Do you remember your own middle school years? For most of us, it was brutal. Some things never change. Young peers can create, find, and point out all kinds of negative things in ways that are now sometimes defined as “bullying” or “harassment.” But if your home is place of refuge from that craziness, you will be instilling a healthy sense of resiliency that can sustain your kids through the pressure. One way to do this is to take the opposite approach of their peers. . . who are all too quick to point out and celebrate deficiencies. Look for and encourage your teen to develop their God-given gifts and abilities. Complement them on their successes. Point out their strengths. We need to be parents who are encouragers rather than discouragers. And, as we encourage our kids to develop their gifts, remind them of the importance of excellence. Exercising and developing one’s gifts and abilities is ultimately an act of worship. See and celebrate the uniqueness God has placed in your kids.