Tell them "You're a pretty little girl" or "You are such a strong boy" or "I am glad you are my daughter" and it is just good for their soul.
Teenagers need them.
They need them from their parents and their friends.
"I value your friendsip" does wonders... or "I care about you" or "It is nice to know you" are all mild ways of afffirming that people in your circle of family or friends are different to you than just any old people driving past in a car.
Something teenagers (and other people who may be insecure in their interaction with you for whatever reason) sometimes do to get affirmation that they may need (so they don't feel like just a fly buzzing around your head) is to say something like this: "I don't want to bother you" or "You don't care about me" (Actually my daughter does this when I scold her.) I think you call this a slow pitch... or maybe fishing. She could just as easily ask me straight out "Do you care about me?" But slow pitches and fishing are OK. She is revealing to me a vulnerability that she has about my affection for her. What kind of cruelty would I be inadvertantly displaying to her if I did not answer such a plea for my reassurance that she is someone worthy of my time?
Adults aren't any different.
Labels: humanistic relational thoughts