Do you think your teen is awesome? It may be more important than you think. Think back to when your teenager was a tiny baby and you used to get so excited about the simplest things – their first step, their first word, or how cute they looked sleeping with their little butts in the air?
Be honest – how long as it been since you’ve felt that same way about your teen? Since your eyes have lit up when they walk into a room. Teens can be challenging, to be sure, but parents have to keep in mind they are still the same people, as those cute little toddlers we used to adore.
As their parent, your opinion matters. Surprisingly, it probably matters more to them in the long run than anyone else’s in the world. I know many adults who would give anything in the world for a single word of recognition or approval from their parents. Sadly, for whatever reason, they probably will never receive it. Is that what you want for your child?
So often we become so focused on correcting their faults that we overlook the awesome part. Could you imagine if your boss was constantly after you to sit up straight, do your homework, clean your desk, tuck in your shirt, cut your hair, and bring your grades up? That would suck, wouldn’t it? (Some of us do have bosses like that, but at least we get paid for it)
On the other hand, what if you had a boss who thought you were just terrific, praised you for your work every day, and recognized all your best qualities? That’s the kind of boss you really want to work your heart out for, because that level of appreciation just makes you want to please them just that much more. I know, because I’ve had both types of bosses and I know which one inspires me to do better work.
Your vision for your teen plays a big role in shaping their life. If you think they are dishonest, or lazy, or aren’t very smart – those things may just end up being true in their adult lives. They take their cues from you and it can be a self-fulfilling prophesy. On the other hand, if you think they are smart, talented, and have a bright future ahead of them, that’s going to play a big part in pointing them onto that path.
Imagine the best for them and shape your actions towards helping them achieve that future. You might just end up with a really awesome kid – or maybe you actually had one all along!
Don’t be so concerned with raising a good kid that you forget you already have one.
Photo credit: Stock.xchg by Neon_Eddy
Does that mean you just ignore all their faults? No, of course not. But it’s like the old 80/20 rule. Spend 80% of the time appreciating them and only 20% focusing on the negative stuff and see how much more of the awesome stuff you will see.