Sometimes what we say and what our kids hear are two different things. Often, it’s hard to know if they could use a little extra encouragement or a little less pressure. Try asking your teenager if they’re pressured or encouraged by you. Use a scale of 1-10, with 1 being not enough encouragement and 10 being too much pressure. Now use the same scale and evaluate yourself…do you encourage your teenager enough or pressure too much?
Chances are you and your student will have different answers. That’s okay! Don’t let it discourage you! Use it as a conversation starter. Afterward consider showing your student how you answered. No need to make it a formal meeting. And, this doesn’t mean that you have to give in when they say, “I want you to bug me less about my math grade”. It simply shows them that you care what they think and it gives you both a way to get on the same page as you move forward.