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Supporting my teenager to find their spark

It might be something you've never noticed, or something you've seen for years.

Teenage girl sits at desk and holds up jewellery to a camera.

Key Points

  • Be on your child’s side. It can make all of the difference.
  • Help your child find an activity they enjoy and can learn to do well so they can build their confidence.
  • You don’t have to do this alone. There is help if you need it.

When your child is struggling at school or refusing to go to school, knowing you are on their side means everything to them. If you believe in your child and can work with them to find something that brings them joy – an activity or interest they want to spend time on – it can really help. That spark can spread, bringing meaning and motivation to other areas of your child’s life.  And as your child’s confidence grows, and with your help, they are more likely to stick with their learning and get so much more out of going to school.

How their spark is helping them enjoy life

It might not be something that they will have a career in ten years on, but it brings meaning to their life right now and that’s enough.

Spending time on your hobbies makes you feel good – and sometimes as a teenager, that’s just what they need (read about how the brain develops through teenage years here).

How their spark can help their education

Their spark is helping them learn too. In education, building up a strong value of learning and developing the motivation to take opportunities comes from within. It comes from something that drives them and connects with them as a person – a link that makes it relevant and meaningful to them. Their spark.

It might surprise you how much their spark can influence other areas of their life. Finding a little joy, a little success or a little hope in one area of their lives can start a flame that can ignite self-esteem and worth, a love of life and love of learning.

What can you do?

Through nurturing your child’s spark, you can help build their motivation and support them to build resilience.  Ask questions about their interest, help them find a trusted adult or a place to find out more (search online, ask the school if there is extracurricular opportunities or look for free local activities).

You don’t have to do it alone

Whatever challenges your child is facing at school, there is someone you can contact to get the help you and your child need.

Last Updated: 22 February 2024