Your preteen might act nonchalantly toward you. But what you think about him matters a lot to him.

To feel good about himself, he needs your encouragement, acceptance and approval.

Make sure you take time this summer to show your child a little encouragement. Try some of these things:

  • Thank your child.
  • Ask for his opinion.
  • Say, “I agree.”
  • Smile.
  • Give a hug.
  • Give a pat on the back.
  • Listen and repeat what he says.
  • Give your child a challenge, saying you know he can do it.
  • Be really interested in what your child does.
  • Spend time together.
  • Laugh at your child’s stories and jokes.
  • Refrain from criticizing.
  • Ask for your child’s help.
  • Ask how you can help.
  • Note how your child is unique and special.
  • Say when you’re impressed.
  • Let your child overhear you bragging about one of his accomplishments.
  • Trust your child.
  • Let him make decisions.
  • Mention small efforts.
  • Don’t bring up past problems.
  • Remember successes.
  • Accept your child as he is.
  • Tell your child, “We all make mistakes.”

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