Motivating Teens To Complete School Assignments

Imagine a task at work that you do not enjoy, do not see the point of, and is keeping you from doing something you enjoy. This is often what your teen feels like toward their homework. This means it is left to you to motivate them to complete these assignments. As challenging as this might be, it is worth it because completing those assignments will help improve our teen’s academic performance, boost their self-esteem, and prepare them for future success. Very often this low motivation can be addressed early on with parenting strategies working with your teen’s preferred learning style.  

However, if, after parental support, your teen refuses to go to school and feels demotivated to complete school assignments, they might need further help. At our teen treatment center, our experts understand the importance of looking at any underlying factors from a health perspective. In this article, we offer you the most effective strategies parents can follow to motivate their teenagers to do their school assignments such as creating a positive learning environment, helping in setting realistic expectations, etc.

Effective Strategies to Motivate Students to Do Their School Assignments

Motivating students to complete school assignments requires patience. Parents need to have effective strategies to encourage teens to accomplish their assigned school work. Let’s look into each of these strategies to motivate your teen for their homework:

Create a Positive Learning Environment for Teens

A positive, supportive, and encouraging environment plays a major role in students’ academic performance. A positive learning environment promotes the academic, social, and emotional development of students. Creating a positive learning environment where teens feel validated and safe can motivate teenage students to finish their homework.

Positive learning environments could include practices like:

  • Participation and Collaboration – Parents may encourage teens to participate in classroom discussions and group activities. 
  • Creativity and Self-Expression – Encourage teens to express themselves freely and creatively through different means like painting, dance, and music. This could include making their working space their own in some way.
  • Sense of Belongingness – Parents should ensure teens feel comfortable around their classmates, peers, or educators. If not, they can raise a concern.
  • Learning Activities and Assessments – Parents should motivate teens to participate in learning assessments and activities through rewards and incentives. Participation and rewarding efforts have shown exponential growth in teen learning as per behavioral theory.

Help in Setting Realistic Expectations and Goals

As parents, it is important to guide teens in setting their academic goals. This can be achieved by helping them break bigger goals into smaller ones to make better choices.

  1. Providing clear instructions and guidelines – Clear instructions and guidelines can motivate teens to complete school assignments effectively. It can be done by explaining the directions and objectives of their assignments in simpler terms so they won’t feel like it is hard to accomplish. 
  2. Setting realistic goals and benchmarks – Empowering your teen to set and achieve their own academic goals fosters independence and self-directed learning. Encourage them to break down long-term aspirations into smaller, achievable steps. This creates a sense of accomplishment and motivates them to keep striving. By focusing on progress over perfection, they build confidence and essential skills for lifelong success, transcending the limitations of grades and rankings. 
  3. Communicating the importance of assignments and deadlines – If your teen has dreams, support them and share inspirational stories around them. Communicate how academic success can help them achieve their dreams. If they are well-informed of the academic success that comes with assignment completion, such as opportunities in college, they will prioritize it.
  4. Encouraging students to take ownership of their learning – Parental encouragement boosts teens’ self-belief, motivating them to continue putting in effort and improving their learning.

Motivate to Use Technology and Digital Tools For Completing Assignments

Technology and teens’ motivation to learn is both a challenge and an advantage. Emerging technology and digital tools help students complete assignments and track their progress. Parents can help their teens use the tools assisting in learning, time management, group studies, and more.

1. Incorporating interactive and engaging digital resources

Using interactive and user-friendly digital resources such as Google Classrooms, Quizizz, and Khan Academy, parents can motivate teenagers to do their assignments. These online resources for motivating teen students to do their school assignments are free and can be shared digitally.

2. Using online tools for organization and time management

Forest, Trello, and RescueTime can help students organize their tasks. They will be motivated to accomplish their school assignments if their tasks are well-planned.

3. Offering virtual collaboration and communication platforms 

Popular collaboration platforms like Google Docs, Google Meet, Teams, Edmodo, and Zoom can help students stay motivated and complete assignments on time as they collaborate with teachers and peers.

4. Providing online support and resources for academic success 

Many resources, such as Docebo LMS, TalentLMS, iSpring Learn, and eFront are available online. They all have a function that can support teenage students with their homework.

Give Incentives and Rewards For their Achievements

Another effective strategy to motivate teens to complete school assignments is incentives and rewards. When teens feel recognized for their accomplishments, they feel motivated. 

Examples of these incentives and rewards are:

  1. Prizes or Credit – If your teens have been eyeing a certain object for quite some time now, consider giving it as a prize for their hard work. 
  2. Praise and Recognition – Acknowledge your teens’ exerted effort. Tell them that they did great and, as parents, you are proud of their progress. 
  3. Encouraging autonomy and independence  – When teenagers feel that teachers and parents allow them to share ideas and make choices independently, they are more likely to be motivated in-class activities. It fosters focus and motivation when they acquire learning on their own. Parents should guide and support teens rather than controlling or micromanaging them.
  4. Celebration – Teens need a breather from school assignments occasionally. A simple celebration of their academic performance could motivate them even more.

Understand Individual Learning Styles

Understanding individual learning styles can be a valuable tool for parents and educators in supporting teenagers’ learning and development. Parents and educators can start with these tips:

1. Identifying the learning preferences of each student

Observe teens’ behavior, strengths, and preferences to determine their learning styles. Some learning preferences are visual, auditory, or kinesthetic learners. To better understand how each student learns, utilize a variety of methods like self-assessments, observations, and informal conversations. Recognize that learning preferences are complex and multifaceted, encompassing more than just visual, auditory, or kinesthetic styles.

2. Adjusting teaching strategies to meet individual needs

Once you understand the teens’ learning styles, adjust teaching strategies to meet their needs. For example, use visual aids like pictures and diagrams for visual learners, interactive activities and discussions for kinesthetic learners, and clear explanations and written materials for auditory learners. Remember, flexibility and variety are key to creating an inclusive learning environment.

3. Providing resources and tools for diverse learning styles

Varying learning resources can help develop a child’s skills beyond their preferred learning style. For instance, if a child is a visual learner, incorporating kinesthetic activities can help them develop spatial reasoning and motor skills.

4. Encouraging students to reflect on their learning styles

Encourage teens to actively reflect on their learning experiences. Use question prompts, self-assessment tools, or discussions to help them identify situations where they learn most effectively. This self-awareness empowers them to take ownership of their learning and choose strategies that optimize their success, ultimately fostering independence and lifelong learning skills.

Importance of Motivating Teens to Complete School Assignments

School assignments are important to help students practice and apply knowledge to their learning in class. Completing school assignments deepens teen understanding of the subject and ensures academic success. Motivating teens who are not completing their assignments on time or just don’t care to complete school assignments becomes even more crucial for their academic success, contributing to their future careers and other opportunities. When teenagers are motivated, they are more likely to accomplish tasks with positive outcomes. Therefore, it is essential to learn some motivation techniques for teens to help them get better.

Improved Academic Performance

Many studies have shown that motivating students to complete school assignments at home improves students’ performance on examinations. If they consistently complete school assignments on time, teenagers will have the following:

  • Good Grades – Teenage students who accomplish their assignments get better grades than those who don’t comply.
  • Higher Average – Consistent study habits at home helped teenagers strengthen their academic performance. 
  • College Acceptance – Teenage students who typically complete their assigned homework will likely have considerable report cards, which can be used for college acceptance and entrance examinations.
  • Scholarship Opportunities – Students who complete school assignments and garner proficient grades have a significant advantage in getting into different scholarships.

Boosted Self-esteem and Confidence

Applying the lessons learned in class to accomplish assignments boosts teenagers’ self-esteem and confidence. The more they get to practice assignments on their own, the better their outcome, like the following:

  • Sense of Achievement – Teenagers who complete assignments may feel they have accomplished something difficult and worthwhile. It is a positive response to their very own accomplishments.
  • Increase Self-Worth – Teenagers who complete assignments often seek academic validation. Teenagers may acknowledge their self-worth based on their academic performance. 
  • Better Confidence – Completing assignments can help teenagers develop critical thinking skills and increase their confidence in dealing with chaotic situations.
  • Positive Mindset – Completing school assignments develops a positive mindset in teenagers, making them willing to learn from their mistakes and try to improve.

Preparation for Future Success

Completing school assignments helps teens develop skills for future success, such as strong study habits, time management, and work ethic.

  • Learning Good Study Habits – Good study habits are crucial to academic success, and completing school assignments on time helps teenagers learn and practice them.
  • Developing Time Management Skills – Completing school assignments requires effective time management skills. Effective time management skills for teen students simplify goals and objectives for important tasks. 
  • Building a Strong Work Ethic – Completing school assignments helps teens develop self-discipline and good work ethics enabling them to accomplish tasks under pressure.
  • Gaining Knowledge and Skills for Future Careers – Skills and knowledge gained in school can be applied to future careers. Time management skills and a sense of urgency can help teens build a strong work-life balance.

Positive Impact on Mental Health

Motivating teens to complete school assignments positively impacts their mental health. Over time, these impacts will help them perform even better in schools or universities. 

  • Reduced stress and anxiety – Teenagers who can complete assignments are less stressed and less anxious than those who are unmotivated.
  • Sense of Control Over Academic Tasks – Teenagers, when completing their assignments on time, develop a sense of self-control over academic activities. 
  • Increased Motivation and Engagement – Teenagers who complete assignments are more motivated and engaged in studying and learning.
  • Improved Overall Well-Being – Teenagers who complete school assignments on time have better overall well-being. They get more quality time to spend with family and indulge in hobbies. Also, they don’t experience stress most often because they know how to prioritize and schedule their day.

Common Obstacles that Hinder Student’s Motivation

Teenage students may experience struggles that hinder motivation, such as boredom, overwhelm, pressure, exhaustion, and distractions.

Common Causes of Student Demotivation to Do School Assignments

There are still reasons behind every student’s lack of motivation to do their assignments. If the following causes persist, it may result in deeper mental health conditions:

  • Lack of Interest – Teens may feel demotivated if they are not interested in the subject.
  • Overwhelming Tasks and Pressure – When overwhelming tasks and pressure are given to them, teens might get nervous and quit the task before even trying.
  • Poor Time Management Skills – Teens may feel demotivated if they do not have good time management skills. They may find a lack of time for assigned tasks and assume it is ungainly.
  • Negative Peer Influences and Distractions – Teens may feel demotivated if surrounded by friends who are not the best for them. It is because peer influences and teen motivation are associated with one another; any negativity or distraction from friends or classmates will demotivate them.

Impact of Mental Health on Student Motivation

Students may also suffer from mental health conditions that impact their motivation and ability to execute tasks.

Mental Health Conditions Among Teenage Students

Mental health problems such as depression, anxiety, and school refusal can stimulate a lack of motivation. Lack of focus, inappropriate sleep patterns, and low self-esteem are early depression symptoms that can further hinder teenage students’ motivation.

Signs and Symptoms of Mental Health Problems

When signs and symptoms of mental health concerns frequently occur, it may result in mental illness. Therefore, teenage students who might be having mental health problems may experience the following:

  • Lack of motivation
  • Poor academic performance
  • Mood swings
  • Overthinking
  • Emotional detachment
  • Changes in sleeping patterns
  • Anger issues
  • Bruises and cuts
  • Weight changes
  • Substance abuse

Overcome the Stigma of Mental Health Problems

To overcome mental health stigma, one should be open about the condition, show support to others, explain how mental health conditions occur, and encourage self-awareness. Mental health support exists for teen students with mental health problems, including residential treatment centers such as Key Healthcare.

Is Remote Learning for Teens Cause of Demotivation?

Ensuring a seamless and uninterrupted remote learning experience for students is crucial, as it has become an essential tool for students worldwide. However, like any other teaching technique, remote learning has advantages and disadvantages.

Impact of Remote Learning on Student Motivation

Remote learning became the new normal during the pandemic, positively and negatively affecting students’ learning capabilities. However, a 2021 study revealed that students’ motivation for remote learning is generally lower than for face-to-face discussions. Several internal and external factors can affect students’ motivation for remote learning.

Challenges of Remote Learning

Although remote learning has its benefits, the presence of challenges is still inevitable. Lack of social interaction, distractions, and technical difficulties still affect a student’s motivation. 

  • Lack of Social Interaction: Remote learning lacks social interaction, leading to increased social anxiety levels. Too much exposure to screens may result in physical and health conditions. 
  • Distractions:Online studying offers numerous distractions like social media or music, leading to time wastage and loss of focus that ultimately reduces the effectiveness of distance learning.
  • Technical Difficulties: Technical difficulties, like weak internet, damaged hardware, and defective software, can occur during remote learning, often due to insufficient knowledge of technology and computer programs.

Benefits of Remote Learning

  • Remote learning is effective – Students can learn at their own pace without too much academic pressure.
  • Remote learning is accessible – With a wide range of technological innovations, there is no doubt that learning resources and materials are accessible enough for students and even instructors.
  • Remote learning is affordable – Online learning helps reduce food, transportation, and apartment rent costs.

Parenting Tips for Creating a Productive Remote Learning Environment for Adolescents

Creating a productive remote learning environment requires some effort and planning. As parents, you may use these tips to help your teens create a productive remote learning environment. They should:

  • Establish a routine: Set a schedule and routine for the day that includes regular breaks and exercise to help teens stay focused and productive.
  • Create a dedicated workspace: Set up a quiet, comfortable space in your home where they can concentrate and minimize distractions.
  • Have the right tools: Provide a reliable internet connection, a laptop or desktop computer, and any necessary software or apps for uninterrupted online classes.
  • Stay organized: Keep a calendar, to-do list, and other organizational tools that could help you track your teens’ assignments and deadlines.
  • Minimize distractions: Turn off social media notifications and close unnecessary tabs or apps.
  • Stay connected: Parents should also interact with teachers and participate in online discussions and virtual study groups so they can stay engaged and motivated.
  • Practice Self-Care: Motivate your teen to get enough sleep, eat well, and exercise regularly to stay healthy and energized.


In conclusion, while motivating teens to complete school assignments can feel challenging at times, it’s important to remember that every student has the potential to thrive when we provide the right support and encouragement. We can unlock their engagement, autonomy, and sense of accomplishment by cultivating a positive and supportive learning environment. This journey may involve exploring different approaches and tools, and patience and collaboration are key along the way. Remember, celebrating their progress is just as important as finding the ideal approach. Ultimately, understanding their individual needs and preferences is the foundation for creating an enriching learning experience that empowers them to succeed both in school and beyond.

Key Healthcare understands the challenges teens face in today’s world. We offer a comprehensive mental health care program designed to support young people and their families. Our team of licensed professionals provides confidential counseling and therapy to address various concerns, including academic stress, school anxiety, and emotional well-being. By investing in their mental health, we empower teens to reach their full potential, both in school and beyond.

Frequently Asked Questions

Motivating teens requires understanding their individual needs and preferences. Foster a supportive environment, offering diverse learning resources and encouraging open communication. Celebrate their progress, collaborate on setting realistic goals, and explore strategies that resonate with their learning styles.

Some common causes of lack of motivation among teenage students are fear of rejection, digital distractions, and difficulty understanding others.

Help your teens balance school and personal life by planning their schedule with them. Ask about their commitments and support them to ensure they have a balanced time between school and social activities.

You may advise your children to create a list of tasks they need to accomplish. Help them place it in a schedule that is easy to follow. They can manage their time wisely and effectively if there is a schedule.

Using technology, parents can motivate teens to learn and improve their decision-making skills. Integrating technology in academics can foster autonomy and independence, helping teens maintain their learning pace.

Changes in a teenager’s sleep, mood, eating habits, daily activities, or interests could indicate a mental health condition. As a parent, it’s important to talk to them about what’s happening, as these changes may worsen if not addressed early on.

Build a stronger relationship with your teen by communicating with them daily, starting with asking about their day. Sharing thoughts during dinner creates a comfortable space for conversation. Remind them that surviving the day is an achievement and that they are doing better daily.

Build a positive relationship with your teen’s teachers by being an effective communicator. Good communication promotes a healthy parent-teacher environment, and consistently asking about your teen’s progress and addressing parental concerns will help you develop a bond with your teachers.

Reward your teenager’s hard work with more than just money. Show appreciation through praise and encouragement, acts of service, or gift-giving. Simple gestures like saying “I’m proud of you,” providing what they need, or giving them something they’ll appreciate, like their favorite food, device, or stationery, can go a long way.

Encourage your teen to participate in extracurricular activities by acknowledging their interests and passions. If they’re into music, sports, or volunteering, find extracurricular activities aligned with their interests. They’ll feel safe and more likely to balance it with academics if it resonates with their desires.

Peer influence greatly impacts teenagers, both positively and negatively. Negative influence can affect their motivation. To address this, encourage your children to be friends with those who help them stay motivated. Talk to them about their peer influence and motivate them to be with people who bring out the best in them.

Provide consistent encouragement and positive affirmations to support your teenager’s academic success without overwhelming or pressuring them. Boost their motivation with words and remind them that you’re there for them every step of the way, even if they make mistakes or experience setbacks. Celebrate their progress, whether it’s related to school or other responsibilities.