One of the most important things teens wished for in communication was encouragement. Have you ever said “My teen smiles at everyone else, but he or she is sullen/quiet/reserved/noncommunicative with me.”?
How do we encourage our children, encourage others? One way is to catch the people we love the most doing something right.
Suzie, you don’t know my child.
I don’t. But it’s important that we remember that our children, even teens, are a work in progress. Brain development continues into the early twenties (explains so much, doesn’t it?). Things like impulsiveness, reasoning, and cognitive skills are still being formed.
And we have a part in that.
Spiritually we can show them grace, while also showing them the practical. We can set boundaries, while giving them freedom in the areas in which they are showing growth.
And we encourage with words, with nonverbal communication, with touch.
You matter. Yes, you made a mistake. Here’s how you can learn through it. Yes, we’ll address the behavior. But you? You are an incredible gift. You bring me joy. I see something in you even when you might not see it yourself.
Today, catch your child doing something right. In sincerity (otherwise it doesn’t count), tell them with a smile, a hug, a note, or words that you saw it.