Quotes About Parenting Teenagers

67 Quotes about Parenting Teens

Published On: March 9, 2024

Parents of teenagers understand the chaotic, beautiful, challenges that come along with raising a teenager. Navigating raising a teenager through highs and lows, closeness and distance, and youth and independence often feels simultaneously overwhelming and rewarding all at once. Making room for these mixed emotions is essential to your resilience as a parent. Many parents express feeling better when they understand they are not alone in their experiences. One way that parents seek this mutual understanding is by reading parenting quotes that resonate with them.

Here are a few quotes about parenting teens to show you you’re not alone. I split them into four categories, including modeling, growing, understanding, and communicating, all of which are important as you raise your teen.

Modeling

Modeling is when parents behave the way they want their teen to behave. It’s important that you are consistently acting in ways that reinforce your values as a family to instill them in your teen.

  • “The most powerful way to change the world is to live in front of our children the way we would like the world to be.” – Graham White
  • “We are the greatest role models of mental and emotional wellness that our child has. They are watching your example more than they are listening to your opinion.” – Sarah Boyd 
  • “Don’t worry that children never listen to you; worry that they are always watching you.” — Robert Fulghum 
  • “When little people are overwhelmed by big emotions, it’s our job to share our calm, not join their chaos.” ― L.R. Knost 
  • “We are apt to forget that children watch examples better than they listen to preaching”. – Roy L. Smith 
  • “The absolute best way to raise kind kids is to be kind parents.” – Galit Breen
  • “If I had to make a general rule for living and working with children, it might be this: Be wary of saying or doing anything to a child that you would not do to another adult, whose good opinion and affection you valued.”—John Holt 

Growing

As your teen is turning into a young adult, it is important that parents support their teen as they transition into a young adult. Parents can support their teen by reinforcing their independence, allowing them room to make mistakes, and understanding that your role as a parent is changing as well. You can also check out this guide on how to confront your emotions when a child heads to college for more help.

  • “The point of parenting is not to have all of the answers before we start out, but instead to figure it out on the go as our children grow. Because as they do, so will we.” – Bridgett Miller 
  • “Teenagers are like the moon – shining brightly one moment, and hiding away the next.” – Diane Mariechild
  • “Parenting teenagers is an exercise in letting go, while holding on with all of your heart.” – Michelle Cruz-Rosado
  • “Kids don’t stay with you if you do it right. It’s the one job where the better you are the more surely you won’t be needed in the long run.” – Barbara Kingsolver 
  • “Raising children who are hopeful and who have the courage to be vulnerable means strapping back and letting them experience disappointment, deal with conflict, learn how to assert themselves, and have the opportunity to fail. If we’re always following our children into the arena, hushing the critics, and assuring their victory, they’ll never learn that they have the ability to dare greatly on their own.” – Brene Brown 
  • “Our go-to as parents is to make everything better. We want to flip on the lights. But our job is to teach our kids that it is okay to be sad and to sit in the dark with them.” – Brene Brown 
  • “Let us all stop being controlled by the fear of disappointing others and let us all learn how to stop perpetuating the cycle of manipulating our children through their fear of disappointing us.” – C. Joybell C 
  • “The gift of faith given to your children will last longer than any monetary gift.” – Eve M. Harrell
  • “Conscious parenting is not about being perfect, it’s about being aware. Aware of what your kids need from you to reach more of their full potential.” – Alex Urbina
  • ”Adolescence is a time of self-discovery, but discovery doesn’t have to mean defiance.” – Gary Ezzo
  • “Teens do need to find out who they want to be, but they should be free to select qualities and values held by their parents as well as those not held by them. In our opinion, reaching adulthood does not require relational tension.” – Gary Ezzo 
  • “Parents need to demonstrate a commitment to an orderly transfer of authority from themselves to their adolescent.” – Kenneth Wilgus 
  • ”For adolescents to be ready for life after high school, they need at least some period of time exercising their own judgment in all aspects of their life while they are still at home, with their parents.” – Kenneth Wilgus 
  • “The goal of disciplining a child is obedience. The goal of disciplining a teenager is responsibility.” – Kenneth Wilgus
  • “At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents.” – Jane D. Hull 
  • “As parents, it’s not our job to toughen up our children to face a cruel and heartless world. It’s our job to raise children who will make the world a little less cruel and heartless.” – L. R. Knost 
  • “Speak with your child as if they are the wisest, kindest, most beautiful humans on earth, for what they believe is what they will become.” – Brooke Hampton 
  • “It is not what you do for your children, but what you have taught them to do for themselves that will make them successful human beings.” ― Ann Landers 
  • “It is one thing to show your child the way, and a harder thing to then stand out of it.” — Robert Breault 
  • “It’s right to talk about motherhood as a wonderful thing, but we also need to talk about its stresses and strains. It’s OK not to find it easy. Asking for help should not be seen as a sign of weakness.” — Kate Middleton 
  • “It’s not only children who grow. Parents do too. As much as we watch to see what our children do with their lives, they are watching us to see what we do with ours. I can’t tell my children to reach for the sun. All I can do is reach for it, myself.” – Joyce Maynard 
  • “Children start out loving their parents, but as they grow older and discover their parents are human, they become judgmental. And sometimes, when they mature, they forgive their parents, especially when they discover they are also human.” – Oscar Wilde 
  • “No parent is always conscious, gentle, positive, peaceful, and authentic. We have to choose to be and practice moment by moment, day after day. The more we practice, the stronger we grow.” – Lelia Schott 
  • “If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort, and keep on learning. That way, their children don’t have to be slaves of praise. They will have a lifelong way to build and repair their own confidence.” – Carol S. Dweck 
  • “Allow children to be happy in their own way, for what better way will they find?” – Samuel Johnson 

Understanding

Teens want to feel understood by their parents. This can be tricky, as teenagers can be difficult to understand at times (hey – they often do not understand why they do certain things, either!). It is crucial that parents aim to understand and collaborate with their teen rather than perceive them as someone who needs to change or be fixed. 

  • “Teenagers are not problems to be solved but individuals to be understood.” – Louise Ames 
  • “Occasionally, it was hard to watch them not measure up to our adult standards, but that discomfort was our problem, not theirs.” – Ben Crawford 
  • “The effective criticism is one that focuses on behavior not on personality… The direct criticism on the boy’s or on the girl’s personality will burn the space that all of the family members will stand on.” – Maryam Abdullah Alnaymi 
  • “What strengthens the bonds between the children and their parents is spreading the fun and humor during family gatherings and times, and enforcing the feeling of every child’s importance to their parents, and giving them the confidence that they will and can face life without falling into the wrong, sin, or guilt.” – Maryam Abdullah Alnaymi 
  • “Embrace your beautiful mess of a life with your child. No matter how hard it gets, do not disengage… Do something – anything – to connect with and guide your child today. Parenting is an adventure of the greatest significance. It is your legacy.” – Andy Kerckhoff 
  • “Decoding (a child’s difficult) behavior is like looking at a rain wrapped tornado crossing the road in front of you. You see the fury of rain, hail, wind and debris, but you have to look real hard to see the driving force behind it.” – Deborah A. Beasley 
  • “Every day, in a hundred small ways, our children ask, ‘Do you see me? Do you hear me? Do I matter?’ This behavior often reflects our response.” – L. R. Knost 
  • “Parents who don’t really listen to their children tend to have children who really don’t listen to their parents.” – L. R. Knost 
  • “Don’t tell your kids, ‘I’m proud of you.’ tell them, ‘You should be proud of yourself’.” — Kristen Welch 
  • “Children do not need us to shape them. They need us to respond to who they are.” — Naomi Aldort 
  • “There’s no way to be a perfect mother and a million ways to be a good one.” ― Jill Churchill 
  • “Parenting shouldn’t feel like a competitive sport. It’s plenty challenging without any added obstacles. Strive to be loving and kind; have the courage to ask for help; take a break when you need it; celebrate all the great stuff; be kind to yourself, and be yourself. That’s who your kid loves anyways.” – Ariadne Brill 
  • “I may not be able to give my kids everything they want, but I give them what they need: love, time, and attention. You can’t buy those things.” – Nishan Panwar 
  • “If there is anything that we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.” – Carl Jung 
  • “Your kids require you most of all to love them for who they are, not to spend your whole time trying to correct them.”- Bill Ayers 
  • “Children are not a distraction from more important work. They are the most important work.” – C.S. Lewis 
  • “The goal of education is not to increase the amount of knowledge but to “Too much love never spoils children. Children become spoiled when we substitute presents for presence.”- Anthony Withman 
  • “It is time for parents to teach young people early on that in diversity, there is beauty, and there is strength.” – Maya Angelou 
  • “So our job as parents is not to make a particular kind of child. Instead, our job is to provide a protected space of love, safety, and stability in which children of many unpredictable kinds can flourish. Our job is not to shape our children’s mind; it’s to let those minds explore all the possibilities that the world allows. Our job is not to tell children how to play; it’s to give them the toys and pick the toys up again after the kids are done. We can’t make children learn, but we can let them learn. – Alison Gopnik 
  • “Parenthood…It’s about guiding the next generation, and forgiving the last.”—Peter Krause 
  • “If you have never been hated by your child, you have never been a parent.”—Bette Davis 
  • “Where did we ever get the crazy idea that in order to make children do better, first, we have to make them feel worse? Think of the last time you felt humiliated or treated unfairly. Did you feel like cooperating or doing better?”—Jane Nelson 
  • “My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person: He believed in me.”—Jim Valvano 
  • “Your kids require you most of all to love them for who they are, not to spend your whole time trying to correct them.”—Bill Ayers 
  • “By loving them for more than their abilities, we show our children that they are much more than the sum of their accomplishments.”—Eileen Kennedy-Moore 
  • “Encourage and support your kids, because children are apt to live up to what you believe in them.”—Lady Bird Johnson 

Communicating

Interacting with your child may feel much more challenging now that they are a teenager. You might be seeing more irritability and feeling them pulling away at times. This is normal as teens begin to understand their place in the world and attempt to find autonomy in their lives.

  • “When your teen has a hard day, don’t ask them if they want to talk about it, because most of the time they won’t. Instead, ask if they want a snack, go for a cup of coffee, take a walk, or watch a movie. We often can’t fix our big kids’ problems, but we can always be available to listen and show we care.” – Whitney Fleming 
  • “What’s more important: Your ego or hearing your child? – C. Lynn Williams 
  • “Saying “no” to your children can be an act of love.”  Frank Sonnenberg 
  • “Having a parent who listens creates a child who believes he or she has a voice that matters in this world.” -Rachel Macy Stafford 
  • “The way we talk to our children becomes their inner voice.” – Peggy O’Mara 
  • “The reality is that most of us communicate the same way that we grew up. That communication style becomes our normal way of dealing with issues, our blueprint for communication. It’s what we know and pass on to our own children. We either become our childhood or we make a conscious choice to change it.”—Kristen Crockett 
  • “A child seldom needs a good talking to as a good listening to.”—Robert Brault 
  • “As your kids grow up, they may forget what you said, but they won’t forget how you made them feel.”—Kevin Heath 

How to Use Quotes Effectively

I encourage you to take a note of these quotes that resonated with you to reflect on when you’re having a tough day with your teen.

You can revisit this list as often as you need to remind yourself that you are not alone, reinforce the importance of connection with your teen, and inspire you to be the parent you want to be. Understand that as your teenager grows and changes, your role as a parent is changing as well. Be tolerable and flexible of this change as you transition into raising a young adult.