Parenting: Getting your child to care about School

Motivating your pre-teen

Recently, I had a client ask me what she could do about her pre-teen’s lack of motivation when it came to school.  This is a common problem many parents face.

Of course, we all remember what it was like in middle school.  We were preoccupied with friends and fitting in.  Most pre-teens really don’t want to be at school in the first place. Parents need to remember that school is not their child’s life, it is just part of their day. We want them to do well, so encouragement is the key.


Here are a few tips to help parents with motivating your pre-teen in school:

  • Ask about their day EVERYDAY
  • Check the online grade system EVERYDAY
  • Encourage study time, even if they don’t have homework
  • Use a reward system for good grades/behavior (yes, go ahead and bribe them)
  • Meet with teachers if necessary, with or without the child
  • Encourage extra-curricular activities
  • Show you care about them, not just school

Motivating your pre-teen — Parents should avoid:

  • Daily negative conversation with their pre-teen
  • Power struggles
  • Comparing them to other children or siblings
  • Empty threats
  • Violence
  • Gossiping about your pre-teen with friends or family


For more information about parenting and motivating your pre-teen in the Brandon, Florida area, please contact the office of Kristine I. Butler, LCSW today.