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.