Praising your teen

Mutiat Alli

Some people say that is impossible to give your teen too much praise. Others claims that it spoils them and makes them feel entitled, as if the world owes them something. But besides how much you praise a child, you also have to consider the type of praise that will encourage them and the type that might hinder them and also how you can offer praise that will bring out the best in them.
Teens who receive genuine praise from their parents and the adults around them have more self-confidence and a higher self-esteem.

They are better able to form good habits based on the praise they receive. It is simple to learn how to praise a teen, you just need to remember to do it until it becomes second nature.
Not all praise is equal. Below are some of the most important things parents should consider before appraisal: –

Too much praise can be harmful: – Some parents give out undeserved praise to their teens in an attempt to boost their teen’s self- esteem. But the truth is young ones are smart enough to see the exaggeration and conclude that you don’t really mean what you said. They know within them that they do not deserve the praise and they may conclude that they cannot trust you.

Praise based on ability is better: – Suppose your teen has a skill for drawing, naturally you want to praise them for this which will give them the motivation of making their skill more effective. But can be a drawback. Praise focus on talent alone could make your teen to think that the only skill worth pursuing are those that come easily.

They may even shy/run away from new challenges, having the feeling that they may fail if they try to encounter something new.
Effort-based praise is best: – Teens who are praised for their hard work and perseverance rather than simply for talent come to realize that acquiring skills requires Patience and effort. Knowing that they put in the work needed to achieve the required result. Even if they don’t get it right, they don’t see themselves as failures, but as learners. Give effort-based praise and they will surprise you and themselves with new found skills.

What Parents should do: –
Praise their efforts not just talent: – Telling your teen “I can see that you put a lot of thought into your drawing”, may be better than telling him/her “You’re a natural artist”. Both statement offer praise but the second one could unintentionally imply that natural skills are the only ones they will be good at. When you praise their effort you teach them that ability can improve with practice, and with that they can take up new challenges more confidently.

Give constructive criticism: – when given in the right manner, it will help your teen. And also, if you regularly give appropriate praise, your teen will welcome feedback on how he/she can further improve. Then his/her achievements will become a source of satisfaction to the both you.

Be specific about what you are praising. It is always good to tell your teen that you love them and appreciate them but it is also very helpful to praise specific things. So instead of just saying, “I am proud of you”, label what you are proud of. For example, “I am proud of you for always trying on your tests in school” or “I am really happy that you always remember to take in the trash bins when you get home from school”.

Don’t put too much emphasis on praising looks. Although it is important to let your teen know they look good, you don’t want to focus too much on this as they are so self-conscious about how they look as it is. You don’t want them to think that their appearance is the only thing you are noticing also. Make sure that you are praising their other qualities as well.

Praise them for trying. Even if they are not 100% successful at something, let them know you admire their effort. Encourage them and give them the credit they deserve.

Praise immediately when possible. Giving immediate feedback is always more powerful than giving it well after the fact. So, if you see or hear your teen doing something praiseworthy it is always best to take the time to give them this positive praise in the moment.

Be sincere. This is sometimes the hardest one for parents because they are so frustrated. It is important that you take a little time to notice the things you like and appreciate about your child and that you really mean it when you praise them or else they will see through it and it can create resentment.

Be excited for their accomplishments. Regardless of how big or how small, let them know you notice and that you are proud of their accomplishments.







Mutiat Alli

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