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How do you get a 16 year old to apply theirself???

I have a 16 year old (3 wks shy) and have tried taking away the cell phone, limiting going anywhere, no television, I even planed a huge trip for the 16th birthday party as a goal to work towards and nothing seems to help. Any ideas???

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Asked by Stacie2261 at 6:20 PM on May. 12, 2009 in Teens (13-17)

Level 2 (4 Credits)
Answers (6)
  • Ask if they want a car, driver's lisecens, a cell phone, dates? If they want any of that COOL stuff they have to earn it. Life is about putting yourself out there. You have to put as much effort into the world as you want OUT of the world..tell your teen that. Also what sophmore? Your teen still has time to get it together....I was a good girl and didnt get it together till the end of my JR. year! Gl though keep trying!

    Answer by Bugsmommy1908 at 6:25 PM on May. 12, 2009

  • If it's school you're talking about, tell them that is their job.  Their marks in school are your guideline to any "raises" they will get, and so if they don't do well, they don't get more "pay".

    Unless it's necessary food, clothing and housing...don't give them any "extras". 

    This is how the real world works.  If you don't do well at work, they don't pay you well and you can't buy the cool stuff.

    If it's something YOU want them to apply them self to (such as yardwork, housework, etc.), You can also give them marks just like school does.  That way they can actually see their improvement on a chart.  Maybe make each higher mark worth so much cash.  Like going from a C to a B is worth a $50.00 bonus.  When they don't do well, they don't get the bonus.

    You get the idea?


    Answer by timelessglass at 6:33 PM on May. 12, 2009

  • Explain to them that the more they apply themselves the less time in school they will spend.

    Answer by MammaBella at 7:21 PM on May. 12, 2009

  • What has changed that your 16 year old is no longer applying herself/himself? New friends? breakup with boyfriend/girlfriend? New school?
    You need to address whatever has caused this change; perhaps you could start with the child's school counselor, or a therapist who works with teens.

    Answer by rkoloms at 7:29 AM on May. 13, 2009

  • I'm in the same boat with my son (15). He does OK, but he doesn't consistently try in school or in sports - depends on his mood. It started 2 years ago, and we really punished him hard - it didn't get better, and seemed to get worse in terms of grades, and he eventually. he got into bad trouble at school. He changed schools this year, where it should be easier - and he's doing average while he is easily capable of much better. At this age, as long as he is behaving, I have backed off on punishment. My son wants a party (lots of kids, some sleepover) and we agreed if he meets an agree target for his grades this yr. I think he will fall short so I remind try to remind him how proud he will be if he can have that party, but his efforts are short term. I'm hoping he will wake up soon, but at 15 or 16 I think it has to come form within them. Just keep encouraging him... remind him it is his future, not yours!

    Answer by PhillyinFrance at 7:59 AM on May. 13, 2009

  • I have 15 yr old twins (boy and girl) that will be 16 next month. I seem to have a harder time getting my son to apply himself. I find myself telling him in order for him to be a productive adult he needs to get this stage in his life perfected. I tried punishing, taking away things that he likes and they seemed to help for a bit. He appears to be slipping again and I once again had to remind him that this is his life and he has to do the best he can. He appears to get it and since he has a girlfriend I tell him he will embarass himself if he doesn't get it right. I tried also just talking to him and explaining that being a single parent myself is not always easy and he can accomplish anything once he applies hilmself.

    Answer by CJ64 at 11:44 AM on May. 13, 2009

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