My teen was recently telling me about one of her friends and how she often talks about her parents don’t like her. My heart broke, as the girl is easy to like and, from my perspective as an outside observer, her parents appear to care about her.
Then, I saw “Won’t You Be My Neighbor?” the documentary about Fred Rogers and Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood. In it, the filmmakers explore the power of him telling children, “
So much of childhood, and adolescence in particular, is about becoming that we forget to let our kids know that there are so many good things about who they are right now, in this very moment.
Tell your kids today that you like them.
It doesn’t have to be a long conversation. While I’m always a fan of face to face, leaving a short note on their bed or sending a quick text will do the trick, too.
Just let them know that you like who they are — right now.
Whether it’s their big heart or sense of humor or enthusiasm or determination or wonderful laugh or thoughtfulness or patience, pick a trait that you like about your child and tell them how you feel.
They need to hear it. Even if they roll their eyes or act like they don’t care, they do.
Not only will it benefit your teens, it can help change your mindset a bit, too. Teens are frustrating (understatement of the century) but focusing on their positive traits increases our good feelings, too, and that helps balance out the negative ones.
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