Could others throw out some ideas about what motivates difficult child's around the tween and early teen years? I've noticed that I'm wanting my difficult child to all of a sudden grow up and be responsible and turn his life around (get on the right track and stay on it) because I expect him to see the importance of being able to get into college, staying out of trouble, having a good reputation with adults in the neighborhood and others, his future all the way around, etc. But, I've also noticed that he doesn't seem to get that- and maybe that requires the maturity of an adult that he just doesn't have yet. He is motivated by the cute girl who is his age that noticed him and approached him at this day camp. He is motivated by other guys thinking he's cool. Things that I would consider to be typical teen and normal middle-school aged motivators. But, how do we use those tendencies to help them be motivated to do what we know is in their interest? How do we steer them without causing more conflict, yet keeping in mind that they don't have the maturity and understanding of what is important like an adult does? I can see in my son most of the time - not all the time- that he does care about doing the right things and being approved of by adults and accepted by his peers. He seems to care about having a good job and being married and having kids someday. He has so much potential and a kind heart and loves animals. I try to keep him involved in things where he is socializing with average kids, not the big trouble makers. Yet, he seems to have a "what difference does it make" attitude so much of the time. Many times, I think this is a result of an underlying depression- just like I feel if I have a good job but I'm just not happy. But anymore I don't know if I'm projecting my issues on him and I'm just in denial, or if this is the obvious answer. Really, sometimes I wonder if he is unipolar depression. Anyway, the main question was, how can we use what they care about at this age to help them see the importance of things and be motivated by it to make efforts to do what is in their own best interest and that helps build a better future for themselves, instead of breaking down the opportunities they might have? Does anyone have experience, ideas, suggestions, thoughts on this?