“I just don’t want you to make the same mistakes I made.” This is the eternal wish of a parent with regrets. Don’t let my child end up as I did, make the same mistakes I did, do as I did, just do better than I did. The problem with this type of warning is that it only serves to tell them what not to do and does nothing to help them learn from what you did almost dooming them to repeat the exact same mistake.

This type of parenting can cause parents to alter the playing field for their teen in an attempt to hopefully avoid the distracting temptations. An all girls school so they don’t have a boyfriend and all that can come with it, or rules that prohibit wearing make-up, dating or socializing until they leave the house. This is really a speak no evil, hear no evil, see no evil way to parent. These types of rules only serve to offend the intelligence of your teen and if anything allows one, your teen to create a staunch opposition to you and your values and two, beefs up their strategy to simply not get caught while excluding you from their life.

There are certainly things you wish your teen would not experience and some of them have nothing to do with developing into a responsible adult. However, using your teen’s intelligence to your advantage by taking the time to talk about what happened to you and asking them to discuss what their developing value system regarding certain activities is, is a much better way to make your value system known, learn about your teen’s developing moral code and value system while coming to terms with the understanding that you do not have full control over your teen’s actions.

Make you value system known to your teen, take the time to develop a strong sense of self and a teen that has goals. These are the things that allow them to reach their goals and avoid certain pitfalls.