Your foster teen may be struggling with motivation issues, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. One important part of adolescence is the development of intrinsic motivation, doing things for their own meaning and enjoyment rather than looking for an external reward. This stage can be even more challenging when daily conditions increase isolation and interfere with ordinary activities. Here are a few ways you can help motivate teens in foster care.
Build Confidence and Self Esteem:
Teens sometimes get called lazy when that really isn’t true. Most youths want to succeed and feel good about themselves. However, they can also become discouraged if they keep making an effort without getting the results they want. As a foster parent, you can make a positive difference by teaching your teen to believe in themselves and their abilities.
Treat Each Other with Respect and Kindness:
While it’s important to pull together, it’s natural for teens to care a lot about some things that don’t matter as much to the average adult. For a happy foster care family, you need to maintain harmony while recognizing that you might be motivated by different things. You may be more focused on academic achievement while your foster teen is concerned about their popularity. You’ll both come out ahead if you’re willing to compromise and look for common ground.
Rule out Physical and Medical Causes:
A lack of motivation can sometimes be traced back to medical and lifestyle causes. Your foster care agency can assist you in making sure your teen receives all the screenings they need for learning disabilities, hearing, vision, and other issues. They can also be a valuable resource if your foster teen is experiencing depression, anxiety or other similar conditions.
If you’re wondering what it would be like to foster children in Oklahoma, contact us at TFI Oklahoma. We’re a nonprofit licensed Child Placing Agency that can help you learn more about how to get involved.