Ep. 71: Laziness Ends Here

Ep. 71: Laziness Ends Here

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Episode Summary

Dr. Adam Price, author of He’s Not Lazy, shares the tricks and tips from his book. Dr. Price and Andy dive deep into all that Dr. Price has discovered about motivating “lazy” teens in during his 20+ years as a clinical psychologist.

Full Show Notes

Teens face more pressure today than ever before. At times, it seems like a teenager’s only path to success comes from a rigorous schedule of academics, sports, community service, and a generally overwhelming amount of extracurricular activities. Such a routine builds tremendous stress in teens—and in their parents.

This can be alarming for parents whose teenagers are “lazy.” It’s no secret that what kids do in school every year counts toward their future opportunities.  In a society where young people are expected to be hyperactive achievers, parents with unmotivated teens worry their teens are doomed to fail – it’s like they don’t care about anything at all!!

Dr. Adam Price, author of He’s Not Lazy: Empowering Your Son to Believe in Himself, joined me for a discussion on how to kick your “lazy” teen into gear. As a clinical psychologist specializing in adolescent males, Price has seen it all.

To Price, the rise of the “lazy” teen is a two fold problem. First, there is the enormous amount of pressure out on teens to always be above-and-beyond average. There are no longer “late bloomers,” instead, we have “underachievers.” Secondly, because parents are made to feel that the stakes are so high at every stage, they attempt to manage their teen by taking away the teen’s autonomy to make choices.

Everyone is inherently more motivated when they are interested in the task at hand, and when they feel they have chosen it. In our interview, Price explains how exactly to give your teen the autonomy they need, without removing accountability. Even Dr. Price knows teens shouldn’t be allowed to do whatever they want 24/7!

In my interview with Dr. Price, we cover a broad range of topics, including:

  • Developmental differences in boys and girls—and how they disadvantage learning in teens
  • How to use the basic principles of motivational interviewing with teens
  • The Paradoxical Response
  • How to answer “When am I ever gonna need to know this??”
  • Deescalating parent/teen power struggles

I’m so lucky to have had the opportunity to speak with Dr. Price and hear his advice on parenting teens! And I have to admit, I even saw a bit of my own teenage self in the concepts and stories we discussed…! This episode is must-listen for any parent with a “lazy” teen under their roof!

The 27-minute public version is free to listen to, and the 53-minute extended version, packed with extra goodies, is reserved for site members. Log in or start a free trial to access everything our site has to offer!

Parenting Scripts

Word-for-word examples of WHAT to say to your teen

1. When your teen says “When am I ever gonna need this!? School is so stupid!” :

“Every society has an obligation to teach the younger generation things they know to be able to grow up and make a contribution to that society. These are the subjects that we think you need to be proficient in. These subjects are taught all over the world, by the way, not just here. And we think you need to be proficient in them, partly because we don’t know how you are going to contribute to the economy when you grow up. And so we’re going to see how it goes.”

-Dr. Adam Price

2.  When your teen says “When am I ever gonna need this!? School is so stupid!” (2):

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3.  When your teen says “When am I ever gonna need this!? School is so stupid!” (3):

(Members Only)

4.  When your teen says “When am I ever gonna need this!? School is so stupid!” (4):

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5.  When your teen says “When am I ever gonna need this!? School is so stupid!” (5):

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Workbook Exercises

Step-by-step guides for applying the ideas from this interview

1. Stop Taking Responsibility for Your Teens Grades:

You found out about your teen’s C on a midterm. What do you do? If you are one of those parents who would find this unacceptable, you’re not alone. But, as Dr. Price reminded listeners in our interview, there should never be a time when the parent is more invested in their teen’s grades than the teen. Dr. Price finds that when parents are more upset or nervous about a teen’s grades than the teen is, it allows the teen to not have to feel those things and be ‘lazy’ about future classwork.

What happened the last time your kid got an unexpected grade? Jot down a summary of the interaction. Who was more bothered by the grade? Why?

Do this for two more instances, bad grade or good. Reflect on what your responses might be ‘saying’ to your teen about grades.

2.  Review Your Teen’s “Identities”:

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About Dr. Adam Price

Dr. Adam Price is a writer and clinical psychologist from the Greater New York City metropolis. He has been practicing for 20+ years, gaining a wealth of knowledge and experience. In addition to his book He’s Not Lazy, Dr. Price contributes to Psychology Today, the Wall Street Journal, and Family Circle. He runs a private practice with office in both New York City and New Jersey.

Although Dr. Price has his own son in graduate school, Dr. Price still considers himself a recovering adolescent 😉

Want More Dr. Price?

You can find Adam on his website as well as Twitter and his Psychology Today blog.