I would like you all to think about the last time you said something positive to your teen today. To keep marriages happy couples are encouraged to say five positive things to each other for every negative thing that they say. I would like to suggest that we try to use the same ratio for our teens. They may act like they don’t really care what you are saying but honestly they do. They care deeply about what you think of them.
I have some suggestions about how to compliment your teens without embarrassing them.
1. Be subtle and casual. Try “nice outfit for school” rather than “that’s much nicer than what you wore yesterday.
2. Focus on effort in addition to accomplishment. Try saying “I saw how hard you studied.” That will be very validating.
3. Praise your teen about the joy they get from a hobby. “It makes me so proud to see how much you enjoy that.” They will learn that you like to see them engaging in recreational activities.
4. Praise privately. If you do it privately you avoid setting up sibling rivalries, right?
5. Be authentic-no fake praise-deal?