I am so grateful for my mom friends who are a step ahead of me in the parenting journey and have reached back to encourage me with their wisdom and experience. Someone all parents of teenagers can be encouraged by is Kari Kampakis. She is the author of a wonderful new book, Love Her Well: 10 Ways to Find Joy and Connection with Your Teenage Daughter. I have read this book twice cover to cover and have been recommending to fellow teenage moms friends this summer. So of course I am honored that Kari is guest posting on DoSayGive.com today!
Today Kari is sharing “what to say” phrases that speak life into teenagers. And don’t we want to do that? Speak encouragement and truth into our teenagers who are facing so many pressures and uncertainties right now. This list is something you might want to print out and tuck away. Thank you, Kari!
I have a confession: If I had to choose one audience to write for – adults or teenagers – I would choose teenagers.
Why? Because they’re easier to influence. They are moldable in ways that adults are not.
In short, adults are hard to change. We are more set in our ways, our beliefs, and our mindsets. Children, on the other hand, are still forming their identities and mindsets. They are what parenting expert Haim Ginott once called “wet cement.”
Right now, if you are raising or influencing teenagers, you have a window of opportunity that won’t always exist. Their concrete is still wet; their hearts and minds are still open. They are being deeply influenced by the people they know, the words they hear, and the events that shape them.
As they grow up, their cement will harden. Their early impressions will solidify and set the stage for their self-perception and worldview. We all want the best for the next generation, and that is why it’s worth considering the marks we leave on their identities and mindsets as we parent them, coach them, teach them, guide them, and impact their lives.
Following is a list of phrases that I believe speak life to teenagers:
- “How can I pray for you this week?”
- “You can do hard things. I believe in you.”
- “You are a gift. Know your worth and never settle for a bad relationship.”
- “I love you, and nothing you do or tell me can make you lose my love.”
- “Thank you for making good choices. I know it’s not easy.”
- “Have a vision for your life, and make choices that help you get there.”
- “I’m so thankful God chose me as your mom. I’d take a hundred kids like you.”
- “God has a great plan for your life, and today is just one chapter in a much bigger story.”
- “You are enough. You have nothing to prove.”
- “These are the strengths I see in you.”
- “Do your best – and leave the results to God.”
- “You only get one body in life, so be kind to it. Make healthy choices that help you feel strong and good about yourself.”
- “You have the rest of your life to drink. Don’t rush it.”
- “Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. There are times in life when we observe, not participate. If people start doing things you don’t agree with, leave.”
- “You won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s OK. At the end of the day, what matters most is pleasing God and carrying out His purpose for you. Do that and the right people will enter your life.”
- “Set a high bar for yourself, and remember that you and your peers are better than the lifestyle this world pushes on teenagers.”
- “You have the world telling you what’s wrong with you. I want you to tell you what’s right with you.”
- “Trust your gut. If something doesn’t feel right or someone gives you a funny vibe, there’s usually a reason. Listen to your instincts and distance yourself.”
- “Make it your goal to bless people, not impress people.”
- “Be a leader.”
- “Be a light.”
- “Be kind.”
- “Live for your audience of One.”
- “My life is an open book, if there is anything I can share that might help you, I will. I want you to learn from my mistakes.”
- “You are too smart to be making poor choices. That isn’t who you are or who you’re going to be. I’m very upset and disappointed about what you did, but I still love you.”
- “You always have a choice. Think for yourself and make choices that give you peace.”
- “This mistake is part of your story, not the end of your story. Right your wrong, ask God to forgive you, and move on.”
- “How did you feel after making that choice? What would you do differently next time?”
- “What will your recovery be? How will be respond to this disappointment/heartache?”
- “I get it. I get stressed out/jealous/sad/angry too.”
- “Be wise when choosing who to listen to. Not everyone deserves a voice in your life.”
- “I’m proud of you – not because of your accomplishments, but because of who you are.”
- “Never give up on yourself or God.”
Kari Kampakis is a mom of four girls, author, speaker, and blogger from Birmingham, Alabama. Her new book for moms, LOVE HER WELL: 10 WAYS TO FIND JOY AND CONNECTION WITH YOUR TEENAGE DAUGHTER, can be found everywhere books are sold. Kari’s books for teen & tween girls – LIKED and 10 ULTIMATE TRUTHS GIRLS SHOULD KNOW – have been used widely across the country for small group studies. Join Kari on Facebook, Instagram and the Girl Mom Podcastor visit karikampakis.com