How Much Appreciation Do Teenagers Need?
It`s almost common knowledge the fact that the relationship parents-children can be considered the most important one between the relationships that can generally form between people. Besides the fact that it`s a definitive and indestructible connection, it should also be the strongest possible link between people. Nothing in this world compares with a successful relationship based on love and respect, as the connection between parents and children is. Or at least, this should be the case when the child turns into a teenager. But we all know that this isn`t always the case, right?
For such a relationship to be successful, there`s a lot of effort and patience required from both the teenager and his parents. It`s crucial for each of them to become aware and also understand their position, what are the conditions that must be met, as well as the boundaries that must not be overcome.
Most adults have a tendency to underestimate teenagers, accustomed to their position until then, when they needed their help to accomplish whatever they wanted to do. Still, from this particular age, the abilities start to be well defined, actions have stronger motivations, and the adolescent starts to need more appreciation. Let`s discuss together the need for appreciation of the teenager, the effects when there`s no appreciation coming from his parents and the ways in which the appreciation can be offered.
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What Is Appreciation & Why Do We Need It?
Appreciation may have lots of meanings, depending on what person discusses it. We can name appreciation a teacher`s praise towards the student who learned the lesson, the admirable look of one of the parents when looking at their son`s drawing, the comments of the readers on a blog article, etc. The most frequent form of appreciation is simply saying “thank you” or “I like it.” The way everyone express their appreciation depends on the subject in question and the person`s character.
On the other hand, the need for appreciation represents a notion that is less idealistic and much more complex that we notice at first glimpse, which contributes in a lot of ways to our own development as a human being, as a complex of character traits, values and philosophies.
One way or another, every one of us (meaning humans) needs appreciation. In the attempt of supporting this idea, we`ll use an example of real life that should help you understand that appreciation is an instinctive necessity, a way of making the world better, as it`s at the basis of the construction of each of us. The example in this case will be a dog. We all love dogs, but we can all agree that trained dogs like us better than wild ones, right? Imagine that you`ve just received a small puppy as a gift and you want to train it on your own. For this to happen, you`ll need lots of patience and a reward. The reward is your way of appreciation, when the dog will perform the required command. So, the next time when the dog will make your command, he`ll do it because he`s interested in your “appreciation,” and not because this is what it wants.
Maybe the analogy between teenagers and dogs isn`t the best example, but as the teacher of psychology told us when being in school, the term is strictly used in the case of people. In one word, the reward (appreciation) is what stays at the basis of education, the engine that makes the brain to remember ideas and movements.
In fact, try to remember the last moment when you got a praise, maybe from your boss at work! Did you tried to do things the same to receive another appreciation? How well did you feel when you heard him saying that he appreciates you? It`s exactly the same way with your teenager when he gets a sign of gratitude, praise or a thank you. If you think about it for a second, the entire world works based on appreciation. We see people who consume their entire lives in the attempt of creating a career, we notice the eyes of the child looking for his mother`s approval when he thinks he done something good or we see performance athletes who spend entire days in the training room or at the gym to get the public`s attention and appreciation. – More details!
So, it`s practically the appreciation which puts in motion the entire society of our days, and if you want your child to be well educated, don`t abstain from offering your appreciation even since infancy. Among the countless responsibilities that parents have for their children is also the one of covering the need of appreciation.
Teenagers Need to Learn How to Cooperate
As an adolescent, it`s very important to maintain yourself on a straight line, meaning to be careful to maintain control of the behavior under so many temptations and to know how to say “NO” to the negative influences of the entourage, to avoid mistakes that go over certain limits and which may cause big problems.
Here is where the parent comes into play, who must be the constant support of the adolescent and who will supervise the behavior of his teenager. We don`t talk here about a constant control, stressful and suffocating, but rather a supervision from the shadows, with a certain care, patience and work of persuading on what the teenager should do and how to behave. The adolescent needs confidence in himself, the trust of his own parents and, especially their affection and love.
It`s all about a strong education that must be provided to a teenager even from his childhood, puberty and continued now when he`s almost an adult.
Avoiding Reactivity Is the Key!
The main key of an adequate behavior is not to react in a violent manner to the reaction of the teenager, but rather to listen to it, to observe it so you can better understand what the teenager is in fact trying to say, what he wants for you to hear. When we become reactive, we most often lose the attention we need to provide him, we become preoccupied with what we think and feel, and the reaction we have no longer agree with what the teenager needs at that particular time. We need to learn how to be more present when an adolescent feels a discomfort, he`s either sad or angry, disappointed or fearful, in order to answer to his needs. This should be the effort of a parent, no matter if sometimes is successful and other times not. You shouldn`t feel discouraged. In fact, you need to maintain your confidence that on another occasion you`ll know to make an effort to listen to your teenager and observe than to react negatively to something you don`t agree with.
You should also avoid as much as you can to punish or sanction him with something like “No tablet for a week!” or “You won`t go out with your friends this weekend!” He`ll most likely develop a grudge with you and he`ll probably won`t understand what you are actually trying to do. Instead, try to listen to what he has to say and reply to him in an argumentative manner. Also, try to avoid as much as possible to express your own emotions to him, like “You upset me!” or “You disappointed me!” It`s not the time to make him focus on what you feel right now.
Effects of Lack of Appreciation from Parents
So, until now, things are clear – appreciation is essential. But what happens when there`s no appreciation to be taken into consideration. Probably simply what happens when you take one of the important components of a unit: the other parts don`t function well anymore. Just the same happens with the adolescent and the adult that he becomes later: he`ll be defective and won`t function properly.
To better explain the effects of lack of appreciation, we`ll use one of the favorite TV shows from the U.S., “In Treatment.” Alex, an airplane pilot, after an episode which triggered his depression, he decides to break up with his wife after more than 20 years of being married, simply because she scratched her teeth (actually, he felt she`s too good for him and he looked for defects to make her look imperfect). Then in full treatment, he decides to return to flying airplanes, when he commits suicide. In the end, his father appears in the movie, a shy man when it came to manifesting his emotions, very tough as a character, who asked himself: “I wonder if he thought he wasn`t good enough for me?” Although this is just a movie, there are many cases in reality that could be compared with this one.
There are often people who try to go over their limits, only to receive other people`s appreciation. These are people who are unsure of themselves and their own abilities, who have always something to prove. Some of them are also violent people who are always trying to prove their own superiority through the power of the speech or even their fists. In the end, unsatisfied with their own performances, they blame those around them or the society for their mistakes and inability to evolve. What is the common factor in all these cases? Lack of appreciation from parents, which generated a whole bunch of frustrations over the years and a continuous fight for a better position. Try to think for a moment, you most likely know at least one model of such a person. Now take another moment and think whether or not you want your teenager to be the same.
Appreciate His Efforts, not your Expectations!
The verbal appreciation of the teenager needs to always be for his efforts and progresses that he does and less, or very rarely, for his results. This is the way we encourage the development of your children and teach them how to tolerate discomfort and efforts and difficult situations, and decrease the risk of appearance of fear of failure. – Click this page!
As a parent, the correct approach that we need to have will be related to the teenager, not with the parent`s needs, meaning that instead of “I`m proud of you,” an appreciation that is more about my need as a parent to feel good, we can express something like “I`m glad to see you satisfied with yourself.” This way, the teenager understand that he has our support even when he`s wrong and he won`t be afraid that he loses our appreciation.
How Much Appreciation Do Teenager Need?
The methods of appreciation vary depending on the imagination`s limits. From the regular “thank you” to a praise or gift, each has its share in the teenager`s life. So, let`s not go over the details of these methods, because so far you probably know what`s best for your child. Instead, let`s raise a different question: when does appreciation become harmful?
As you may already got used, we`ll give another example: perhaps you already know someone whose abilities in a specific field are rather limited, but he still continues to stubbornly claim that he`s able to do a specific thing. Or you probably met some children that you noticed they are spoiled. Or snobbish people have you ever met? As you may already know, the issue with all these examples is that they got too much appreciation when they were little, so they formed a false image regarding their own limits.
The solution of this dilemma is quite simple: reward your child when he indeed does something special. There are many cases in which the child is considered “very smart” just because he know his way around a computer. We live the moment in which the lack of knowledge regarding a computer is considered illiteracy, so a child who knows how to use it is a normal child, not “extraordinary.” Instead, he can be considered “extraordinary” a child who takes of his room every day without needing his parents to tell him, because we all know what is the degree of responsibility in young ages. In one word, the level of appreciation they`ll offer to the child as well as the results that will be obtained will depend on the level of education of the parents.
Overall, we`ll invite you to make an insight: are your standards too high and, thus, the appreciations which you offer to your child aren`t so many or they lack genuine emotion? Or are your standards too low and you build a statue to your child, thus preventing him to a better quality of life? No matter the answer, you need to have faith that you`ll succeed in finding the ideal share of appreciation you can offer him, so you can be able to build a wonderful man out of him!