More Tips for the Tips – For Military Families with Teens #86

Tip #86 – Compliment

Everyone needs encouragement and praise.  Teens need it even when they appear to not be listening or shrug it off.  Military teens can have a lot of additional responsibilities (due to moves, deployments, training, re-integrations, etc.) and they need even more acknowledgement and praise.  It is important to them that we notice the big and the little things they do every day.  I think if most of us were honest, we wouldn’t want to go back to the days of our early teens – the days before we could drive, had to ask permission to go anywhere, had limits on where we could go, little privacy, school, family responsibilities, etc.  It is a tough time for anyone and I believe that giving a little praise every day can make a big difference in how they are feeling and give them some perspective on their thinking.  What you consider a triumph or great accomplishment, they may have seen it as a failure or insignificant.

Suggestions:

* Do it at different times of the day and in different ways  – if you say and do the same thing it will seem less genuine

* Be descriptive about the compliment so they know exactly why you are giving them the compliment

* Be specific as teens have the bad habit of misinterpreting or putting a negative spin on it at times – the more specific you are the less likely they are to be able to dispute it

* Challenge your teen(s) to compliment other people each day

* Do not say something that you don’t truly believe – teens are like CSI detectives and will know when you aren’t being honest and then all of your genuine compliments will no longer be believed

* Don’t use compliments to get something – the compliment should stand alone and require nothing in return

* Acknowledge the additional responsibilities they have taken on (if a family member is absent, injured, moving, etc.)

For more information about our books, blogs and resources go to: http://www.whileyouwereaway.org

To submit a tip write to: megan@whileyouwereaway.org

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