Why Praise is Important for Teen Growth

Everyone needs a little positive reinforcement from time to time. For teenagers who are at a vulnerable stage of life, frequent words of encouragement are key to developing self-confidence and the motivation to succeed. Words of encouragement from someone they love can also teach a teen the value of recognizing someone’s worth. Here’s a closer look at how praise can help your teen become a self-assured and empathetic individual.

It Improves Their Confidence

teen confidence

Image Credit: Lechon Kirb

High school can be a trying time for a kid’s self-esteem. They’re tested mentally and socially by teachers, class exams and fellow students. The learning process involves making a lot of mistakes on the way to success. That’s why it’s so important to recognize when they do succeed, and to reassure them of their value when they don’t.

Teaching your teen to believe in themselves will make them more resilient. They won’t beat themselves up as much when they fail, and it’ll be easier for them to get back on the horse.

It Teaches Them Empathy

teen empathy

Image Credit: Jenelle Ball

There are some misconceptions about how praising a child can make them self-centered or vain. In fact, thoughtfully made comments that recognize your teen’s good qualities will make them feel closer to you and help them feel comfortable in other interpersonal relationships.

Receiving kindness makes people want to show kindness in turn. By praising your teen, you’re actually filling them with goodwill. When your teen receives compliments when they’re feeling down, they’ll be more likely to relate to their peers who are struggling by paying your compliments forward.

If you celebrate their successes, they’ll feel less envious when others do better than them. Even if they don’t have the best marks in class, they’ll know and value their own skills.

It Makes Them Want to Try Harder

teen motivation

Image Credit: Kalen Emsley

When teens feel good about their accomplishments, it makes them want to work harder and achieve even more. It’s important to instill in them a sense of pride so that they aren’t working solely to please you, but to make themselves proud.

Focus your compliments on the qualities and skills in your teen that you think they should admire and continue to develop—work ethic, compassion, curiosity. Instead of congratulating them on a good grade, tell them how proud you are of the effort they put into their schoolwork.

Your encouragement will help your teen to feel loved, and to love themselves. The praise you give them will show them that it’s okay to feel good about themselves and that they have the power to make other people feel just as good.

Feature Image: Roberto Nickson