So it’s easy for teens to decide that, “I’m just not good at this,” or, “I don’t have the brain for this.” Then they have an excuse for not trying, or simply avoiding anything that doesn’t come easily.
Show your teen that what matters is effort. If your teen has truly done her best, then she’s a success.
Help your teen do her best by:
• Asking the right questions. Don’t ask, “What grade did you get?” Instead, try, “Tell me about something you had to figure out today.”
• Offering specific praise. “You took the time to do one more draft of your paper. I can see how carefully you worked.”
• Fostering skills. Success breeds success. Can your teen draw? Act? Build things? Spending time at a special talent makes your teen feel good about herself. That feeling can give her the confidence to tackle things that are difficult for her.
• Being realistic. Perhaps you got all A’s in English. Maybe another child is a perfect speller. That doesn’t mean you can expect your teen to do the same. She may study her vocabulary for hours, but just get an average grade.
On the other hand, she may have a great memory for history, or quickly pick up on science concepts. Always expect that she will do well at some things, perhaps not so well at others. Resist comparing her to anyone but herself.
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