12 Ways to Motivate A Teenager Who Doesn’t Care

It’s not uncommon for teenagers to not care about studies or working. This is nothing to worry about. They may lack motivation for a number of reasons, for example not understanding the task or being overwhelmed.

How to motivate a teenager who doesn’t care

There are many ways to try and motivate a teenager that doesn’t care. It may take a few different options and tries to get through to them.

But don’t worry, keep trying – that’s how it is with teenagers.


People of all walks of life find motivation from incentives, this could be a new video game or a trip to the movies. Using incentives can give teenagers motivation as they have something to work for. The best way to choose incentives is by looking at their hobbies and likes and use these to find something they like.

For example, if they like video games, look at what new games are coming out and tell them if they complete their tasks, they will get the game. Remember however that not all incentives have to cost money, for example, a later bedtime or extra time on their electronics.

Remove electronics

When motivating a teenager to complete difficult tasks, removing distractions can be useful. One of the main distractions in modern life is electronics. Removing these can both stop them from being distracted and get tasks completed quicker as they will want their electronics back.

Removing electronics can also be beneficial in helping a teenager improve their writing skills, advancing their knowledge and implementation of handwriting.

Ask them about their dreams

When trying to give teenagers the motivation to complete schoolwork or get a job, ask them what their dreams are in life. Allowing them to dream and telling them what it takes to achieve it is a great way to motivate them as it gives a purpose and end goal to the tasks.

In addition to this sharing dreams with a child can be beneficial ask they can see that adults also have dreams that they are working to. They can see that work will pay off and it is worth completing.

Remain calm

Shouting at a teenager is the worst way to motivate them, this can be unmotivating as not only can it upset them but also makes them think they aren’t cared for. Try asking them why they don’t want to complete the task and what would make it easier, this makes them cared for. Shouting can only shut them off, making them feel like their opinions and feelings are not being heard.

Set deadlines and routines

Setting deadlines is a great way to stop procrastination, paired with incentives setting deadlines can get tasks done quicker. Telling them that they can only have incentives if the work is completed in a certain time frame will give them no choice but to complete their work.

Setting routines is also important. Routines can help to form motivation as they bring structure to life. One way a routine can be created is through a cleaning chart- this sets specific days where different tasks must be completed. This will also help teenagers going into adulthood to get used to routines and deadlines in work.

Check-in on them

If a lack of motivation is a recurring issue, there might be something more serious going on. A lack of motivation can be a result of depression or anxiety, something common in teenagers. Make sure to check in on their well-being and ask what the reason they aren’t completing the work is. This makes them feel listened to. They may need support for their mental health, which will help them to gain motivation.

Give short simple instructions

Giving a teenager a short, manageable task is a great way to grow motivation. Completing small tasks and ticking them off a list is a great way to create a sense of achievement. This also makes tasks less overwhelming.

One example of this could be brushing their teeth twice a day or to wash dishes after dinner.

Let them see the consequences of not completing tasks

When it seems like there’s no way to motivate a teenager, one way could be by leaving them alone. Not telling them to complete tasks such as homework or chores is another way for them to gain motivation. In not completing tasks they will see the consequences, such as falling behind in school or having to live in a dirty room. They will see that they don’t like the outcome and become more motivated to complete these tasks next time.

Ask them what tasks they’d like to do.

Don’t let them decide they don’t want to complete chores or tasks but when setting chores, give them a list of options and let them pick which they’d like to do. This gives them an option to do the task they like the most, which provides motivation. In addition to this, they will feel included and not bossed around, which will also provide more motivation as they feel more grown-up.

Help them to remember their chores

One reason chores may not be completed is that they simply forget to complete them. Providing a way for them to remember tasks will keep them in their mind. For example, try lists, charts on the wall, apps, or sticky notes around the house. Keeping the tasks in mind can make it easier to add to their schedule and exacerbates the importance of the task.

Make tasks fun

Many teenagers struggle with motivation as they simply find the tasks boring. Making tasks more interesting, for example turning them into a game or competition can help motivate them as they relate the tasks to the games they play usually. In addition to this, if the teenager ‘wins’ the competition or game this adds to the motivation as they gain a sense of achievement from winning and in turn, will want to take part again.

So how do you motivate a teenager that doesn’t care?

There are many ways in which to motivate a teenager. Try to remain calm, checking in on them regularly and setting short manageable tasks. Setting deadlines and routines is another way to not only motivate them but to get them ready for adulthood. Remember that creating motivation can take time and may be difficult but it’s worth being persistent and patient and it will pay off.

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