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Motivation and your teen

'The thing that I found more motivating about finishing school was when parents acknowledge how far I've come already.' Jasper, recent graduate

Student studying for exams

Ever wondered how to motivate your child? Hear from recent graduates Ciro, Sai and Jasper discuss what parents can do to motivate their teenager with their education and learning.

[Introduction music]

Ciro: You guys watch Coach Carter? The movie. You guys watched the basketball movie? You got to watch it. That movie, really kind of embodies what I think a parent should do, and it’s really going down to the core roots and grabbing people for who they are, no matter what experience they’re in. And just, you know, being kind of like a coach. And I feel like some parents want to kind of embody the environment of a ‘perfect world’ when really there’s no such thing as perfect. There’s only nor…well not even normal. It’s just whatever you got is whatever you got.

Sai: It is what it is.

Ciro: Exactly.

Jasper: What adult try to do to motivate is, like, tell the kids how close they are to finishing. So for high school example, like, say you’re in year 12 and you’re nearly there. They’ll, you know, try and make you push through by saying how close you are. But the thing that I found more motivating was when they actually acknowledge how far I’ve come already, because when I was able to then see that myself, I realise if I can achieve that, I can just push through this extra couple of months.

Sai: Always goes back to my old man, but I feel like his way of motivating me is installing fear into…

Jasper: Yeah?

Sai: … like, motivating me. He’s like, you know, if you don’t graduate school this and that is going to happen. These bad things will happen.

Jasper: Fear of failure.

Sai: Yeah, so fear of failure. Pretty much, yeah. And I feel like what he should have done was, you know, tell me that, you know, you got this, like, to be a bit more supportive instead of being, you know…

Jasper: Positives rather than negatives.

Sai: Yeah, yeah, yeah.

Ciro: Yeah.

Sai: If your kids are stressed out with school, I feel like as a parent or a carer, shouldn’t add more stress into their life. Just be like, okay, I see you’re stressed out, is there any way I can help you?

Jasper: Like, time management as well. I think I struggled a lot with that. My mum in particular, she was working then looking after kids, so she kind of like told me to balance everything out, like do the hardest job first and then you’ve got the other ones, which are easier to do.

Ciro: My mom was, um, she was pretty good. Her philosophy was, if you try your hardest, I’ll be happy with that. But she knows when I wouldn’t try my hardest. And that’s when she would kind of go, Hey, what’s up? And she always said, my marks will always reflect on, you know, my own health, but also how hard I tried. Because sometimes you’re not going to be the best, you know, at every subject.

Sai: As long as you did your best.

Ciro: Exactly. That’s how she rolled and that’s how I roll now. So…

Jasper: That’s a good way.

Ciro: Yeah, exactly. And it just it makes… it’s quick, easy, simple.

Voiceover: Having conversations, listening and seeing things from your teen’s perspective can help you and your teen with school, learning and life. For more topics for you, search Spark their Future. Or for your teen, they can visit We the Differents.

Last Updated: 03 March 2023