You may be thinking that’s all we’ve given them in this culture, at least ever since the “self-esteem” movement began decades ago. I’m concerned about empty praise, too. We all get tired of empty praise. (Not so tired of it that we would rather have empty criticism, I’m sure)
If youth want praise more than sex, drugs, and rock and roll, perhaps we could behoove them and build meaningful relationships with them. If we do, then we’ll know them well enough to offer appropriate, meaningful praise.
That’s what they really, really want.