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Showing Encouragement During the Teen Years

by YPI Editors | October 29th, 2018 | Communication, Teens

parent-teenage-talking-at-dinner-tableYour teen is inching ever closer to adulthood; how, as a parent, do you show pride and encourage him? For many parents, these years are divided into distinct camps- over-saturation and negligible. Like most things in life the answer is somewhere between the two.

Over-saturation: These are the parents that praise everything their children do. By 13, your child should be developing her own voice. What does that mean? If she is proud of something, it is her choice to share it on social media. As a parent, you don’t need to post every little accomplishment your daughter makes. Sure, big things, such as prom pictures, are fine to share, but almost everything else is hers to share. If she made the cut for varsity soccer, it’s hers to share. Although it could be a big deal, this is her life and her accomplishment.

Negligible– On the flip side, some parents determine that by the teen years, the kids are hands off. Your son did well on a science test? Of course, he did because he studied may be your thought. Although it is your son’s job to study and prep for school, it’s ok to keep one eye on things like this. Ask about his day at school, sports, etc., and let him know that you’re proud of his efforts. He may no longer seek your attention and feedback as he did when he was younger, but it still is crucial. All people, including teens, like to receive positive reinforcement.

So, how does one negotiate the void between limited praise and overdoing it? It’s pretty simple.

  • Be aware of the events in your teen’s life. This doesn’t mean that you are responsible for enforcing homework completion or mandating extra sports practice, but it means knowing the generic layout of your teen’s day. It’s good to be aware of your teen’s general performance in school, but it’s also good to let her know she is responsible for getting work done.
  • Ask questions about your teen’s friends, sports, and studies. You may not know when every test or quiz is scheduled, but you’ll know about pieces of it. This will allow you to ask about results and guide your teen appropriately.
  • These attentions to detail will increase the amount your teen shares with you. Once he knows that you truly are interested, he will more openly talk to you about some of the aspects of teen life, such as a difficult language art class or the excitement of his new job.

Pay attention to your teen and provide praise and encouragement but without being overbearing, and you’re bound to see a strong line of communication being formed.

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