The transition from being a youngster to being a teenager can be a tricky one for your child. Your teen is likely dealing with raging hormones, rising responsibilities, and navigating the social dynamics of high school. But this does not mean your teen should lounge around the house, fail to get her chores done, and miss deadlines for school assignments. Laziness in most teens can be adjusted by creating solid rules for your teen and sticking to them, motivating your teen to get chores and other commitments done, and talking to your teen about any issues or problems she may be having at school or at home.
Listen and be patient with your teen. Avoid putting words in her mouth or interrupting her when she speaks. Encourage her to talk by asking casual questions about her day, or how a test went at school. Note her responses and allow her to share her thoughts.
Have a two way conversation. Showing your teen you care about her thoughts and opinions during a conversation will give her more confidence to be open and honest with you. Allow her to ask questions and let her think for herself.
An example conversation starter might be: “How are things at school?” “How did practice go?” “Was the party fun on Saturday?”
Let your teen know you care about what’s going on in their lives and you are there to listen. “You know you can always talk to me if you’re having trouble at school or you are feeling distracted.” “I’m here to listen if you ever need to talk.” “Remember, you can talk and I’ll just listen.”
Ask your teen about her sleep schedule. Most teenagers may appear lazy or distracted, when in fact, they are often sleep deprived. Unlike adults, adolescents are actually biologically prone to sleeping in later and waking up in the mid morning, rather than in the early morning.
Discuss your teen’s sleep patterns and her typical bed time. A consistent bed time every night, even on weekends, will help to set her natural sleep cycle and allow her body to get enough rest. For example, if she has to wake up at 6 am five days a week for school, she should be going to bed no later than 9 pm to ensure she gets a full eight hour sleep. She should then try to stick to this bedtime on weekends so she doesn’t throw off her natural sleep cycle.
Explain the value of following through on commitments and responsibilities. Many teenagers drag their heels when asked to do chores or tasks because they don’t see the value in doing these things. They may think, so what if I forget to take out the trash, or to clean my room? What does it matter? As a parent, its important for you explain that in fact you do not always want to do certain chores or tasks and would rather be doing other things with your time. But completing household chores and other life tasks is part of being a responsible member of the family.
Note that importance of teamwork and cooperation between everyone in the household to ensure chores and tasks are done equally in the home. Explaining to your teen that you often don’t enjoy doing household duties, but you do them anyway for the good of everyone will help your teen understand the reasoning behind completing a chore or task. This will then motivate her to do her part as a member of the family.
Set the time for TV,Computer games and other activities…
Check if there are other issues at home or at school. Laziness can sometimes be a symptom of other issues, like a lack of sleep, depression, stress, or other internal struggles. If your teen seems to be more sluggish or lazy than usual and is displaying other signs of depression or anxiety, sit down with your teen and talk with her.
If you are worried about your teen’s depression or anxiety, consider talking to a medical professional, your family doctor, or a counselor about next steps.