A Message from Parents to Teens: “You’re an extraordinary human being.”
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A Message from Parents to Teens: “You’re an extraordinary human being.”

“You’re an extraordinary human being.”

These words were spoken to me by a peer recently. Throughout the day those words continued to chime in my ear.

They were not just a casual compliment but a profound acknowledgment of my heart. At that moment, I felt a validation that surpassed any material gain.

It made me ponder the impact of such statements and how we, as parents, can foster this sense of worth in our teenagers. In a world that often measures worth by superficial standards, our teens must understand their inner selves and values.

As parents, we have the privilege and responsibility to affirm their worth and guide them in recognizing their own extraordinary potential. By doing so, we set them on a path of self-acceptance and prepare them to face life’s challenges confidently.

The Power of Affirmations for Teens

The school year has closed for many, and now teens are in between grades, schools, or off to start a career. In these moments, affirming words are deeply needed.

Adolescence is a challenging time. Between the ages of 10 and 17, teens undergo immense changes physically, emotionally, and socially. Family dynamics shift, friendships evolve, and they start to grapple with their mental health. It’s a period when they often feel misunderstood.

As parents, our role is not just important, it’s crucial. We have the power to affirm their worth and guide them through these turbulent years.

For me, the statement “You are an extraordinary human being” was not just a compliment, but a powerful declaration. It resonated deeply within my being, acknowledging and pronouncing my core values beyond achievements or social status.

For teens, it can be all this and more.

Teens are in the midst of forming their identities and such a declaration can shape their self-perception and boost their self-worth. It can also teach teens their worth is inherent and not solely based on external achievements.

Setting Up for Extraordinary Words

Before we even discuss how to affirm teens, parents must first recognize the importance of investing in their teens. Parents should cultivate an extraordinary mindset in teens.

When parents foster an environment of growth and self-belief, they set their teens up for the extraordinary. Parents can do this by modeling self-compassion to their teens and showing them how to be kind to themselves.

Parents can also encourage growth by emphasizing its value. They can let their teens know that making mistakes is part of the journey to becoming extraordinary.

When to Affirm Teens

After helping foster teens’ sense of confidence and self-worth, parents can start looking for the ideal moments to affirm them. While affirmations are always good, it’s especially impactful to say them in these instances:

  • During transitions: Whether it’s the end of a school year, moving from middle school to high school, or preparing for college, these transitions are perfect moments to affirm teens’ worth. These are times of uncertainty and self-doubt; words can provide the confidence they need.
  • After efforts and struggles: Recognize and affirm their efforts, not just their successes. Whether they’ve tried hard in their studies, navigated a difficult friendship, or managed a personal challenge, acknowledging their perseverance is critical.
  • In daily interactions: Simple, everyday interactions are the perfect opportunities to affirm teens. Let them know you see their kindness, efforts, and unique qualities.

How to Affirm Teens

And when parents find themselves in a moment perfect for affirming teens, I have a few tips on how to do so effectively:

  • Be specific: General compliments are good, but specific affirmations are better. Instead of just saying “You’re extraordinary,” point out particular actions or traits. For example, you can say, “I was really impressed with how you helped your friend through a tough time. That shows incredible empathy and strength.”
  • Be sincere: Teens can sense insincerity. Ensure affirmations are genuine and heartfelt. Take the time to observe and appreciate their small, everyday activities.
  • Encourage self-reflection: Help teens recognize their own worth by encouraging self-reflection. Ask them what they are proud of and what they think makes them unique.

Remember, the words we speak to our teens can shape their self-perception and future. Let’s use our words wisely, ensuring they know that they are, indeed, extraordinary human beings.

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