8 Tips for Giving Your Teen Praise

Genuine Praise Can Raise a Teenager's Self-Esteem

teen girl laughing with mother
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Praising teenagers for doing good things is essential to shaping them into the young adult you want them to be. You want to send a message that good deeds and actions deserve as much attention as their negative actions.

Giving a teen praise is easy, especially when you know what to look for and how to do it.

Why Do Teens Need Praise?

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.

Telling a teenager that you are proud of them or noticed a special thing they did can help you form a stronger bond as well. They may feel more comfortable telling you about the good and bad things that happen and open up more often about how they are feeling.

It is very common for teens to feel disconnected from their parents and a little praise can help remedy that.

How to Praise Your Teen

It is simple to learn how to praise a teen, you just need to remember to do it until it becomes second nature.

  1. Pay attention. Observe the things your teen is doing and give praise for the positive actions that deserve it.
  2. Be genuine in your praise. Your teen will be able to tell if you are not communicating your actual feelings.
  3. Tell them what you like. Begin by telling your teen what you have observed, say that you liked or loved it and then explain why.
  1. Do something nice for your teen. For example, "I thought that since you were working so hard on your exams this week, I would do your chore for you."
  2. Praise in front of others. Tell someone else how well your teen is doing in front of your teen. This can be embarrassing for a teen, so keep it in the family or with close friends.
  1. No 'buts' allowed! You’ll ruin the praise if you add a 'but' on the end of it. Point out the good aspect and skip the criticism, saving that for a time when they really could use it.

More Tips on Giving Teens Praise

Use Praise to Battle Discipline Issues

If you find that you have had to discipline your teen quite often lately, try to find ways to praise them.

  • You may need to look a little harder if they are in a particularly difficult stage, but there should be something that deserves praise.
  • While teens have their ups and downs, good words from you will remind them of the loving foundation you provide.

Avoid Too Much Praise About Their Looks

Try to not praise how your teen looks too often. Also, don't have their appearance be the only subject of your praise.

Teenagers are already very concerned about how they look. If a parent is constantly commenting on it, it can lead to body image issues or worsen those that are already there.

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