Encouraging teenagers to study – an impossible task?

by Emily

Education can often be the last thing on a teenager's mind, particularly when there is plethora of computer games, social networking sites and TV channels competing for their attention.

Encouraging a child to study can be the hardest challenge a parent or private tutor will face, particularly during the school holidays when teenagers have put exam revision behind them and are surrounded by a seemingly endless array of distractions.

There are a number of tried and tested methods you can turn to though, which will not only encourage study, but will also sow the seeds for self-discipline later in life:

  1. Encourage students to allocate certain times in the day dedicated to studying. Sometimes studying can seem like a chore - especially for teenagers eager to see their mates - but unless you instill into them the importance of putting aside an hour each day that is used only for GCSE or A-level revision, you will be fighting a losing battle. Good time management skills are essential for making grades and passing exams, so really emphasize to your child that this 'study time' is just as an essential part of their day as brushing their teeth or eating their meals.
  2. Do not force your child into studying. The key word here is encouragement. If they have one last level to beat on their Xbox, then let them play. However, only do so with the full understanding that they will need to finish their school work afterwards. You could even turn the tables and use this as a form of reward for working hard. (Though I recommend stopping short of blatant bribery!)
  3. Show a keen interest in your child's social life. A good social life is just as important for your child's development as their school work. The more interest you show them in the life they lead with their friends, the more open they will be to listening to you when it comes to homework and exam revision.

These are just three of many possible ways to encourage teenage children to build study time into their day-to-day lives, but the list is by no means exhaustive. Do you have any particular methods you use to encourage GCSE or A-level study? Please leave a comment to share your tips with the rest of our parent community.