Which flower describes you preteen?

By Jim Mead on Flickr

By Jim Mead on Flickr

The African Violet, which blooms throughout the year OR

By cobalt123 on Flickr

By cobalt123 on Flickr

The Cereus Cactus which resembles a dead bush most of the year but for one summer night flowers with a glorious scent and then closes forever with the first rays of the morning sun.

There may be days when your child resembles each of these flowers! Most days, they are probably in the middle – “flowering” here and there, off and on. Teens (like plants) benefit from encouragement and support from you. With ongoing reassurance and reinforcement, you can create the conditions for flowering!

Be an eParent®! Post a “way to go” message on your child’s Facebook page when they post an accomplishment.

Encouraging your child means being aware of moments when you can express your affection and appreciation to your child. Be especially on the lookout for times when your teen has done something that deserves a positive comment and encourage him for what he’s done. Sometimes a subtle sign (like a quick wink) does the trick. Other times, a bigger gesture is in order, such as a bear hug. Encouraging your child is especially important when an event doesn’t go as planned. Find aspects of the event to recognize — the effort your child put forth, the time she invested, the people she contacted, etc.

Read about how teens who “friend” their parents online feel closer to them in real life. 

To learn more contact UW-Extension Family Living Programs or like Family Living on Facebook.

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