Valuing Character in Your Teen

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Being a teen is really hard. We all know that. Our teens are under so much pressure to be the best: the best student, the best athlete, the best musician. The list goes on and on.

It is up to us as parents to encourage those things in our teens that so often get ignored. We need to notice what our teens are good at, where there hearts are drawn, and teach them that THOSE things matter.

Watch your child. Find the ways that they are naturally gifted. Tell them that you notice. Encourage them.

My daughter is talented in many ways and she knows how proud we are of her. Sometimes I forget that her gifts as an athlete or an artist aren’t the most important things about her.

But you know what I noticed the other day? She hates it when people disagree. She hates it when girls gossip about each other. She hates in when the older girls on her volleyball team leave the younger girls out. She is always trying to keep the peace.

She is a peacemaker through and through.

But I had never taken the time to stop and notice it before. I have never looked at her in the eye and said, “I see how good you are at helping people get along. You are a peacemaker. And that is valuable.”

So I did. And I could tell by the way that she responded that it mattered to her that I noticed.

Is your child naturally compassionate? Are they really hardworking? Do they see the needs of others and find a way to meet them? Are they really good at making friends? Are they trustworthy, honest or humble?

Notice those things. Those are the things that matter in the end.

Still stuck in the toddler years? Here’s my advice on preventing toddler meltdowns.

Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net
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