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.
Why You MUST Look for the Awesome in Your Teen
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.
Maybe You Already Have an Awesome Kid
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!
I learned this with my own son. We were going through a time when we were SO frustrated with some behaviors. I mean, for YEARS. But then we went for some family counseling, and I was kind of shocked. After just a couple of sessions, the behaviors just magically DISAPPEARED. I was very pleased, but very much shocked that just having someone else make some thoughtful observations and suggestions made such a big difference.
I don’t know if that’s typical, because this was our first experience with counseling, and we both went into it a bit reluctantly, but now that I’ve seen what a difference it can make, I’m a little more open-minded about it. Let’s face it, parenting teens and tweens is not for the faint-hearted. It’s probably one of the hardest, but most rewarding things you’ll ever do.
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.
This quote kind of sums it up.
Thank you for this timely reminder! We are new on the teen scene and the unchartered waters can be tumultuous some days! My elderly neighbor once told me, “when they’re little they step on your toes, but when their grown they step on your heart”. I can’t tell you how many times that has run through my mind this last year. However, I understand that some of that is part of them becoming their own person, not needing mom and dad as much and learning to think for themselves. 🙂
I hear ya! My youngest just turned 18 and is showing signs of turning back into a human being – ha! It’s funny, you can’t even get on the blog scene without hundreds of posts about toilet training and toddler stuff, but that’s the EASY stuff. Posts about raising teens seem to be oddly scarce for some reason. That always baffles me. Feel free to poke through my archives. I do have a ton of great posts about various aspects of teen wrangling!
I love my teens and think they’re a lot of fun. Sure they get attitudes and there are times I wonder if we’ll make it, but overall I really enjoy having teens! Thanks for the positive article about them!! #saturdaysharefest
I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I just posted some pictures of my Scouts having their Halloween party on our Facebook page, and it’s so fun to see them all just having a great time together!
Wonderful post! Yes, I think my teens are awesome! I have 2 teens and a tween, and though they drive me crazy with their messiness, and their lack of a desire to complete their homework assignments on time, they are the BIGGEST blessings in my life.
#SITSBlogging Saturday Sharefest. 😉
That’s good! I’m so glad to share this post with like-minded parents. These people do drive us nuts somehow, but I think we really underestimate our importance to them. Give them big hugs!
As the mom of a soon to be 16 year old I really needed this reminder today!! Thanks!
I needed this reminder today – lately parenting a teen has been challenging and these words have come just at the right time. He is awesome, smart, clever, helpful and all those things, I need to tell him more 🙂 Thank you for sharing on SITS ShareFest
Thank you so much for your kind comment. That is exactly what I am trying to accomplish by these posts. Parenting a teen is dang hard work – and being a teen is no picnic either! So I think if both sides can work together a bit, the experience can be better for both of you. Good luck with your son!
I totally agree that kids thrive off of praise. I’ve never outgrown it myself. I hope I can remember this when my baby gets into his teen years. I’m going to try my best!! Great post!!
This is so very true, my son is only 6 but I try to balance out my praises with the faults. It’s also one thing to point out a “fault” and to make them feel as though it defines them – everyone has faults but we can always turn those around. The boss reference is so very true! Have a great one Adrian! -Iva
This is a really good reminder and something that has been on my mind a lot lately! Thank you for bringing it up!
I’m so grateful for the close and honest relationship I had with my Mom in my teens! Now my parents have 4 teenagers at the moment and 2 pre-teens–I think they’re doing a pretty good job of staying involved in all of my younger siblings’ lives!
I think this is a great reminder for all parents of teens. Seek every good thing and let them know we love them and are proud of them:)