How do you motivate a teenager

7 strategies to get your teenager fit and receptive again

Too tired to study?

We all know spring fatigue, autumn severity and hibernation. These recurrent attacks of fatigue are supplemented by a further phase in adolescents, the phase delay. The tired hormone melatonin is produced with a daily delay of up to two hours during the growth phase, discovered among others scientists from Brown University in Rhode Island. Many young people suffer from this "phase lag". You get tired later than the rest of the world. However, since melatonin also breaks down with delay, it is more difficult for you to get out of bed in the morning.

Clarify whether your child is healthy

Even though tiredness is a common phenomenon during puberty, it is important to have a doctor checked whether your child is healthy. Exhaustion and persistent tiredness can have other causes than growing up. Possible causes of your teenagers being fatigued can include:

  • Trouble sleeping
  • Drugs
  • Fatigue syndrome
  • depression
  • Iron deficiency (period)
  • stress
  • Hypothyroidism

Over 80% of young people feel dog tired in the morning

In all likelihood, however, your child's tiredness can be traced back to puberty. In American polls, 82 percent of upper-grade students said they felt tired and bruised in the mornings. More than half admitted being unable to concentrate at least one day a week. No wonder, as teenagers only sleep an average of 7.6 hours on weekdays, one to two hours less than required. Not only fatigue, but also heart problems, diabetes, obesity, depression and a shortened life expectancy can be the consequences of persistent sleep deficit in adolescents. So it makes sense to declare war on the lack of sleep.

7 things you can do to reduce fatigue in adolescents

1. Sleep in between times, too

Even if it is difficult to convince adolescents to go to bed early in the evening, they can still get the sleep they need. A remedy is the tried and tested nap, which helps to avoid the sleep deficit, especially during puberty. The media are turned off for half an hour to 1 hour and the smartphone is packed away, so that there is a relaxed break.

  • My tip: read the newspaper
    Reading is allowed, but your child's eyes will likely fall asleep. The daily nap, which should last a maximum of 1 hour for adolescents with sleep deficits, replenishes your child's energy reserves.

2. “Declutter” your child's day

In addition to the lack of sleep, permanent overstrain can also be the cause of constant overtiredness. Young people have to meet the requirements of secondary school, which are much higher than was the case in elementary school. Homework, preparation for class work, contact with peers, constant availability via smartphones and involvement in a sports club can be quite exhausting. If there is also a small job to improve the pocket money, the limits of resilience are quickly reached.

  • My tip: reduce club appointments
    Limit your child's number of hobbies. Instead of trying something different every day in the sports club, it should rather concentrate on its favorite sport two to three times a week and spend one or two afternoons unplanned.

3. Regulate the constant fire through the social networks

Even if it is difficult, regulate the use of the smartphone. The constant fire from social services such as Snapchat, WhatsApp, Instagram or Pinterest costs a lot of time and energy. If your child is a member of different groups, messages will be received on their smartphone every minute. Relaxation and concentration are impossible.

  • My tip: limit social media
    Many young people let themselves be talked about using the smartphone. You will notice for yourself how exhausting and energy consuming constant contact with others can be. Arrange for your child to have cell-free times in the afternoon and turn off the internal WLAN (using a timer or via the FRITZ! Box) at around 10:00 p.m.

4. Provide a royal breakfast for teenagers too

If you don't have breakfast, you don't have any energy for lessons. If your teenage boy finally gets over his tiredness in the 3rd hour, he will not be able to concentrate without energy reserves even then. It is therefore very important to offer adolescents a light but high-energy breakfast: muesli with fruit or yoghurt, with fruit and vegetable juices and wholemeal bread. Some teenagers already grab a cup of coffee, but cocoa also has a similar effect. Whole grain bread with cheese or white meat (turkey) ensures that the blood sugar level does not rise too quickly and that the brain is continuously supplied with energy.

  • My tip: healthy energy drink for breakfast
    A spoonful of real, fairly produced cocoa, dissolved in a glass of low-fat fresh milk, is a good pick-me-up for teenagers. In combination with the natural milk sugar, it provides an energy boost that makes you mentally efficient and keeps you awake. An effect that, in contrast to sugared energy drinks or lemonade, increases gently and lasts for a long time.

5. Avoid dehydration

A central cause of tiredness and poor concentration is dehydration. Around half of all young people drink less than recommended. Children and adolescents need more water than adults because their bodies contain more fluids. Even a loss of fluid of 2% of the total volume can lead to concentration problems in your child. A well-filled drinking bottle, preferably made of stainless steel, should be a matter of course.

childrenWater supply
through drinks2
4 to under 7 years940 ml
7 to under 10 years970 ml
10 to under 13 years1170 ml
13 to under 15 years1330 ml
and adults
Water supply
through drinks2
15 to under 19 years1530 ml
19 to under 25 years1470 ml
25 to under 51 years1410 ml
51 to under 65 years1230 ml

1: German Society for Nutrition e.V. inter alia: Reference values ​​for nutrient intake, 1st edition, 3rd revised reprint 2008. The guide values ​​apply to healthy people, with needs-based energy intake and average living conditions.

2: The actual water requirement can deviate considerably upwards from these guide values. It depends on gender, the amount of water in the body, physical activity (e.g. sport) and the ambient temperature.

  • My tip: buy drinks together
    Make sure you take your child with you the next time you shop in the beverage store. Here you can choose your favorite drinks yourself. The healthiest fruit juices are mixed with water to form a spritzer (1 part fruit juice / 3 parts water). Do not buy sugary sodas or energy drinks. If your child wants these drinks, they have to pay for them with their pocket money.

6. Sunlight, fresh air and morning exercise

When the alarm goes off, teenagers are slow to come to. Fresh air and sunlight are good helpers to get going a little faster. Pull up the shutters in your child's room and open the curtains so that light comes in. In winter, a daylight lamp does a good job, which can also be operated with a timer. Open the window and let in oxygen. The light and the fresh air have an invigorating effect. Morning exercise works wonders, but I hardly know any young person who can be induced to do it.

  • My tip: Favorite music wakes you up
    We tried again and again with yoga, and every now and then did the sun salutation together. However, we never kept it up for long. But your teenagers' favorite music will also awaken their spirits. Instead of silence and darkness, your child can start the new day with light and music.

7. Motivation through tangible benefits

If your child does not feel like doing homework after school and throws himself tiredly on his bed, you can motivate him with very specific incentives. Threats like: "If you don't make the effort now, you won't get a job later“Do not reach young people. The more abstract the idea, the less they can start with. Give it a try with very specific, timely incentives. "If you do your homework quickly now, you can come with me to go shopping and look for new headphones in the media market.

  • My tip: prepare yourself
    Create a set of incentives so you can have something on hand when you need it. Every young person has different preferences for which he is to be excited. Perhaps your daughter needs new nail polish more often or your son is enthusiastic about certain comics.