This week’s blog post is by Brad Wright, Compass Rose’s Campus Chaplain. To learn more about Brad, click here.

The idea of starting to blog was easier for me when people said, “You can do it,” and, “You will be great at this.” I know as an adult, I work better with positive affirmations instead of negative words. What if they had responded with, “They asked you to do what?” or, “Nobody wants to read what you have to say.”

It’s the same for our teens. They are starving for positive affirmations from parents, teachers, coaches and peers. Here are five ways you can provide positive personal affirmation on a daily basis:

#1 Use build-up statements
Use your words to build up instead of tear down. Before your teen leaves for school, tell her things like, “I know you will do great today on your test.” If she is trying out for a sport or auditioning for a play, let her know you are proud of her no matter what.

Kids are no different from us: We want to hear positive things from our employers, and kids want to hear positive things from the people who are closest to them. Try it tomorrow — you will be great at this!

#2 Be positive
Sometimes, a parent needs to remain positive even when the teen is not. This can be difficult on many levels. Ask yourself the following question: Are you positive when you receive bad news or something doesn’t go your way? No? Guess who has been watching all of these years — your teen. Be positive and remain calm when listening to her complaints. The worst thing mom or dad can do is to jump on board with a negative attitude that only fuels the fire. Be positive!

#3 Encourage instead of discourage
This common scene at ball games drives me nuts: kids trying as hard as they can and a parent or coach ripping them for not trying hard enough. Always start with an encouraging word before going over the negative things the teen has done. It takes 10 encouraging or positive things to offset one discouraging or negative comment. Be an encourager!

#4 Make truth statements
Don’t lie to your kids. Tell them the truth with kindness. (This can be more difficult if you are raising girls. I have two daughters, 20 and 16 — experience has taught me the kindness part.) Here are two examples:

“Dad, how does this look?” I can answer, “Go back to your room and cover yourself with a sweater!” or I can say, “Are you sure that’s the best option for tonight?” One option opens the door for communication, and the other just leaves the door slamming in my face.

“Dad, did I do a good job tonight at the game?” I can say, “No, you were terrible, and you have to do such and such to improve,” or I can say, “It wasn’t your best game, but I’m still proud of you.” I didn’t lie in either example; I just chose truthful words with kindness.

#5 Be creative with daily affirmations

  • Leave them Post-it notes with encouraging words.
  • Write a positive note on their bathroom mirror with eye liner or washable markers.
  • Text an encouraging word from scripture. My favorites are Jeremiah 29:10-14 and Philippians 4:13.
  • Buy a small chalkboard/dry erase board, and put it up in the house where they can see it —regularly write encouraging words or congratulations.
  • Use sidewalk chalk and leave a positive message on the sidewalk.
  • Write them hand-written notes.

Take advantage of every opportunity to give positive affirmation to your teens. You may be the only person today that will affirm them.

To learn more about how best to support your teen with daily positive affirmations, contact us today. And check back for Part II of “The Power of Positive Affirmation — Scriptural Affirmation.”