5 Tips To Motivate Your Teenager To Study Better

How to motivate teenagers to study is a common question of parents. Sometimes, teens need the motivation to focus on their studies since most of them tend to spend more time on social media, watching TV shows, or anything else other than academics.

Establishing good communication and bonding with your teen can help you explain to them the importance of studies. However, it is also necessary to approach it positively. Punishments or forceful approaches can demotivate them and make them feel misunderstood or unworthy.

If you are a parent who wants to inspire your child and urge them to achieve their full potential but is stuck on motivating your teen for studying, we bring you some interesting tips.

In This Article

5 Tips To Motivate Your Teenager To Study Better

Here are a few simple things that you can do to learn how to motivate your teenager to study:

1. Empathize:

Understand how your teen feels and thinks

Image: IStock

To motivate teenagers to study, you must understand their feelings and thoughts. You need to put yourself in their shoes. Teenagers are extremely emotional and sensitive. Talk and try to understand their point of view then explain yours in a way that will persuade them to take their studies seriously.

  • It is important to understand why your young teenager does not want to do his or her work.
  • The best way to deal is to confront them and find out what is stopping them from studying.
  • Your teenager could be inclined towards one subject and fear or not like the other.
  • Your child could be finding it difficult to cope or understand what is being taught in class.
  • Talking to your teen will help you to empathize and identify the source of the problems.

protip_icon Point to consider
Offer a shoulder to your teen so they open up about topics they wouldn’t generally discuss with you. Don’t judge, only listen!

2. Get Started:

Teens usually get tired after a long day and can be lazy about doing their homework. So just telling your teenager to study will not suffice.

  • Sit with your teen and help them figure out how to go about it. Sort out tasks that they might be finding difficult.
  • You can look for a tutor who’d be willing to teach and assist your teenager with studies.
  • It’s just a slight push that your teenager needs in this phase.

3. Remember – Yelling Never Helps, Discussing Does:

Discuss calmly how studying is going to benefit your teen

Image: IStock

Scolding your teenager for the smallest of errors isn’t going to do much good. If you keep shouting at her for everything, your teen will emotionally distance herself and may stop listening to you as a sign of protest.

  • Be kind, calm and soft, but firm on your note.
  • Make her understand why you think it is necessary to study.
  • Discuss calmly how it is going to benefit her. It is a lot more effective than random yelling and long lectures.

protip_icon Point to consider
Try to focus on the positives of their performance rather than the negatives. Even if your teen has not scored well, point out their achievements and encourage them to perform the same next time.

4. Don’t Raise Expectations:

Very high expectations can constrain your teenager and make them feel pressurized

Image: Shutterstock

Don’t raise your expectations very high the first time. Often very high expectations can constrain your teenager and make her anxious and pressurized.

  • Emphasize more on a regular pattern and hard work.
  • Teach your teenager to aim for small and successive goals one at a time.
  • Teach her to set another goal once she has achieved a previous one.
  • Working through successive goals will help your teen learn and achieve more in the long run.

5. Emphasize On Extra Curricular Activities:

Encourage your teen to go out and play

Image: IStock

Make sure that your emphasis on studying does not curb creative interests and other productive activities.

  • Encourage your teen to go out and play.
  • Help them dedicate time for their various interests and hobbies.
  • Doing this will not only refresh your teenager’s mind but will also be a good investment of time into enhancing skills.


  • Motivating your teenager doesn’t mean getting her to do what you want.
  • The real trick for getting teenagers to study is through involvement, joint problem-solving and a subtle follow up for support and supervision.
  • Above all, never hesitate to compliment whole-heartedly on your teenager’s slightest achievement and try to incentivize them occasionally to stimulate their interest.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. How do you motivate an unmotivated teenager?

You may motivate your unmotivated teenager by helping them recognize their worth, making them feel competent, and maintaining a close relationship. By evoking curiosity, giving challenging tasks, and praising often, you can prompt your unmotivated teenager to explore their unique interests and skills (1) (2). One way to ignite motivation in teenagers is to help them set goals and encourage them to achieve these goals

2. Why does my teen have no motivation?

Teenagers may lack motivation for many reasons, such as fear of failure, lack of responsibility, low self-esteem, a feeling of inadequacy, lack of drive, lack of ambition, and an unfavorable home environment. However, finding the right approach to communicate with them can excite their curiosity and interest (3) (4).

3. How can I help my teenager develop a growth mindset and believe in their abilities?

Use diverse teaching techniques to stoke their curiosity to learn more. Instead of focusing on their failure, make them think about the next step. Do not praise them for their intelligence, instead, make them follow a schedule of hard work and optimum effort. Give them the freedom to explore and research. Start with small challenges and let them set bigger goals. Always be open to discussion with your teenager.

4. What role should I play in my teenager’s study routine?

Help them create a timetable. A study routine should consist of frequent breaks to rejuvenate as well. Remind them of their routine and keep their spirits up by encouraging and praising them when they stick to the schedule. Ensure they cover the topics in the schedule before moving on to the next. If they cannot understand a particular topic, give them the freedom to ask you for help.

5. How can I encourage my teenager to seek help from their teachers or tutors when needed?

Make your teen understand that teachers are willing to help. If they are shy, help them start a discussion with the teacher. Ensure that your teen is in a safe environment. If they feel that the teacher will scoff at their query or that their peers will make fun of them, they will be unwilling to reach out. Also, give your child the confidence to approach a teacher with their doubts. A good dose of encouragement and self-esteem will help them overcome their fear.

6. How can I help my teenager balance their academic responsibilities with extracurricular activities and social life?

Creating a proper study schedule with ample breaks will help your teenager balance several responsibilities. Do not overburden them with work. Give some time for unstructured play and dedicated games. You can include a day in the week for socializing. You could also encourage group studies with friends.

7. What rewards or incentives can I offer to motivate my teenager to study?

There are several ways to reward a teenager. One of the most basic ones is to combine praise with a high-five or a hug to make their day. For example, you could grant them a few more hours of gaming time if they like gaming. You could also take them outside to their favorite mall or ice cream shop and let them have something of their choice.

8. How can I help my teenager overcome procrastination and stay focused while studying?

Procrastination mostly comes in the form of watching TV or surfing the internet. Choose a good place for studying and remove all the distractions. Use alarms or timers to signify the end of the study period. You can also make a study routine and encourage your teen to follow it. Group study also often brings good results and reduces procrastination. Set small goals to give teens the satisfaction of achieving something. Lastly, teach them to be accountable for their time.

9. Why is my son struggling in school?

There may be several reasons your child is struggling in school. They may not be able to understand what the teacher is teaching. They could also have learning disabilities or other issues such as ADHD, depression, or anxiety. Talk to your teen’s teachers and get an idea about the areas your child is lacking in. Focus on those areas with the help of the school counselor and/or a therapist.

10. How do you deal with a lazy, unmotivated child?

Try to understand the reason behind their laziness. Sometimes, your teen seems unmotivated because they are rebellious. You can offer them rewards and positive reinforcement to motivate them. Set simpler goals and challenge your teen to complete them. You can also talk to them about the consequences of their actions. Set expectations for them and ask them to perform better.

It is common for teens to indulge in activities other than studies, leaving parents wondering how to motivate teenagers to study. One effective way to motivate teenagers to study is to find ways to arouse and galvanize their interest in their academic pursuits. Some ways to help develop their interest in studies include sitting with them to have a conversation about studies, being empathetic toward their feelings and thoughts, having polite and fruitful discussions, and setting realistic goals for encouragement. Remember not to yell or discourage them, as it will negatively affect your relationship. Instead, you may motivate them and boost their confidence with positive rewards to keep them interested in studying.

Infographic: Common Distractions During Teenagers’ Study Time

Teenagers must realize the importance of good education, as studying well will help them become well-rounded individuals. Identifying the main factors that hamper children’s studies can help parents rectify the problem. To help you with that, the infographic below presents various factors that distract teens from studies.

distractions that may disrupt your teens studies (infographic)

Illustration: Momjunction Design Team

Get high-quality PDF version by clicking below.

Download Infographic in PDF version Download Infographic
Download Infographic in PDF version

Key Takeaways

  • Build strong relationships and openly communicate with your child to help them understand the importance of studying.
  • Figure out why your children are unwilling to study and confront the issue.
  • Encourage your child to pursue their interests and participate in extracurricular activities alongside their studies.
  • Use a calm approach to encourage your child to study, avoiding scolding and imposing expectations on them.
  • Always offer honest compliments to your child for their achievements.

Keeping your teenager motivated to study is a cause of concern for parents. Watch this informative video that shares five simple yet effective strategies to inspire and encourage them to excel in their studies!


MomJunction's articles are written after analyzing the research works of expert authors and institutions. Our references consist of resources established by authorities in their respective fields. You can learn more about the authenticity of the information we present in our editorial policy.
  1. How to Motivate Children: Science-Based Approaches for Parents, Caregivers, and Teachers.
  3. Alexandra L. Nickolauson; (2021); Lack of Motivation in High School Students: REACH Curriculum.
  4. Motivating the unmotivated student.
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