Allowing Teens to Learn from Their Mistakes

I think one of the most painful things to deal with as a parent is allowing your child to make mistakes. Now this isn’t the way every person parents. Some choose to exert so much control over their children’s lives that there is no room for mistakes to happen. But I tend to think this isn’t actually good for a child.

At the same time, I struggle with allowing my children to make mistakes. Despite the necessity of it at times, I would much rather protect them from such. But I am beginning to really learn the importance of sometimes stepping back when I would rather not.

This was a topic I was recently talking to a friend about. While I have had my own share of challenging moments recently, she has definitely had her fill. She has gone through difficulties greater than my own and was actually very encouraging to me.

Our reasons for protecting our children from mistakes are usually valid. I mean, we love them. We would die for them. So of course we want to do anything we can to keep away something that wouldn’t be good for them. But we have to consider the very painful thought that maybe what isn’t good for them is necessary in order for them to learn.

Not every parent will agree with my line of thinking. And of course, this certainly depends on the circumstances you are dealing with. It also depends on your child’s age. But for the most part, by the time they enter high school, the hard knocks of life are sometimes the only way a teen can learn.

There are so many things I would have done differently when I was a teen, knowing now what I know. But at the same time, I probably wouldn’t feel that way if I hadn’t experienced some of the things I did. That’s because I grew from those experiences, hard as some of them were.

Lessons in life aren’t supposed to be easy. What would be the point of it being called a “lesson”? So while it may be painful to do as a parent, we really do have to find a way to step back when it’s necessary and allow our teen to learn from their mistakes.

Related Articles:

What Is Your Parenting Style?

Roping Your Teen

We Can’t Always Rescue Our Children

Decisions, Decisions: When to Step Out of the Way

Photo by anitapatterson in morgueFile

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About Stephanie Romero

Stephanie Romero is a professional blogger for Families and full-time web content writer. She is the author and instructor of an online course, "Recovery from Abuse," which is currently being used in a prison as part of a character-based program. She has been married to her husband Dan for 21 years and is the mother of two teenage children who live at home and one who is serving in the Air Force.