Your teenage daughter might appear to be lazy for many reasons. She may sleep a lot, get up late, refuse to do chores, spend hours on the phone or Internet, refuse to leave her room and decline invitations to participate in family activities. According to MissouriFamilies.org, you can take comfort in the fact that all teenagers go through hormonal, emotional and physical changes that may cause moodiness, sleepiness, lack of motivation and a need to be alone. It's important for you to investigate the reasons for your daughter's lack of motivation in order to understand what is happening or correct the problem.
Talk to your daughter about her lack of motivation. Explain to her your view of her behavior and ask her to explain why she is unmotivated or uncooperative. Discuss the ways in which her lack of motivation might prevent her from achieving her goals in life. Ask her if she is having any problems or if she needs your help with something.
Take your daughter to see a doctor to find out if there is a medical reason for her lack of motivation. Low energy and sleeping a lot could be caused by a medical condition. According to HelpGuide.org, a complete physical examination with blood tests can rule out medical causes, substance abuse, dietary deficiencies and medication issues.
Ask the doctor to talk to your daughter about depression and, if necessary, refer you to a mental health professional. Allow the doctor to talk to her alone if necessary. TeensHealth points out that people sometimes assume a depressed person is lazy or that her lack of energy is an attitude she can just shake off. A few questions from the doctor could help determine if your daughter needs mental health services.
Praise your daughter and encourage her to do her best. According to Child Development Institute, low self-esteem can prevent children from trying new things and make it difficult for them to believe they can be successful at anything. CDI recommends that you avoid shame and ridicule and use praise to motivate your daughter and help her to feel better about herself.
Set limits for your daughter and stick to them. CDI suggests that structure helps children to learn self-discipline. You will be effective when you adopt a positive approach to motivating your child. CDI recommends being fair, firm and friendly.
Involve your daughter in physical activities that match her interests. KidsHealth points out that teens spend many hours using computers, listening to music and watching television. Allow your daughter to choose her own physical activity, but insist that she participate regularly. According to KidsHealth, once she gets started she will enjoy the many mental and physical benefits of exercise and participate on her own.
Sign your daughter up for a volunteer project. According to HelpGuide.org, volunteering is a great way for people to help themselves while helping others. Volunteering can improve social skills, improve self-esteem and fight depression. Volunteering can help your daughter remain physically active while building her confidence and her connection to her community.
- Missouri Family: Adolescent Development—“Is this normal?”
- TeensHealth: Depression
- Help Guide: Teen Depression
- Child Development Institute: Self-esteem: How to Help Children & Teens Develop a Positive Self-image
- KidsHealth: Fitness and Your 13- to 18-Year-Old
- Help Guide: Volunteering and Its Surprising Benefits