Teaching Pride and Humility to a Teenager- can it be done?

Some people do their jobs well. When a job is well done, it should be praised, right? That’s what we teach our children. Work ethic. When you actually get into the work place, though, it doesn’t go like that.

You are expected to do your job. Not for accolades, praise, or any other reason, other than you are doing what you get paid to do. Praise is/might be given for going the extra mile. Doing something extraordinary. Otherwise, you are just doing your job.

The problem is one of pride and humility. I have to practice ‘catching my teenager doing something good’. Sometimes it is very difficult. We’ve snagged a rough patch, a period of adjustment. We are trying to teach him work ethic, but it isn’t sinking in. I know what the problem is, kinda.

I don’t think you deserve praise for just doing your job. I don’t want praise for just doing my job. I want it for the extra mile. Right now, the extra mile isn’t much, but usually it is something that surprises my hubby or kids. Something that makes them feel special for my having done it.

But I don’t like getting praise for simple things. I do what I do, because it needs to be done. That’s what my kiddo needs to learn. Not all jobs are glorious, but they need to be done. Then you let the extra mile come out. I need to find where his pride is. What makes that kid proud? What makes him feel like he shines? Then, I need to get him there, often.

It’s going to be a challenge. His mom isn’t proud of much. Maybe that’s the problem. I am proud of my children. I am proud of the progress they make. I am proud of my husband, and his attempts to grow into who he needs to be. I am proud of the magic, that makes my house a place to just be. Strangely enough, I do not take pride in my knitting or my writing. They are all things that NEED to be done. I’m a perfectionist, and I haven’t hit the point at which I’m satisfied with what I am doing. It’s all a work in progress.

I don’t do humility. A thing is done or not. Very black and white, with little grey. I can’t teach humility, it isn’t in my vocabulary. But it is the opposite of pride. Call me a conundrum, because in order to teach something, you have to be able to understand and teach the opposite. Take pride in what you do, but be humble in accepting praise. It is an area I don’t do well in. How am I going to teach him, when I can’t or don’t know how to accept praise or encouragement? Maybe I will have to learn something, as well.

There is nothing like parenting a puzzle, and a mother’s job is never done.

At this point, I am going to put in one little thing. Thanks for reading. Reading what I write, and everyone else’s. I hope you find what you are looking for. Most of you provide good food for thought, the rest provide a feast. Everyone writes things that make you think, or smile, or shake your head. I’ve enjoyed reading yours, and maybe you’ve enjoyed(?) Reading mine.


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