Ways to Encourage Your Teens Without Sounding Bossy

It's a tricky thing to encourage your teen without sounding like your overstepping her space or seeming like your trying to tell her what to do. So how do we approach encouragement and have her receive it well?

Here are some ways to encourage your teen without sounding bossy:


  • Listen to them first. Sometimes even with the best intent to bring our teens some valuable insight, we simply lack understanding. Our advice then becomes nagging to them. It no longer is a suggestion but a have-to-do to them. When we can pause from our own agenda and truly listen to where they are at, then our curiosity will determine whether the timing is right.


  • Learn the art of asking questions. Get good at asking questions. Get curious. Ask questions that are pertinent to them. How can we encourage them if we don’t understand what exactly we are encouraging? Now also be keen on how much is too much when asking questions. Our teens are great at conveying their thoughts through their body language.


  • Make it sound like it came from them. When we listen first and ask relevant questions, then through this conversation, self revelations can happen. Your teen will come up with her own solutions. She will get excited over this self discovery through your questions. How amazing is that? The best encouragement you can give is when she discovers her own capabilities and breakthroughs.


  • Pick your battles. Choose to encourage a decision your teen has made. It may not be your best choice for her, but it is a choice that is moving them forward. The more she hears you encouraging her in the choices she is making that are not your favorite, the more she’ll be open to hear other bigger suggestion you may have to say in her life.


Timing and awareness is everything. Your daughter wants to be loved and knows that she belongs.