How to Motivate a Teenage Boy to Work Harder in School

Help make homework more fun.

It may seem impossible to motivate a teenage boy enough to get him out of bed, never mind to actually do something productive. Naturally, teenage boys sleep more, eat more and want to be with their friends more than they do with you; it's that milestone in their development called "adolescence." However, with the right combination of persuasion, encouragement and even rewards, his energy might surprise you. Motivate your teenage boy by helping him realize the positives that come with working harder in school.

Ask your teenage boy about his feelings regarding study habits and motivation toward school work. Consider his thoughts in your approach to a plan so that he feels as if his input is important.

Tell your teenage boy that you love him no matter what. Explain that you are not trying to control him by encouraging more motivation; instead, you are helping him keep the doors to opportunity open. Explain specifically that if he gets better grades, a basketball scholarship might be more likely, or that an "A" in automotive class may lead to a job at his uncle's body shop.

Talk with his teachers and other parents to find out how much time your teenager should reasonably spend working on his homework each night. Compare the expected amount of time with the actual amount of time his current schedule permits, and make changes where necessary.

Set him up for success by letting him help create a comfortable space for homework. Add a radio or an mp3 player if he feels that music helps him concentrate. Buy special homework snacks. Keep the necessary school supplies on hand at home.

Use a calendar to show him when the terms and semesters end. Mark off vacations and teacher workshop days. Seeing the days and weeks on a calendar helps your teenage boy with time management, a skill that is learned.

Expect progress to be slow. Offer praise for small accomplishments such as doing homework consistently for one week. Notice when test scores improve by as little as five points.

Leave notes of encouragement when you sense they are needed. Candy accompanied by a short handwritten note can bring a smile, even to a teenage boy.

Reward significant accomplishments with money, a curfew extension or an outing. Show him that a pattern of hard work and motivation leads to rewards.

Join in the journey instead of being a bystander. Teenage boys benefit from direction and support. After you have established a plan that seems to work, stick with it. Keep him on track with gentle reminders, praise and support.

  • Keep in close contact with teachers via email or telephone so that you can address immediately any problems that might arise with missing work or failed tests.

Jennifer Dermody started writing in 1992. She has been published in "Running Wild Magazine," "The Green Book" environmental bid journal and local publications in the areas that she has lived all over the world. She is currently a licensed Florida real estate agent. Dermody earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from Regis College in 1993.