Parental Advice - Do Teens Actually Want to Hear It?


Advising teenagers is more like shouting into the wind on a stormy day—effort expended but rarely appreciated amidst their quest for self-discovery. Whether we're sharing pearls of wisdom or begging them to listen, the response is often a resounding ‘meh’.  

But let’s not kid ourselves—are teenagers all that different from us adults? We still have that immediate response to advice that we had back in the day when Mom had all the answers. We'd pour out our hearts, and she'd counter with sage advice. 

Did we listen? 


Did we regret it? 


However, we knew deep down, that those nuggets of parental insight had a sneaky way of staying in our subconscious, guiding our choices long after we'd rolled our eyes and stomped off. 

So maybe those eye-rolls and sighs are part of the process. Despite our initial defiance, we'll probably end up making better decisions because of the words we so stubbornly resisted.

The Nature of Advice

At its core, advice is thoughtful words from someone who knows and loves you, offering a broader perspective. While there can be bad advice, most parents, including our mothers, have the best intentions when they offer guidance.

They hope their words will be taken to heart, even if it’s not immediately apparent.

Recently, we asked other moms to share the advice they wish someone had given them when they were teenagers. The responses we got were profound and poignant, and they were ones we wished we had listened to when we were younger.

But it raises the question: would hearing this advice as teens have made a difference?

Parents always want the best for their children, and new worries emerge as kids hit their teen years. Time is slipping away, and there is so much to teach and much they need to learn.

The Irony of Advice

The irony is that it’s during these crucial years that teens often seem least interested in listening. They may seem indifferent to our opinions, wisdom, and well-worn patience because they are distracted by the world around them. 

‘You should study earlier and not cram everything in one day’

‘Sleep early, don’t stay up too late’ 

As parents, we’ve all given this advice to our kids, but the likelihood of it being well-received or even acknowledged is slim to none. Ironic advice comes from the natural conflict between wisdom from experience and a teenager’s independence.

 As parents, we have already traversed the path that our teenagers are only now starting to take. We have made mistakes, matured, and learned. Of course, we want to share with them all of our hard-earned knowledge. However, teens are at a developmental stage where claiming their own identity and making their own choices are essential. At this stage, they strive for independence and try to forge their paths. Advising teens is tricky because they are in the process of figuring out who they are, and this often means rejecting parental guidance in favour of their own experiences.

Sharing Wisdom

Here are some pieces of advice that moms wished someone had told them during their teenage years:

  • Keep playing, because it’s fun. Enjoying activities for the sheer joy they bring is important.
  • Choose your friends wisely. The company you keep significantly impacts your life.
  • Join the team, even if your friend doesn’t make it. Pursue opportunities independently.
  • Study a little harder. Effort in academics pays off in the long run.
  • Put yourself out there. Don’t be afraid to take risks and try new things.
  • You’re not alone. Many others share your feelings and experiences.
  • Don’t quit the band. Commitment to interests can be fulfilling and rewarding.
  • What other people think doesn’t matter. Focus on your values and happiness.
  • You’re worth more than you think you are. Recognize your inherent value and potential.
  • Don’t settle. Strive for what you truly want in life.
  • Stick with tough classes. Challenges lead to growth and opportunities.
  • Try for more than the minimum. Aim high and push beyond your comfort zone.
  • Be more accepting of support and encouragement. Allow others to help and uplift you.
  • Relax about the future—there are many kinds of happy endings. Life can take many fulfilling paths.
  • Just do you. Authenticity is key to happiness.
  • Good things are coming. Trust in the positive possibilities ahead.
  • Laugh more. Joy and humour enrich life.
  • A C in geometry will not change the trajectory of your life. One setback doesn’t define your future.


Planting Seeds of Wisdom

Ultimately, our teenagers will make their own choices and face the consequences, and we can only hope that they consider at least some of our advice. Though our words may not resonate with them immediately, they are like seeds planted in their minds, ready to grow when the time is right. It’s crucial to keep offering guidance, even if our teens appear uninterested. They might dismiss our advice now, but they'll remember it when they need it most. Just as we often resisted our mothers’ wisdom only to find ourselves guided by it later, our teenagers might eventually realize the value in what we’ve shared with them. It's a subtle yet powerful process, and by consistently nurturing these seeds, we prepare our children to draw on our wisdom when they least expect it but need it the most.


As parents, it's crucial to recognize the value of our advice and share it, even if it seems ignored. The teen years are a time of immense growth and self-discovery, and our role is to provide a foundation of support, wisdom, and love.

Though it may seem like our words fall on deaf ears, they are often absorbed more than we realize. So, keep sharing your experiences, offering guidance, and planting those seeds!

One day, they just might bloom in ways we never imagined.
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