Freely Giving Praise: Tips for Parents of Teens

Let's talk about freely giving praise to our teens. With lots of parent I work with, when we start working and start coaching, the problem is they most of what they do with their teens is beat them up stuff. They are constantly criticizing, they are constantly giving them negative feed back, they are telling them what is wrong. And that doesn't really work very well, because kids already know what is wrong, they already beat themselves up for everything that is going on. For parents to do this, just gets them to feel worse and unfortunately a lot of parents don't know anything else to do, so they say give their corrections and their feed back more often and louder and they get more of a saying.

There is an old saying that says; if you always did what you always do, you always get what you always got. If you want something different you have got to do something different. So this is what you do different; what you do different is you start giving praise. They already know they messed up, so you really don't need to go over that territory, just start giving praise. The way that you do this is in the form of saying I respect you for.... An example of giving praise rather than beating the kid up would be, kid comes home with a report card, a lot of D's on it. He already knows he got D's, he doesn't need to be told that but you happen to notice that he had perfect attendance, so instead of dealing with the D's, you say something like this, "I really respect." And we use respect rather than being proud of because that way we are talking about what he is doing rather than the way I as a parent feel. I really respect that you were in attendance, had perfect attendance, now let's work together on seeing if we can do the things, the D is just say you needed some extra work here, if you really would like to do that I am here with you to really do better in your work. That is real parenting.


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