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Motivate Unmotivated Students With These Surprising Motivators

By Ruth Wells

So many youth believe that they are already prepared to live independently, and don't need anymore training or education before embarking on life on their own. Here are some very creative ways to show youth that education will be essential to their future. All these interventions focus on common adult transportation problems. If your youngsters don't readily have the answers to these adult situations, perhaps they also don't "know it all" about other key adult independent living issues too.

** Off the Road Again

Explain what happens when you hydroplane, and when you hit black ice; how do you try to still stay on the road?

Answer: When you hydroplane, your car floats on a sheet of water caused by rain on the road. Black ice is ice on the road that you may not be able to see. Black ice can be present before any evidence of icy or dangerous driving conditions is obvious and can send you flying. Slow down and avoid turning your wheels abruptly. Perhaps people think about all those science classes that they skipped as they hydroplane off the road or fly through the air on black ice...

** Say Good Bye to a Good Buy You're buying a car.

The dealer says that they will add the option you want to your car on Thursday. What is an option, and what do you say?

Answer: An option is a feature that can be added to a car, such as a cassette player. You say "I must see the option on the car before I pay." Once you have paid for the car, the dealer has no incentive to follow though, and you lack any clout to gain compliance once you pay.

** Do You Know the Way to San Jose-- Today?

Name a good site on the internet to get free directions to anywhere in the US then show how to use it by finding the way from where you are right now to San Jose.

Answer: Some great, free map sites include,,, and

** Filling Up Can Drain You

You fill up your gas tank at a gas station. Later, you write a check for another purchase; the check bounces. You know you had over $100 in your account. What happened?

Answer: You used your debit card to buy gas and gave your card prior to the gas being pumped. The gas station put a "hold" on $100 of your checking account funds. Next time, don't use a debit card, or wait to use the card until the amount of gas purchased is known. Then you'll only be debited for the amount you bought, not the amount you might have bought.

** Insure It You total your car.

You and the insurance company finalize the amount that you'll be paid for your car. Their check arrives but it's missing $250. What happened?

Answer: The $250 was your deductible.

** It's Classified You need to buy a car.

Ads refer to "OAC," "AC," "4D" and "4WD." Translate.

Answer: OAC means "on approved credit," that if you are deemed worthy of credit, they will loan you money to buy a car. AC is air conditioning. 4D means four doors, but 4WD means four wheel drive; got all that?!

** Did You Know That Cars Can Swim?

You're about to get a good deal on a used car. How can you tell if the car has been for a swim?

Answer: Sometimes that good deal means that the car has a soggy past. For example, after a flood, cars can be restored to look and smell okay, but may have hidden problems from time underwater. Use the internet to search a car's past and discover past collisions and even undersea adventures.

Want more strategies like these? These strategies are taken from our Maximum-Strength Motivation-Makers book. We have many more lively, compelling strategies.

About The Author
Get much more information on this topic at Author Ruth Herman Wells MS is the director of Youth Change, ( Sign up for her free Problem-Kid Problem-Solver magazine at the site and see hundreds more of her innovative methods. Ruth is the author of dozens of books and provides workshops and training.

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