Social Good

Unmotivated Teenager at School: Why? How to React?

Some teens but also younger children have a dislike of school and often find themselves in school suffering. Behind this disgust, there is almost always a reason.

These reasons are for example a bad orientation, family problems, a crisis of adolescence, the precocity, the drug… How to decode this problem? Why is he suffering? Are there solutions?

How should the parents react? How to give him the taste to learn and succeed in school? Maria Kathy, author of the book “How to put teenagers at work”, answered our questions.

How do we know if a teen is locked up in school? 

As with all problems that occur during adolescence, the signs that must alert are multiple. They should be taken together. It will depend on everyone, their ability to express or not their emotions, their habit of not to verbalize.

The signs that I draw from my survey of unmotivated adolescents are sadness, apathy, systematic waking failures, unjustified absences, attitude problems in and out of class (recreation), a speech very devaluing of the school institution, or on the contrary a total absence of discussion on the college or the high school.

Finally, as we tend in France to bet on the notes, the fall of these is a strong signal.

The allergic teen at school:

I do not know if we can be “allergic” to school! We may be suffering at school. The figures published by AFEV (the association of the student foundation for the city), are eloquent: 73% of children in working-class neighborhoods say they do not like school, and 36% report having a stomach ache before going to school at school. These numbers worry me.

The issue of academic suffering is massive in our country. It affects all social categories. It is worrying in popular circles, who do not always have the codes of the school and the means to understand what is expected of the school.

Why will a teen end up in a situation of academic suffering?

According to educational researchers and psychologists, the causes are multiple. I will release one: a child or a teenager who succeeds badly, who does not succeed in such a matter, will feel devalued, his esteem of him will be hurt. He will feel “nil” because he has had a bad grade. We have a big problem with the notes in France: we always evaluate in the negative because young people do not know how to do!

We do not encourage children at all. Well, when a young spleen, does not succeed, has bad grades, he will feel like the “draw”, the zero is him. Imagine a little image that one can have of oneself … A teen who does not succeed will prefer then to retire, to follow. The child or teenager will feel marginal, unloved, sad.

The solutions?

I believe a lot in school and in the success of everyone in the school. Even if the means are lacking and the job cuts are dramatic (teachers but also school psychologists, guidance counselors in the second degree, specialized teachers  …), I believe, I hope that the solutions are within the institutions, with the other partners that are the parents.

Coeducation is essential, parents now have a say in the institutions. For that, obviously, it is necessary to raise the sleeves, to go to see the teachers of the teenager, the parents of pupils, the delegates, the Principal adviser of education. Solutions exist. They are individual and collective.

How should the parents react?

See his teenager suffering and unmotivated is always a test for a parent. Parents rely a lot on school – and they are right. We would really like them to succeed, to be happy, and to be successful in life! One of the most common problems faced by teenagers is a career and study. So you better know how you can help him/her

First of all, I think it is essential to step back and try to remember first of all our schooling: were we a good student? Were we afraid of school? Have we had bad experiences? Have we failed? Would we have wanted to go further in our studies? To ask oneself these questions makes a lot of progress. Then and only then, we can then lead, quietly, his little “investigation”.

Try to find out what’s wrong with your teen’s life how does he position himself with his friends? Does it feel integrated? Does he have a relationship problem with a teacher? Does he have difficulty in a particular subject?

Should we punish? How to react? 

Punish? Threaten? These decisions remain in the intra-family domain. This is discussed in every family, depending on family history. Personally, I do not believe much in punishment, restrictions, and threats. Motivation comes from each of us, from within us.

If we know why it would be wise to start working on his math (pass in the desired series  …), his English (work later abroad  …), it sticks almost naturally. And certainly not because we were deprived of a computer!

You know, the teen can stay for hours lying on his bed scrutinizing the imaginary cobwebs of the ceiling of his room … They are very strong in this matter! Obviously, the teenager, no!

We can quietly but firmly explain that we are waiting for a change of attitude. Does he want to be big? Very good, that he proves it by taking his responsibilities. And studying is one of his duties.

For the little ones?

Some younger children work on carrots sometimes. Why not? We can very well make a contract: you try to learn your poetry, you will have a little recreation. Put yourself in their shoes: when you climb, you know you will not get to the top right now. You proceed in stages, you bite a bar of chocolate or an apple. For a child, it’s the same thing. Everyone has their own pace, a break, a reward, a reward (even a thank you, a brave, a “you’ll get there!”) And it goes away!

How to give back the desire to learn and succeed? 

In my book I met many families and as many specialists who helped them, “coached”. One of them, James Thomas, a psychologist specializing in learning disorders, evokes a pretty image, that of the fallow garden. You have a piece of land totally disorganized, abandoned, wild grasses grow everywhere.

You will not tire of digging all the ground, you will exhaust yourself. Then take a piece of this garden, pamper it, hoe and plant some flowers.

They grow, they are beautiful, it’s great, it’s beautiful and it’s damn good fun! For studies, it’s the same. Do not push your child to succeed absolutely everywhere, in all subjects. Not everything, right now. Advise him to focus on a few, these successes will do him an incredibly good.

In conclusion, I would say that the issue of school failure should not be central to all family life. We all have stinging memories of painful meals, the belly knotted by disputes over notes and results! While it is important, but a teenager is primarily a child or a teenager, he is not just a student! Let’s talk about something else too, about life, love, politics, our childhood, and adolescence.


Aneesa Yasmeen is a Content writer who always focuses on exploring better content strategies. She is a passionate blogger and enjoys writing on multiple niches.

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