Monthly Archives: March 2019

Encouraging Teens to Own Their Lives

An email from a client: “I have 7 GED students. 3 of them are working diligently. Although they do chat, they work most of the morning. The other 4 students seem to hardly every be working. They talk so much that they disturb other children being tutored. Is there any suggestion that you might have for me to motivate them? They seem to feel that they can take as long as they need to, their parents will simply pay again if they don’t finished in 12 months. I am used to working with children to get them to their goals. I feel very hands-off with this group and am at a loss to motivate them.
Any advice would be appreciated. “

Reply from Shirley at Online GED:


I think with those 4 unmotivated students you have to work at de-schooling their mindsets. They are so used to being compelled to attend school, whether they want to be there or not and being forced to learn various subjects, whether they want to or not, that they still have that same attitude.

You need to remind them that when they finish their GED®, they are finished with school and can then move on to the next stage and spend time pursuing something that they choose themselves. You need to encourage them to take ownership of the lives and grow up and stop acting like children.

Perhaps encourage them to start investigating what it is that they are really interested in. School usually allows very little time for kids to get to know themselves and find things that interest them – hobbies, talents or even future career paths.

Ask if there are perhaps other courses they’d like to do at the same time as their GED®. For example my 16 year old has been doing a photography course online and an art/drawing course online, as those are skills she wants to develop.


Maybe there are things they are interested in too – coding or art or videography or drama, or business or gardening or making stuff or you-name-it that they might find some delight in too.

I think they need to be sparked to realise that their life can be so much more than just coming to school and wasting time. 

It might take time as most kids don’t know what’s out there for them to do, but maybe even take a few days with them and find some know-yourself type of questionnaires or do some career guidance or something completely different to expose them to more and to try to spark that sense of adventure and self-motivation to get on with their lives in a constructive way.

This article lists 10 Things to Do Before the GED that will develop life skills.