Q&A: Encouraging My Teen Not To Make My Mistakes

Q: I want to encourage my teen daughter to not make the same mistakes I made. What are some good starting points?

A: I think it’s healthy when a parents looks back and realizes that when they were teenagers they did some things that were detrimental to their development. Certainly, we would like out children to avoid that. Honesty, I think, is a good policy. That is, be straight forward and honest. You could say to them, “You know, I made a serous mistake when I was your age and I’ve never told you this but want to tell you because I do not want you to do the same thing I did.” If that teenager feels loved by you and feels that you really are concerned about them, then they are likely to hear that in a possible way and you may well keep them from make the same mistake that you made.