Your teenager (or child) needs all the kindness, love and encouragement that you can give.
As a parent, you’re probably the most important influence in their life, so it’s up to you to use your influence to coach their growth, encourage their self-awareness and build their self-esteem.
Consider these ideas for things you can do to make your teen feel special and see if you can invent some strategies of you own.
Everyday Practices to Make Your Teen Feel Special
Habits and rituals that become part of your routine family life will have the deepest impact. Even on your busiest days, you’ll be able to show your teen/child how much you care just by doing your ordinary activities.
integrate these practices into your regular routines…
Often times we say no without really thinking about it.
Decide where you can give your teens some freedom.
Let them take some reasonable risks – they are gonna fail sometime!
Isn’t it better that they fail the first few times in a safe environment with you?
Give them a chance to make their own choices – the lessons they learn from it will set them up to succeed in life.
Watch for the signs when your teenager wants/needs to talk.
Share their excitement even if the subject is video games or a movie you’ve both watched a hundred times.
Get Invested in what they are invested in.
respect their struggles.
Being a teen is really tough. Sometimes we forget how hard it was. Their struggles are very real and very important to them.
Respect what they’re going through.
Physical Touch helps you bond and is thought to enhance a child’s brain development.
When our children are young we give them hugs and kisses on the regular!… when they are teenagers we need to be more strategic with our physical affection.
Each teen is different so be sensitive to their needs, but remember that touch is very important even as teenagers.
A passing touch on the shoulder, a random quick squeeze in a light-hearted way, or a big celebration hug on a special occasion are ways to stay in touch and keep feeding them the love they need.
cheer them on.
Let them know that you’re proud of them for their character, their talents and their efforts.
It’s good to reward talent but you will see amazing fruit from rewarding their character = who they are vs what they do.
Tell them how much you admire their ability to [work hard] or [skateboard].
Applaud them for completing their assignments or carrying packages for an elderly neighbour.
do their hobbies with them.
Have you ever sat on the floor and played the Xbox with your teen?
Do you have a musician? Maybe you can jam together.
A photographer? Take photos together or offer to take them to a place where they can get really good photo’s.
go for a drive.
I found this invaluable to get them talking so that I could help them with whatever they were currently struggling with.
I would strategically plan a long drive with them, let them pick the music, make jokes, buy them a snack if it was straight after school. We would have fun and laugh together, and then, without fail, around the 25 minute mark, the flood gates would open and all the things that they were currently struggling with would come tumbling out…
It is such a beautiful process to be a part of, and it worked every. single. time.
put them in charge of planning an outing.
What a great way to give your teen some safe control and mix things up a bit at home.
Let your teen pick their “ideal outing” and then let them organise it. You’ll be amazed at how well they do and how this will improve your relationship with them.
My teens are now my ‘grown ups’ in their 20’s and I am still doing this… I recently went to the USA with my daughter and I let her plan the whole week that we spent in New York! She did a great job – it was better than I could have ever imagined, not to mention the energy and time it saved me *lol*.
ask for help.
Enlist your teenager’s cooperation and give them a chance to teach you.
Whether it’s getting them to help you with your iTunes account or your computer.. tell them that you appreciate their help.
Sometimes you will see that your teen has been working hard at school or a part time job and they are unusually exhausted or overwhelmed… do one of their chores for them or offer to do it with them.
cook something together.
It’s fun to make a yummy dish of food together, especially one that the whole family will enjoy and appreciate.
Invest an hour, make it fun and happy.
Physical mail is so rare these days that anything you send may seem exceptionally special.
You could write a letter for their birthday or send them a very special gift just to tell them how incredible they are.
celebrate their end of year graduations.
At the end of each year take them out for dinner to send them the message that they did really well at school by passing all their subjects and moving on to their next year.
create traditions together.
Create traditions for Birthdays and Christmas.
Even simple practices like baking a favourite dessert or choosing your favourite dinner can become powerful over the years.
In all that you do remember that your teen/child has a love tank that needs filling.
This love tank is filled by using a very specific love language.
You can get a 2 minute quick read on the 5 Love Languages here.
happy teens. happy life.
Making your teen/child feel loved and respected will help them to grow up to be happy and responsible adults. Treasure your time together and create memories that you’ll both enjoy for years to come.
…if you have any questions, hit me up in the comments below…
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