How to Motivate My Lazy Teenager

Dealing with a lazy and unmotivated teen is frustrating!

From teenagers to young adults, more parents are complaining about their child’s lack of motivation, underachieving and under-performing — especially when it pertains to their schoolwork.


Laziness has become the new normal for some teens and it’s extremely frustrating for families.

Is your lazy teenager glued to a screen? Maybe they’re addicted to video gaming or have become withdrawn over the past few years.

Has your young adult decided they don’t want to attend college (which is perfectly fine — as long as they have a plan), that doesn’t include sitting at home doing nothing.

Is your high school student capable of getting good grades, however now failing most of their classes or not going to school at all?

Maybe your entitled and lazy teenager decided they didn’t need to get a part-time job, it’s easier and nicer to stay home.

What can parents do to help motivate this new generation of laziness?

First ask yourself these questions:

-Do you suspect your teen is struggling with depression or a mental illness?
-Do you suspect your teen is doing drugs that is changing their behavior?
-Do you suspect your teen is being influenced by outside peers?

Although parents want to find ways to motivate their lazy teenager, it’s also just as important to find out why they are withdrawn and not interested in school and other activities.

Teenage mental health

This can be a major factor, since 2020 depression and anxiety has doubled in teens and young people. Changes in social habits include pulling away from school, friends, and activities that your teen has enjoyed participating in in the past could be warning sign that there could be underlying mental health concerns such as generalized anxiety, social phobias, and depression.

If your teen seems stressed or if there’s been a significant change in their behavior it’s best to address it in conversation with them first. It may not necessarily mean a psychiatric diagnosis like depression or anxiety, but it could still be a sign that there is something going on in their life that is acting as some type of stressor.

It can be difficult to convince them to seek counseling, however it’s imperative that you continue to keep your lines of communication open to help persuade them to get into therapy.

Teenage substance abuse

One teenager issue that is of greatest concern to parents today is vaping and smoking pot — regularly, as this is causing most young people to lack motivation, lose interest in their activities, as well as the risks to their health. Several media reports now also claim that drug dealers lace cannabis with fentanyl. 

It’s not only pot, it’s time to check your medicine cabinets. More teens are now taking Xanax, Benadryl and other other-the-counter and prescription medicines from home. Young adults and teenagers alike are using these medications to self-medicate and sadly, in some cases it can easily turn to drug addiction.

Is your teenager drinking? Alcohol is the most widely used substance among America’s youth, and drinking by young people poses enormous health and safety risks.

Teenage substance abuse can result into a person that not only lacks motivation, but also needs teen interventionimmediately. 

Peer pressure

Thanks to the internet and social media, it’s not only peer pressure in-real-life that parents need to be concerned about — their teenagers are now being constantly faced with a false sense of reality online.

Dealing with your teen hanging out with the wrong crowd at school is challenging, you can continue to have conversations (gently) about your concerns, and wait for the day they finally realize you were right. However, when it comes to online influences, it’s a completely different story. Both teenagers and young adults alike can be attracted the life of these social media influencers or people online that are less than ethical.

By staying glued to their screens, they lack motivation for just about everything else in their life. Give them ways to detox from their digital lives.

In conclusion, to help motivate your lazy teenager — check in with your teen’s emotional wellbeing and let them know you can talk with them.  Understanding if there is something deeper going on will likely boost their moral and get them off the couch. Be sure to seek professional help if needed.

Also read:

5 Benefits of Therapeutic Boarding Schools for Troubled Teens

Purpose of Boarding Schools for Troubled Teens

What Causes of Teenage Mental Health Issues?


If you’ve exhausted your local resources and your teenager or young adult is still struggling with substance abuse or mental health concerns, contact us to learn the benefits of residential treatment.


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Many parents are at their wit’s end with the challenges of raising teenagers. If you are considering residential therapy, contact us for a free consultation.

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