Do you often find yourself dealing with a human sloth in your house, in the form of your teenager? If your teenage daughter seems super lazy, things may not be as they seem.
We often call teenagers lazy, but the thing is, you have to remember how you felt in this period of your life, and note that everyone is different. Sadly, half the time, this perceived laziness is actually their biology.
No one really wants to just laze around all day and do nothing, or spend all day in bed. If we have the energy and willpower we would always be doing something, we’re naturally active creatures, but there are often things that get in the way.
So, what is the truth of your teens’ laziness?
Is It Laziness?
The first question you need to ask is if this is real and genuine laziness. Is what you perceive to be laziness perhaps something else?
Has your teen complained about feeling tired? Unwell, or sad?
Remember when you were a teen? It’s not the most pleasant time of life, and many things can sap our energy levels at this point in our lives.
Consider the possibility that your teen is not being lazy by choice before you get frustrated.
Here are some things to remember.
Your teen is surging with more hormones than there are fish in the sea. Once we start puberty our bodies go crazy, hormones go crazy, we get irritated, tired, and exhausted.
Their bodies are literally changing, and that does take energy.
While your child might have been fine on 7 hours of sleep before, now they’re a teen they need more sleep to give them the energy they need to deal with all these biological changes!
However, while it is normal to feel tired and lazy as they go through biological changes, it can be even worse for girls. If it is ‘shark week’, they will feel even more tired.
The female body is naturally more tired during ‘that time of the month’, and they will need more sleep, and will sometimes feel hungry more. So if you find your daughter spending a week on the couch eating potato chips and snapping at you. It’s just her biology.
Also, do not forget that not every woman has a nice and ‘neat’ monthly visit from the lady in red. Some women will naturally suffer with endometriosis, menorrhagia, and other issues related to having a uterus.
Note, most of these will only become apparent as they hit puberty.
These issues bring about a lot of pain and can lead to chronic fatigue and other health conditions. So, if your teen daughter has started menstruating and complains of pain while acting lazy, perhaps a trip to the doctor is worth it. It might not be a fault of theirs.
Not only is your teen so packed with hormones they could burst, but social life will be hard. Bullying is a constant in teen years, but you must also note that it is not as simple as name-calling.
Some teens (especially girls) get verbal and physical abuse by their peers for how they look, body-shaming, assaults and more. This is one of the most trying parts of this period of life, and a majority of teens do suffer with depression, anxiety, and other issues that stem from this.
If your teen is depressed, they will seem lazy because depression literally ‘takes it out of you’ and will make you feel like doing nothing.
However, it does not have to be depression, stress alone can tire you out. Now, you might think that your teen has it easy, but with the pressures of fitting into society, having friends and a good social life, doing well in school, and being a productive member of the household… it gets too much, especially while they’re struggling with their own bodies too.
They may be stressed, which will make them fatigued and unmotivated. “What’s the point” will be a question often going through their heads.
On top of all this, sleep deprivation is not uncommon in teens, which will exacerbate them. Note that many teens need much more sleep than you do because of those pesky hormones.
A teen should get 8 to 10 hours sleep, but most only get 6.5 to 7.5. This could be due to trying to study, catch up on homework, do chores, and have a brimming social life.
Adolescents are biologically likely to sleep in later and wake up mid-morning than adults. So, when they have to get out of bed at 8am to go to school their natural cycle is thrown off, and they will be unmotivated, lazy and drowsy.
Too Much Screen Time
Screen time and physical activity need a balance. It is difficult for young adults as most of their social life and education will be on a screen and so to be a functioning member of society they become glued to their screens.
Make sure they are off screens for at least 1 hour before bed to help them wind down. Encourage physical activity, and be a good role model, staying off your phone yourself.
Talk To Them
Do not get angry with them for being ‘lazy’. Talk to them and let them know that they can talk to you about what is going on. It might be that something deeper is making them tired.
You do not want to discourage them from talking to you if it is their emotional well being that is causing their laziness.
Talk to them calmly and kindly, and you might be able to help them with the issues that led to the laziness.
It is so easy to get frustrated with a lazy teen, but remember, no teen is lazy for no reason, there is always a reason behind it, so your first priority is to make sure they are okay.