Teenagers are notorious for their complete and utter attention to the pursuit of copious amounts of leisure time. Television, computers, texting and sleeping are often higher than chores and homework on their priority lists. As a parent, it's your responsibility to ensure that your teen is a valuable member of society by the time he leaves home, which includes teaching him about the wisest ways to spend his time. Since your teen is old enough to understand the consequences of his actions, organic punishment can help teach him a lesson on the pitfalls of laziness.
Discuss your teen's behavior when you aren't currently fighting about her laziness. Wait until you're both calm and can sit down and have a mature conversation about how your teen's laziness is affecting your family and home. Allow your teen to express her opinion on her time usage and explain her priorities. Together, name three of her top priorities that you'll be mindful of when assigning chores and responsibilities.
Explain the various punishments that will go into effect if your teen shirks his responsibilities. Keep the punishment as organic as possible so your teen sees a natural cause and effect relationship between his laziness and the various consequences he experiences. For instance, if he ignores his chores because he was spending time on the computer, restrict his future computer time.
Offer specific instruction when asking your lazy teen to do work around the home. Simply stating that he needs to clean his room can seem time-consuming and overwhelming to him. By breaking tasks into smaller, more manageable goals, such as bringing dirty clothing to the laundry room or organizing his closet, your teen feels motivated to get certain jobs done.
Allow the natural consequences of your teen's laziness to have an effect on her. While it's natural to want to protect your child, stepping in and making excuses for her behavior only perpetuates the laziness. Instead, allow your teen to learn that there are consequences to her actions; for example, if she doesn't do her homework, she's penalized at school and that if she doesn't do her laundry, she doesn't have clean clothes.
Limit lazy, sedentary activities, such as using the computer, watching television or napping, and suggest that he participate in more physical activities, such as playing on a school team, going for a hike or yard work. Instill in your teen a love of being active and lead by example. You can hardly expect your teen to be active if you spend most of your time watching TV.