Categorized | Opinion

As Expectations Rise, So Will Your Teens

By Mike T. SmithOpen Mike for web

Editor’s Note: The Millington Star will feature columns from local motivational speaker Mike T. Smith. The column Open Mike is geared towards parents and teens and will appear regularly in the publication…
I was recently at the bank making a deposit and I had a short conversation with the teller. It went like this.
Teller: “So what do you do for a living?”
Me: “I’m a youth motivational speaker and an author.”
Teller: “Youth? Like teenagers?”
Me: “Yes ma’am.”
Teller: Scoffs “Why do you even bother? Do you enjoy wasting your time?”
Her reaction surprised me but it didn’t surprise me. Yeah I know, it was one of those moments. I could only imagine her experience with the young people in her life if she carried that same attitude towards them. The truth is that people tend to live up to the expectations that you give them. If you don’t expect much from them or you even expect them to fail or mess things up it will show in your attitude and the way you interact with that person. However if you treat them like you trust and believe in them then that too will show in the way you interact with them. You increase the chances of success early on.
We’ve all had that manager at work that acted like no one could be trusted. He or she questioned everything and everyone. Sometimes even accusing people of wrongdoing when they had no evidence to support it,  and those are the managers that usually get all of their office supplies stolen. Teenagers are no different. If we act like they can’t be trusted and they’ll never be good for anything then they won’t see any reason to even bother trying. Just like your difficult manager at work that probably made you lose the will to even put forth the effort.
It’s hard enough to be a teenager, so show them that you believe in them and see what happens. They may surprise you. Even better it may be the small boost that they needed to set them on the right path.
Mike T. Smith is a youth motivational speaker and author based out of Bartlett. For more info on Mike you can ask his mom or visit Go to the site, his mom’s phone is never charged. Email him at

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August 2014
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