Filling Your 'Tank' Up With Goodness

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Just as a car must be filled up with gas to run, so a person must be filled up with goodness to be happy. Parents, as the attendants at the home filling station, must give children all they need to become well-adjusted adults and happy individuals.

As a writer, I know, that when all I do is write and never read, I put nothing back into my 'tank.' That makes me unproductive. Teens must be constantly refueled in order to keep their self-esteem up and their doubts and depression down. They also become unproductive or even counter-productive when no one is building them up and putting goodness in their 'tank.'

Adding goodness daily involves 'stroking them' and can most easily be done by catching your teen doing something good. No, I'm not kidding. They do something good every day; find it. Compliment them only if you can be honest about it and sincerely believe they did a good job. Is their performance less than perfect? Use various words to describe the degree of rightness they have achieved. "You almost did your bed perfectly." Or "You did your bed so much better than yesterday." Is more of a compliment than, "You still are not doing your bed correctly." Using a series of degrees to describe where they are in their progress seems kinder than just focusing on the negative.

In addition to 'stroking', you must see to the surroundings of your teen. Not just his physical environment, but his mental and emotional one also. Pleasant, calm, attractive, clean should be reasonable goals that will affect his surroundings. Giving him a chance to experience and enjoy beauty of nature, art and music, cultural diversity, laughter and fun, the gift of helping others, the joy of good relationships, and the reward of work. These are ingredients that help everyone develop a love of life. When you experience these things in a positive way they put 'goodness into your tank.'

The important thing to remember is that if you want to keep your teen happy and help him to grow up with a positive attitude, 'his tank' must be filled daily. Don't forget all the little things that say 'I love you' such as hugs, kisses, pats on the back, notes, tokens, and most of all gifts of your time.

Keep their tanks full and they will be able to proceed on the road of life without too many detours.

Credits: Jo Ann Wentzel

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