Apathy, or a lack of interest or motivation, can be an unnerving emotion to observe in your teen toward something as important as education. According to HealthyChildren.org, the law only mandates that your teen go to school until he is 16 years old, at which point he can drop out entirely with no legal consequence. In order to combat your teen’s apathetic attitude toward school, you will need to try and pinpoint why it exists.
Your teen may appear apathetic toward her education if going to school is difficult for her socially. She might try to avoid school as much as possible if she is the victim of a bully. If she is losing previously established friendships due to disagreements or drifting apart, it can make her less interested in attending classes and being at school altogether. Ask questions about your teen’s social experiences and friendships, and encourage her to talk to you and other trusted adults if she is having trouble dealing with the social aspect of school.
If your teen demonstrates apathy toward his education, it can be because he is not being challenged enough with the coursework. Classes that move slowly or cover information he already knows can be boring and repetitive, and it can take effort to make him interested and motivated to learn again. If you feel that your teen is not being challenged enough, or if he communicates that he feels bored at school, meet with his school counselor and teachers to try and find a solution. You might be able to help your teen enroll in more challenging courses or interesting electives.
A lack of sleep can cause your teen to appear unmotivated when it comes to school, so set a curfew and encourage her to get at least eight hours of sleep every night. Clinical psychologist Dr. Stacie Bunning states that depression can be a reason that your teen seems uninterested in school, since changes in behavior, lack of effort with schoolwork, and change in emotions can all be signs of depression. Talk to your child’s doctor if you notice other signs of depression in addition to apathy toward education, such as changes in eating and sleeping habits or isolation.
You can help keep your teen motivated to continue his education by pointing out that he can earn more as an adult if he finishes school and does well, according to HealthyChildren.org. Set an example of a positive work ethic, demonstrate to your teen that every task deserves full effort, and be available to help your teen if he is willing to talk about his struggles or concerns with schoolwork. Finally, offer him privacy to do his homework, and make sure he has a quiet environment at home that promotes an ability to focus.