Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

How can I help get my 17 yo daughter more motivated?

She does not drive, have a job, misses lots of school and is failing several classes? She gets into no formal trouble, but this is driving us crazy!

Answer Question

Asked by Anonymous at 10:17 PM on Dec. 18, 2010 in Teens (13-17)

Answers (8)
  • Help her find a hobby, something she likes? An activity at school that makes her actually want to go? Sorry I'm not much help!

    Answer by the_kimmers at 10:19 PM on Dec. 18, 2010

  • Friends? Activities? What is going on in her life?

    Answer by tootoobusy at 10:19 PM on Dec. 18, 2010

  • Acquaintances, but no close friends. Minimal hobbies.

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 10:21 PM on Dec. 18, 2010

  • My parents motivated me by telling me thell get me a car, and when I worked my ass off for a year at school and a part time job, my mom bought herself a new car and gave me her old one. With that car they kept me in line. If i ditched one class the car is gone for a week, that meant i couldnt get to work which meant id get fired.

    Answer by leksismommy at 10:25 PM on Dec. 18, 2010

  • Sounds like someone's figured out that she can vote with her feet...

    I would recommend reading William Glasser's Between Parents and Teenagers, because it makes it really clear the single fact missed by most people giving parenting advice: you can't motivate her to do what you want her to do, or what anyone else wants her to do. You may be able to encourage her --although with really limited effect... but you can't motivate anyone other than yourself. Have you had a 'normal' amount of success motivating yourself?

    There is also a great overview of the real factors of motivation, here:

    And one animated lecture here:

    Can you think of 'motivating' her from those directions, rather than the rather more commonly recommended ones that don't work?

    Answer by LindaClement at 10:43 PM on Dec. 18, 2010

  • You really can't motivate her to do what you want her to do. Keep encouraging her to do her best, go out and make friends. Talk with her about what is going on in her life. Talk with her about if anything is bothering her, what she wants to do in the future. Does she want to go to college? She won't get into any college, not even a community college if she flunks out of high school. Is she having trouble with understanding the work and is too afraid to ask for help? I finally had my 14 yr old tested at Sylvan and he has low comprehension skills, which affects ALL of his schoolwork. He also has no idea how to study effectively, something that the schools do not teach. He is now in tutorin with Sylvan and all his grades are going up as well as his selfesteem. Find out why she in unmotivated and how to fix it and she will come together.

    Answer by tyfry7496 at 10:25 AM on Dec. 19, 2010

  • You need to "crack the whip"& lead by example!! Let her know that it will no longer be tolerated because you want what's best for her! Talk to the school priavtely about her attendance. See what they can advise. I had a friend who's mom had the truancy officer stop by her house one day that she skipped. It scared my friend so bad that she didn't miss school until she had her appendix out.

    It also sounds to me like she is HIGHLY depressed or lacking confidence. Encourage her to start journaling. She is almost 18 years old and if she doesn't start finding things now she may never!

    Also, start asking her about where she would like to work. Let her know that two Saturdays from now you are gong to take her to fill out some apps. Don't make it an option. I would also advise you both go to a conselor so you ca both communicate about what's leading her to have this lack of motivation! GOOD LUCK!!! :) I'm sure you will do great!

    Answer by CayShek at 12:55 PM on Dec. 19, 2010

  • Is she suffering from depression.Maybe you two can see a counselor together to find out what would motivate her. Hang in there.

    Answer by chickychatter at 8:32 PM on Dec. 19, 2010

Join CafeMom now to contribute your answer and become part of our community. It's free and takes just a minute.