And teens usually want to

be successful. But sometimes parents and teens don’t have the same goals. Then parents’ attempts to inspire can backfire.

Keep these points in mind if you want to motivate your teen:

• Your teen’s goals and dreams for herself may be different from yours. Support her interests if you possibly can. Trying to push her in another direction will do no good, and may do a lot of harm.

• No one is an expert at everything. Applaud what your teen does well. In areas where she doesn’t excel, let her know that you expect her to try her best. If she does that, focus more on her efforts than on the result.

• Once you are aware of your teen’s strengths, don’t accept carelessness. It’s fine to say, “I think you rushed through that. I know you can do better.”

• Never compare your teen with anyone except herself. “Why can’t you make A’s in science like your sister did?” is never a helpful comment.

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