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15 Ways to Show Our Teens We Care and Love Them

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With critics everywhere and parents being busy in a fast-moving world, our youth crave love, understanding, and support now more than ever. It rests on the adults to show the youth some love and to let them know they’re valued even in their formative stage.

From the comforting hug of a parent to the societal structures that protect and nurture, our actions can sow seeds of love and security in our young ones. It really does take a village, and today’s youth can benefit greatly from the collective care that society and individuals can give.

The goal is to create a brighter, kinder future for all and to help the youth grow into loving, resilient adults. Here are a few ways parents can nurture their youth, particularly teenagers. to feel loved and confident:

1. Hug Them A Lot

Cheerful young woman is embracing her middle aged mother in living room
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They may give you a cringed look when you attempt to hug them (if they’re teenagers), but our youth need hugs (as long as it isn’t forced). Physical affection is a powerful tool in conveying love. A hug can be a source of comfort, a sign of acceptance, and a silent vow of protection.

Encouraging a culture where positive physical touch is normalized can help foster emotional well-being and a sense of belonging among the youth. Many adults today don’t show physical affection because they didn’t receive it. That needs to stop with us, one hug at a time.

2. Discipline with Love

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How do you discipline a youth who may even be taller than you? Disciplining teens is the new rocket science. While discipline is necessary for learning and growth, its execution matters. The discipline you give has to be proportionate to the mistake made. Approach discipline with love and focus on teaching rather than punishing.

Teens will test your limits and question your decisions. Disciplining with love helps youth understand their boundaries without feeling unloved or unsupported. This method strengthens trust and respect, laying the foundation for responsible and mindful adults.

3. Listen to Their Health Concerns

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Youth health, both physical and mental, is paramount. Listening to their health concerns seriously and taking proactive steps, such as regular check-ups or counseling, demonstrates care for their well-being. It’s essential to validate their feelings and reassure them that their health is a priority.

Do not gaslight or dismiss their concerns, as this can prevent them from seeking help in the future. Advocating for youth health shows that we value their overall well-being.

4. Read with Them

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They may have stopped asking for bedtime stories like before, but this doesn’t mean they no longer want to read together with a loving adult. Reading together is an educational tool and a profound way to bond and show love. It indicates a willingness to spend time together, exploring new worlds and ideas.

This practice can instill a love for learning and curiosity about the world. It’s also an excellent way to introduce and discuss tough life topics. Form a book club with your youth and read books they enjoy. Share your thoughts and perspective, and let them share theirs, too.

5. Choose Your Words Carefully

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Words are weighty. Our language with and around our youth can shape their self-image and worldview. Choosing words that uplift, encourage, and affirm can help them grow into confident and positive individuals. Be specific with your compliments so they know you have been paying attention and you mean it.

Do not be unnecessarily harsh or mean, and avoid comparing them to others. Instead, focus on their unique talents and strengths, and let them know you believe in them. Our words can build or break our youth, so choose them wisely. Avoid using hurtful or negative words, as they can have lasting effects. Remember that our words can either build or break a child’s spirit.

6. Support Their Passions

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Their passions and interests may not always make sense to our traditional minds. Teens may not always share their passions and interests with adults, but it’s important to support and encourage them when they do. Whether it’s a sport, hobby, or creative pursuit, show interest in what they love and provide opportunities for them to pursue their passions.

This can help build self-confidence and independence while strengthening the bond between adults and youths. Offer advice and resources when needed, but let them take the lead in pursuing what brings them joy.

6. Forgive Them and Yourself

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Kids will make a lot of blunders, some of them quite silly. Mistakes are part of learning. Showing forgiveness when errors are made teaches youth about grace and resilience. Equally important is forgiving ourselves, demonstrating that perfection is not the goal but continuous improvement and love.

Forgiveness makes a happy society. It provides a haven for youths to make mistakes and learn from them without fear of judgment or rejection. Show them that, no matter what, they are worthy of love and forgiveness.

7. Take Care of the Earth Together

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One of the best ways to show love is to have them inherit an environment that will sustain them. Showing love to our youth also means ensuring they have a healthy planet to grow up on. Engaging in environmental stewardship teaches responsibility towards the earth and instills a sense of agency in improving the world.

Teach them a bit about global warming, how not to trash it, and how to make a difference in their everyday lives. Plant trees, recycle, and reduce waste together. This will also create opportunities for quality time spent with our kids, creating happy memories and a sense of purpose.

8. Love Them for Who They Are

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Growing up is a weird time, and we may not agree with some of the things they choose to be. However, at the heart of showing love is unconditional acceptance. Celebrating their unique qualities and supporting their passions, even if they differ from ours, can empower youth to be authentic.

Guide them from harmful choices, but love them regardless of who they become. This can help build self-esteem and promote healthy relationships with others.

9. Cook Together

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Cooking together is more than just preparing meals; it’s an act of love and a life skill being passed on. It’s an opportunity to share traditions, teach about nutrition, and create lasting memories.

Have special days of the week when they take charge of cooking dinner and enjoy the meal together. This not only helps develop practical skills but also encourages independence and self-sufficiency.

10. Say “I Love You” Every Day

Happy mother talking with her teenager daughter at home
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Never underestimate the power of saying, “I love you.” These three simple words can make a world of difference to a youth’s day. Tell them often and mean it. And more importantly, show them through your actions that you love them unconditionally.

These words can also serve as a reminder to youth that they are loved, valued, and cherished, even on their worst days. Hearing “I love you” from a trusted adult can provide comfort and reassurance during tough times. Make it a habit to say these words.

11. Encourage Their Dreams

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Youth is the time to dream, even when some of those dreams seem out of reach or crazy. Supporting a child’s dreams and aspirations tells them anything is possible. Providing resources, mentorship, and continuous encouragement can help turn their dreams into reality, fostering a spirit of hope and ambition.

Don’t discourage them from dreaming big or choosing unconventional paths. Instead, be their biggest supporter and cheerleader. Let them know you believe in them and their potential to achieve great things.

12. Set Healthy Boundaries

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Don’t barge into their room after knocking, and don’t go through their stuff if they leave them with you (unless you have serious reasons to believe they’re in danger). Teaching youngsters about boundaries protects them and empowers them to respect themselves and others.

They learn the importance of personal space, consent, and mutual respect through healthy boundaries in their relationships. This also shows them you trust and respect them, creating a strong foundation for open communication and healthy relationships.

13. Celebrate Their Successes

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Small or big, celebrate your youth’s successes! Whether it’s getting good grades, overcoming a challenge, or simply being kind to others, acknowledge and praise their accomplishments. This can reinforce positive behavior and boost their self-esteem.

Be specific in your praises, highlighting the effort and qualities that led to their success. This can help build a growth mindset in youth, where they understand that hard work and determination can lead to success.

14. Promote Physical Activity

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Promoting physical activity is vital in an era of increasing screen time. Engaging in sports or outdoor activities improves physical health and mental well-being and teaches the value of perseverance and teamwork.

Get them out of the house and away from their screens. Encourage them to try new activities and find what they enjoy. This can also create opportunities for bonding and quality time spent together while promoting a healthy lifestyle.

15. Lead by Example

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Youth don’t take kindly to “do as I say, not as I do.” Ultimately, the best way to show love and support for youth is to lead by example. Practice self-love, set boundaries for yourself, pursue your passions, and take care of the environment. Youth are incredibly perceptive, and they learn by observing those around them.

Be a positive role model for the youth in your life and show them how to be responsible, caring, and loving individuals. This can inspire them to do the same in their own lives.

16. Teach Financial Literacy

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Unfortunately, we’re letting teens enter the world without critical knowledge, such as managing their money. Providing youth with a foundation in financial literacy prepares them for future success. This is crucial in ensuring they can make informed decisions about their finances.

Educating them on budgeting, saving, and investing will prove invaluable. It will help them make informed financial decisions, fostering independence and security.


20 Strong Words Parents Should Never Say to Their Kids

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Countless adults sitting in a therapist’s office today are grappling with the lasting impact of words spoken by their parents during childhood. Regardless of how you perceive yourself, in your child’s eyes, you are nothing short of the most remarkable thing to happen to them since “skip intro.” This underscores the critical importance of being mindful of what you say to your children, as your words become the small but influential voice in their developing minds.

20 Strong Words Parents Should Never Say to Their Kids

16 Common Phrases Grandparents Should Stop Saying to Their Grandkids

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Do you still remember something your grandparents said that made you uncomfortable? As much as we adore our grandparents, their words (even with good intentions) can sometimes hurt our feelings or are plain embarrassing.

If you are a grandparent, using your words mindfully around your grandkids is as crucial as any other relationship. Words hold immense power and shape our kids’ behaviors and perceptions. 

16 Common Phrases Grandparents Should Stop Saying to Their Grandkids

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