A young woman revealed the parenting hack that her mother would use on her when she was a teenager.
In a TikTok video, content creator Dani Castañeda stitched a video of an unnamed woman talking about the specific way that her mother made sure she stayed out of trouble as a teen.
She explained that her mom used positive reinforcements and manifestation to help her stay out of trouble.
In the clip from the interview, the young woman recalled something her mother had told her years after her teenage adolescence about how she would use manifestation to almost trick her into being good and never getting into any trouble.
"I remember throughout high school, she would be like, 'Oh, I have such a great teenager. She gives me no problems. She doesn't have an attitude. She doesn't do bad things,'" she admitted. Her mother would constantly tell friends and family that she got "lucky" with her daughter and her behavior was more than great all of the time.
However, her mother actually did this on purpose after reading a book about how beneficial it is to enforce that your teenager is a good person because then they will actually try to be one and want to live up to the compliments given by their parents.
"They're going to hold themselves to that standard," she continued. Her mother even pointed out that all of her daughter's friend's parents who would constantly berate their teens and claim they were "bad" were only fueling their teens to act out, have more of an attitude, sneak out, or drink underage.
"And me, I was like, 'Oh, my mom says I'm a good teenager. I'm gonna do everything right,'" she concluded.
In overlay text on the video, Castañeda praised the mom for being able to "crack the teen code," writing, "It's like speaking 'positivity to a plant' — speak into your child's existence just how amazing you know they are! They'll reach for the standard you set for them."
Encouraging good behavior and speaking highly of your child can aid in their self-confidence and behavior.
At the heart of this mother's parenting approach is the concept of manifestation — the idea of speaking positive qualities into an individual so those qualities will eventually become engrained into their personality. By consistently reinforcing the image of her daughter as being a well-behaved, responsible, and respectful teenager, the mother sought to shape her daughter's self-perception and aspirations.
According to a report published published in PLOS Computational Biology, British researchers found that adolescents focus well on positive incentives. It suggests that “in some cases, positive feedback may have more of an effect than negative feedback on learning” in adolescents.
It makes sense that parents expressing faith in their teenager's capabilities and character can provide them with the appropriate space needed to flourish. However, it's important to note that what works for one parent-teenager dynamic is not guaranteed to work for all.
Every parent wants to think highly of their child and equally wants the best for them, but putting your teenager on a pedestal can almost put too much pressure on them to be good all of the time.
It can create unrealistic expectations for a teenager to maintain a picture-perfect image for the sake of receiving their parents' acceptance, which can often lead to mental and emotional exhaustion.
Teenagers might feel the need to excel in academics, sports, extracurricular activities, and social relationships to constantly validate this insanely high pedestal they've been put on, and that isn't fair for young adults who are simply trying to figure life out.
In the end, just being able to communicate with your teenager could be more than enough to help set boundaries and explain to them the expectations for behavior. Rather than trying to shield teenagers from the realities of life, educate them about potential risks and consequences associated with harmful activities.
Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.
This article originally appeared on YourTango