How Do You Motivate a Teen?

There are many reasons why teens lack motivation to do what parents want them to do. (You'll notice they don't lack motivation to do what they want to do — talk on the phone, skateboard, shop, party, etc.)

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A week ago you received the article on the Positive Discipline Tool Card on Take Time for Training that was written mostly by Katie Clark. Katie added the Routines tool and experienced a breakdown. She handled it very well, even though she didn't know she was handling it well. See why.

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I Need A Hug

I was watching some videos by Bob Bradbury the other day. They are very informative and inspiring. Bob tells a story about a father who tried the "I need a hug" suggestion. His small son was having a temper tantrum. The father got down on one knee and shouted, "I need a hug." His son asked through his sobs, "What?" The father shouted again, "I need a hug." His son asked incredulously, "Now?!?" The father said, "Yes, now." The son said, "Okay," and begrudgingly and stiffly gave his father a hug. Soon the stiffness disappeared and they melted into each others arms. After a few moments the father said, "Thanks, I needed that." His son said, with a small tremor on his lips, "So did I."

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Time Out for Children Under the Age of Reason

In all of our books we talk about "Positive Time Out." There are several points that need to be made regarding time out for children who have not yet reached the age of reason.

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Empowering Vs. Enabling

We have become vividly aware of how skilled most of us are in using enabling responses with our children, and how unskilled we are in using empowering responses. Our definition of enabling is, ʺGetting between young people and life experiences to minimize the consequences of their choices.ʺ

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Bus Behavior

Problems on the bus seem to be a major concern kindergarten through high school. Look at the behavior on any bus, anywhere in the world, and you will have a barometer of the development of (or lack of) internalized social skills, life skills, and social interest.

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When parents say, “My child doesn’t listen,” what they really mean is that my child doesn’t obey.” Parents give orders and children resist orders—just as their parent most likely would. If you are experiencing power-struggles with your children, take a look at your part in creating the power-struggle.

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Setting Limits With Children


Do you have any articles or can you direct me to or any literature that deals specifically with the consequences for the developing child's personality of parents who don't set and/or enforce limits?

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Refuses to Cooperate

I have a son in the 1st Grade. When things don't go his way, he refuses to cooperate. He either becomes a "statue," a "limp rag doll," or becomes defiant in other ways. I have read your book "Positive Discipline" and my husband is in the middle of reading it. I have given him choices as you suggest, and he responds with "neither." Then I'm stumped.

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Positive Effects of Class Meetings

I had one of those this-is-what-makes-it-all-worthwhile events this morning. Yesterday, I did one of my "classroom visits" (a.k.a., teacher observation) and during part of the class a student was invited to the overhead projector to demonstrate how to solve a problem to the rest of the class (third grade). But as he tried to explain how to do the problem, he got all confused and stuck and couldn't work his way through it.

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Online Learning

Positive Discipline offers online learning options for parents, teachers, and parent educators. Learn in the comfort of your own home and at your own pace. You have unlimited access to our online streaming programs, so you can watch and re-watch the videos as often as you like.