“6 If you are good and honest, he will stand up for you and bring you back where you belong. 7 Where you began will seem unimportant, because your future will be so successful.”
Job 8:6-7 NCV
It is the time of year once again for seniors in high school to find out which colleges they’ve been accepted to. For teenagers, this can be a time of mixed emotions – excitement and anticipation for what their future holds, sadness at leaving their friends and familiar lifestyle behind, and the pressure of performing well in college. Before I left to Cal State Long Beach, I remember feeling worried that I would fail out of college or wouldn’t be able to make friends.
It is important for teenagers to feel motivated to do well at school. But how do you motivate a teenager to do well? Telling teens to get high grades, take several advanced placement courses, and take on numerous extracurricular activities can help them to succeed. But this strategy creates pressure instead of motivating them to do well in school.
Helping a teenager to be successful in school and motivated to do well takes a caring and a positive attitude! Our Y-Ministry focuses on helping teens not only with their relationships and spiritual development, but with their progress and growth as students. The following tips are derived from conversations and lessons learned from our teens, which can help you inspire any teenager to feel motivated about their future and take responsibility for their success at school:
1. Help them find their dream
“His God teaches him and shows him the right way.”
Isaiah 28:26 (NCV)
Encourage teens to have their own interests and dreams. Find out what makes them excited and take the time to listen to their dreams. Help them build these interests by teaching them to pray about their dreams so they can attain them.
2.Help them set goals
“But you should be strong. Don’t give up, because you will get a reward for your good work.”
2 Chronicles 15:7 (NCV)
You should make it a point to assist your teenager in setting attainable goals for their homework and overall progress in school. Teach them to enjoy the progress along the way so they will not become discouraged when it takes time to achieve their goals.
Help them to see that God gives strength through prayer and perseverance. When teens attain their goals, they will feel proud and will have the courage to try new things.
3. Encourage them along the way
“What do you mean, ‘If I can’?” Jesus asked. “Anything is possible if a person believes.”
Mark 9:23 (NLT)
Believe in your teenager along the way. Give them praise and help them to see that God will make anything possible for them if their dreams align with God’s plan for their future.
Teenagers that lack dreams for their life may be overwhelmed and unable to motivate themselves. Helping a teen to feel motivated by showing them what they are good at and building their self-esteem through a relationship with God will help them to believe in themselves and be inspired to try new things. They will also see that a relationship with God is the only thing that will sustain them.
If you can help your teen learn these key concepts, you will no doubt help them to succeed in school and in life.