No chance. He seemed to think he was so awesome and strong that one of these things would just happen when the time was right.

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Kids and Excuses: Why Children Justify Their Behavior

Kids and Excuses: Why Children Justify Their Behavior

“All day long, all I hear from my kids are things like, ‘It wasn’t my fault! He started it!’ and ‘She called me a name so I hit her.’ All the finger-pointing and blaming makes me want to scream. Why can’t they ever take responsibility for themselves?”

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Unmotivated Child? 6 Ways to Get Your Child Going

Unmotivated Child? 6 Ways to Get Your Child Going

Why is it so hard to motivate kids? As parents, we often have a funny, inaccurate belief that our children won’t care unless we twist their arms. But the simple truth is that your attempts to motivate your child are probably working against you. You can’t make your child care just because you do—in fact, you might actually get in the way of their motivation. What’s worse, the push-pull of trying to motivate your child usually turns into a power struggle. There’s something wrong with the picture if you care more about your child’s grades than he does.

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Learned Helplessness: Are You Doing Too Much for Your Child?

Learned Helplessness: Are You Doing Too Much for Your Child?

Your teen leaves his dirty clothes all over the house. Instead of getting into another fight with him or nagging him to pick them up, you do it for him. It’s easier, right?

Your daughter with ADD is having problems completing her science project. She can’t seem to focus and complains that it’s boring and too difficult. After she goes to sleep, you finish it for her. After all, you don’t want her to fail.

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How to Motivate Teenagers, Part 2

How to Motivate Teenagers, Part 2

In the first part of “How to Motivate Teenagers,” Josh Shipp explained the secret of giving your child the “why” of doing things. In Part 2 of this series, Josh tells you what to say—and what not to say—when talking to your unmotivated teen.

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