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Teens and Praise

by Sam P. | June 13th, 2022 | Communication, Teens

Teenager-washing-dishesAs a teen, we often feel that our achievements are overshadowed by our mistakes, that all we ever hear are critiques, never praise for our success.  Praise is an important part of the growth process for teens to gain self confidence in themselves and what they do.  Without it they may never grow to be sure of themselves and their actions, which can hold them back in life.  Praise is very important for children throughout their whole lives, but especially teens as their brains and decisions are easily influenced by what they are told.

When teens are constantly ridiculed for their mistakes and corrected for what they are doing wrong, instead of being praised for what they are doing right, it ingrains in their minds that all they ever do is make mistakes.  This can lead to a lack of confidence in their actions and a need for reassurance with everything they do.  Whereas if a teen is praised for what she does correctly and then corrected with her mistakes, it leads to better results.  When a correction is coupled with an act of praise for something done right, it teaches the child or teen that while they did do something incorrectly, they also did a lot right and that it is ok to mess up.

Say Susie is washing dishes and misses a spot on a plate.  Instead of getting mad at Susie for messing up and leaving something a little dirty, praise her for doing a good job on the rest of the dishes, but ask her to rewash that one because she missed a spot.  Make sure she knows that it is ok that she missed a spot and that everything else was done correctly.  Because it was coupled with praise, it will stay more in Susie’s mind that she did a good job but has to double check her work.  This goes for anything Susie does, whether it be getting a question wrong on a test or failing a pop quiz.  If Susie misses a question but still gets an A on said test, praise her for the good grades not the little mistake she made.  If Susie fails a quiz because she didn’t know about it or wasn’t ready, don’t get mad at her, just remind her that she needs to be more prepared next time.  If she still has a good grade in the class, praise her for having a high enough grade to make up for the mistake that was made.  Don’t just yell at the mistake that was made.

When children and teens are given praise it tends to reflect positively through them.  Teens tend to be happier and give out more praise to others, as well.  The same goes of the latter for critique, as well.  If a teen is constantly being critiqued their whole lives, they are more likely to pick out the mistakes in others and their friends instead of being happy for their friends when they succeed.

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