"This world is stupid and nothing makes me happy." Sound familiar? These words may have come out of your child's mouth at some point, and it was probably very alarming. What did you do as a parent to raise such a narrow-minded and ungrateful child?
If you've heard this phrase (or one similiar) your kid most likely dwells on problems, is demanding, has no energy and is never satisfied with anything. In their eyes, their life not as exciting as it could be and it's very hard on them.
What's the reason for a child with this kind of attitude? The reason for this is simple: it's caused by a lack of motivation.
Kids are having less and less to worry about, causing them to be unmotivated, irresponsible and spoiled. Keep reading to find out how to stop this vicious cycle now.
1. Meet their emotional needs
Teenagers need to be aware of what makes them happy and satisfied. In order to achieve this, you as a parent can create a trusting environment where your child feels safe expressing their feelings and emotions. Don't call your kid "crazy," - just listen without judging. Maybe your child would feel more accepted and loved if they got one-on-one time with both mom and dad each night before bed. Maybe they would do better if they got more verbal encouragement. Don't be afraid to alter your parenting style to accomodate your child.
2. Ask where they see themselves down the road
This question encourages your child to reflect on their life and tell you what motivates them to live. Encourage (and help) them to set goals and achieve them. Even if your child's dream seems out of reach, don't discourage or disapprove of them. Be grateful that they're passionate about something.
3. Ask what they want out of life
Motivation can't be forced on your kid, but they can discover it on their own. Maybe your child doesn't know what he or she wants right now, and that's OK. However, you can introduce your child to good role models or expose them to lots of new opportunities to help them figure out what they want to do with their future.
4. Set rules but be flexible, too
Your kid needs time to socialize and have fun, but it's also important that he or she has responsibilities. Make sure they ask permission to do certain things, monitor their screen time and don't give them too much free time. Create age appropriate chores and jobs for your child to do around the house. Expect your child to keep your curfew and maintain certain standards to help raise a motivated child who is ready to succeed.
5. Have consequences
Tell your child that they'll have consequences if their daily responsibilities aren't completed. If studying didn't happen in the morning, your child will have to do it later when they could be hanging out with friends. Make sure your kids have responsibilities and stick to your set consequences to teach hard work and discipline.
6. Be interested in their life
Your child will feel more motivated if you're a part of their life. Stay involved in their studies, activities, new friendships and places they go. You can help your child appreciate their live by putting together a journal or photo album of their accomplishments and memories. Being interested in their life will also help them realize their life isn't so boring - it's actually pretty great.
Lack of motivation can easily infect your child, so do what you think is necessary to help them become motivated. Your love and dedication to your child will show them the value of their life and help them grow up to be happy and motivated adults.
This article has been adapted and translated from the original "Una nueva adicción entre los adolescentes: entérate y protege a tu hijo" which was originally published on familias.com.