In our research as well as coaching sessions with adolescents and parents, Revive Family came to some surprising conclusions:
- Less than 30% of youth had goals of their own for their lives and academics. Most felt pressure or had performance expectations from their parents that left many kids, ages 8 to 18, feeling like they consistently fell short. As a result, many had little internal desire to achieve because they had come to believe they were failures in spite of many of them having good grades. We found that kids were frustrated by the pressure and expectations of their parents. Given the oppositional nature of the adolescent brain, expectations and external pressure can actually backfire and contribute to the motivation issues.
- Because highly intelligent, strong willed and adolescent children either see through or are triggered by the traditional parenting approach. We found that many of the strategies we believe will help our kids engage and work harder often have the opposite effect. If pushed hard enough some kids shut down. When this occurs their confidence disappears and they develop an, I do not care attitude. This attitude is consistent with the numbness they adopted to prevent the pain of seeming to always fall short. Sadly, we found that this often lead to more issues with homework completion, grades and to very capable kids falling courses and even dropping out.
- Even youth that have given up still have a desire to succeed. In our adolescent coaching and research we frequently have the opportunity to talk with youth that are greatly struggling. In every case, once through their defense barrier, we find they still desire to succeed, but have often experienced a complete crash of their internal confidence and belief that they can succeed. Thus, why try? These youth often turn to other escapes that mask their sense of failure. Escape takes on many forms ranging from social media and video games where they escape into an artificial reality, feel accepted and successful. It can also lead to other issues like pornography and substance abuse that provide temporary relief from self-doubt and the pain of failure.
To address deeper motivation issues parents need to alter their approach to come alongside their kids. Many parents struggle when they change their approach due to years of habits and simply not knowing where to start. Revive Family’s Influential Parenting helps parents revive their kid’s belief in themselves by reviving the relationship and helping parents target the deeper things that lead to common motivation and behavior issues.
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