Lazy teen: is it normal, how to motivate him?

Parents of teenagers are often upset to see their offspring dragging their feet, getting up late, and balking at the slightest task. Discover the explanations but also the advice of Rachida Raynaud, psychologist, to understand and support your teenager as well as possible.

  Lazy teen: is it normal, how to motivate him?

A term even exists to speak of this apathetic and indifferent state in which the adolescents : l'adocrastination . A normal and common phenomenon at this age... up to a point. Details.

Why do teenagers always seem tired and bored?

The fatigue adolescents is linked to physiological, emotional and environmental factors.

  • Physiological factors

' On the physiological level, there is obviously the impact of hormones , the growth which is breathtaking at this age, changes in the brain, changes in the sleep/wake rhythm. Lots of things going on in the body and bringing extra fatigue .', explains Rachida Raynaud.

  • Environmental factors

It's energy-consuming to go through adolescence!

Teenagers also have a very often anarchic rhythm: they go to bed late, get up very early to go to class. Screens are very present and this can also have an impact on the quality of their sleep, as well as the taking of possible substances (tobacco, cannabis, alcohol.)

  • Emotional factors

' The fatigue of adolescents is also linked to the emotional upheaval they face: questions of identity, reflections around romantic relationships, friendships, around the body' , explains the psychologist.

In summary, this apparent laziness of adolescents is largely linked to the upheavals that agitate them . However, it must be qualified, as it is generally linked to certain very specific situations. 'They have no problem doing something that brings them immediate pleasure (friends, going out, social media etc.). There is an alternation between their investment in these pleasant activities, and something languid elsewhere . It's not a big deal as long as there is envy somewhere.', says Rachida Raynaud.

Teenagers want to show their own individuality, going against the grain of parents' proposals . This is a normal process, even if it can be difficult for parents who feel that nothing interests their teenagers. 'They affirm this by being in a very strong sense of belonging to their group of friends, to their comrades. They act by mimicry and sometimes reject their parents' proposals on principle. “, explains the psychologist.

Does it matter if my teen doesn't do anything?

Parents need to be vigilant about the intensity of this behavior and distinguish between a normally jaded and tired teen and a depressed teen. . 'When the bond is complicated, when the grades drop, when the teenager withdraws, when he seems unable to take pleasure even with others, or when his interests turn into an addiction, we must react and consult ' , advises the psychologist. The latter reminds us that the milestones of adolescence arise from childhood. ' Maintaining communication is essential, and especially the establishment of trust. You have to sign a contract of trust with the child, put him in front of the responsibilities and agree to let him grow, gradually granting new freedoms .', she explained.

Rachida Raynaud recalls that it is important to maintain a balance in the life of the teenager between intellectual work, social relations, sport, why not an artistic activity . ' Sport can help him feel better in his body, to relax in relation to the gaze of others. And if of course his schooling is important, there is no point in being hyper anxious about the grades, which will reinforce the teenager's refusal or avoidance. It is also good to let the teenager laze if he needs to. , to get help so that he has to tutoring in his establishment or outside “, she adds.

How do I motivate my teen to work and go out?

To assess your teen's level of physical activity and sedentary lifestyle and find out if they are active enough to stay fit, the site mangerbouger offers you this test 5 minutes, to do with him.

' Teenagers concretely need to have a framework and limits. We must not leave them in their corner thinking that it will pass. It is essential to keep in touch. And that means taking an interest in the world of the teenager: going to what he listens to, what he watches, talk about it with him, share the activities he likes. It's also a way to communicate “, explains the psychologist. When the situation is too conflicting, making a contract with your teenager can be a good idea in order to empower him . ' The contract is negotiated in pairs, with a proposal and a consideration. We can for example allow him to go to bed later, to have a screen time a little longer. But by telling him that such a day he is going to do his homework and that during the weekend he will have to do at least one activity outside the house .' suggests Rachida Raynaud. The contract is a way of showing the child that his efforts will be rewarded, that he will get something in return, and that he is not only in the position of someone who always has to obey since symbolically the contract is a negotiation between two parties, with therefore a time of exchange around the expectations and desires/needs of each.

Very often adolescents find it difficult to project themselves, it is also for this reason that they cling to what provides immediate pleasure. . They prefer to avoid thinking about what's next, about the future, about the vagueness in which they feel, because it's anxiety-provoking. ' To motivate them to work, we can have an informal discussion with them about their expectations, their dreams. This connects to what they can do today to achieve their goals: schoolwork, attendance. ', explains the psychologist. It's also about giving meaning and helping them to project themselves into the year with objectives, by helping them to mobilize, to build small projects, and to invest this with them. ' Finally, we can ask him to think of an activity to do as a family. An outing, a concert, something everyone can take part in .”, concludes Rachida Raynaud.

Thanks to Rachida Raynaud, Child-Adolescent-Parenting PsychologistSource