Adolescent achievement requires defining achievement and using encouragement that teens find motivational. Some parents base the foundation for motivation on cash or goods, but inspiration for most teens, according to the Harvard Family Research Project, comes simply from the positive and guiding influence of parents and guardians. Involved parents help motivate teens to higher achievements and the avoidance of risky behaviors, such as drugs and gang activities, that undermine important life achievements.
Things You'll Need
- Pencil and paper
- Academic calendar
Discuss achievement standards with your teen. Focus on large achievements and the specific details of achieving goals. This discussion allows your teen to understand and define specific achievements for school, community service and family life, and the importance of a plan for success.
Encourage your teen to develop practical achievement goals that include education, employment, training or sports, and write these down on paper. Allow him to participate as an equal partner in developing these achievement goals. Include practical steps to meet the achievements so your teen has a written plan to reach the goals.
Talk with your teen about successful public individuals and the paths these people took for achievement. Discuss the necessary steps for success and explore the possible ways to define valid achievements. This discussion helps her distinguish between empty words and valid achievements recognized by your family.
Encourage your teen to read texts that feature individual achievement, and offer to buy him books or take him to the library to check books about achievement. Biographies about people from history with a record of achievement or autobiographies about individuals facing personal challenges offer your teen inspiration for personal achievement. Encourage your teen to see films about successful individuals and talk with him about how to model these achievements. Use teachable moments from life to show how the stories from the books and films demonstrate the way successful people make a plan for achievement.
Model techniques for your teen that encourage achievement, such as keeping an academic calendar to plan study or writing business goals for your job or company. Share these achievement techniques with your teenager so she learns to use the same strategies for work, school and life.
Celebrate your teen's achievements with special rewards he enjoys such as a film or sporting event with friends, but also reward the growth in skills and knowledge that help create achievements. Avoid rewarding and celebrating artificial milestones, but instead notice and give encouragement when your teen makes concrete steps to reach a goal. These may include things like passing a class or learning a skill, listed on the written achievement goals.
- National Association of School Psychologists: Achievement Motivation -- Helping Teens Succeed in School
- University of Illinois College of Agricultural, Consumer and Environmental Sciences Gateway: The Importance of Achievement
- Scholastic Parents: 10 Ways to Motivate Your Child to Learn
- New York Times: Redefining Success and Celebrating the Unremarkable
- Child Trends Research Brief: Parents Matter -- The Role of Parents in Teens' Decisions About Sex
- Harvard Family Research Project -- Family Involvement Research Digests: Adolescence -- Are Parents Relevant to Students' High School Achievement and Post-Secondary Attainment?
- Photo Credit Comstock Images/Comstock/Getty Images