Updated: Jul 26
As parents and partners, it is essential to remember that the only way to encourage positive behaviour is to emphasize positive behaviour.
Try to picture it this way: you are at work and you are trying your best to do a good job and hope someone will recognize your efforts, but your boss keeps reminding you how you missed a deadline last month, or year, or came in late, reminding you of your shortcomings, rather than encouraging your efforts; It must feel disempowering and it also damages the relationship you have with your boss; builds resentment, and not only discourages you from doing better, it actually makes you feel like you will never achieve their standards, so why try?
As teens, even the highest achieving students need extra time, or make mistakes, or socialize, even forget assignments! It’s best to investigate the barriers, allow for a chance to make it right, and move on and past this. Try this at home: use constant reminders of the steps to make it right and how to continue to improve, such as, “how can you use your time more efficiently next time?” or, “let’s get you organized, what do you need?” or “how can I help you do better this time?” This eases the stress and panic and it’s an ideal setting where one can learn and grow. Everyone wants to do well. No one wakes up thinking, “let’s mess this day up!” and the same goes for teens.