In the long and often twisty journey through adolescence, there are many things teens need to hear from us before they reach adulthood. Let’s start with what I think are the top 10 life lessons. Then, we’ll look at some other great teen advice quotes that I love!
Top 10 Things Teens Need to Hear
From words of wisdom that inspire self-confidence to advice that fosters empathy and personal growth, here are the top 10 life lessons and things I think teens need to hear the most.
1. Pitch in, even when it’s not your job
Teens (and most adults, honestly) often need a gentle reminder that taking initiative and helping out isn’t just about being responsible; it’s about showing respect for others. Pitching in to help even when something isn’t your job shows that you’re willing to go the extra mile. That attitude can make a world of difference in school, at home, and in their future careers.
That said, I do think we need to balance this advice. No one should constantly pick up the slack for others. It’s also important to teach teens to stand up for themselves in the workplace if they feel that they’re being taken advantage of.
2. Growth is a Dance, Not a Light Switch
Adolescence is an incredibly turbulent time. It’s so vital for teens to understand that personal growth isn’t something that happens overnight. They won’t just wake up one morning and know exactly who they are. Growth happens over time.
This quote reminds them to be patient with themselves and embrace the ups and downs as part of the process. They should know that it’s okay to have setbacks as long as they keep moving forward.
3. Don’t Judge, You Never Know What Someone is Going Through
Life is a crazy journey at times and everyone faces their own battles. Everyone deserves compassion. I actually think our teens are a lot less likely to pass judgment or mock their peers based on appearances or behaviors than adults these days. So this one is a good reminder for all of us.
4. Accountability is a Life Skill, Not a Punishment
This advice reminds them (and us) that blaming others only holds us back in life. When we talk about “accountability,” we tend to talk in terms of “taking your lumps” (whatever that means, I never understood that metaphor) for something you did wrong. In other words, it feels more like a punishment. But it’s actually a good life skill to have.
5. The Power of Silence
Silence isn’t a sign of weakness or “submission,” it’s a powerful tool. Encouraging teenagers to understand the value of staying silent can help them navigate tricky social situations. It’s a reminder that they don’t always need to prove their point, and sometimes, allowing a pause in conversation can be far more influential than any argument that they could make.
6. Choose Your Friends Wisely
The people we hang out with definitely have a major impact on our attitudes. Positive influences tend to bring out the best in people, while negative influences can drag them down.
Encourage your teens to keep their circles small and full of people that drive them to be better versions of themselves.
7. Spend time with the people you love
In a world filled with distractions and busy schedules, it’s so crucial for teenagers to understand that material possessions and appearances don’t hold even a fraction of the weight as the quality of the relationships they build with their family and other loved ones. This is also a good reminder to prioritize people and experiences over things.
8. Watch what you say
Okay, so this is more of an advice quote for parents (and it goes both ways- dads shouldn’t teach their kids to hate their moms, either). But it’s still good advice for teens. By not badmouthing your child’s other parent even when you really don’t get along, you’re teaching your kids that it’s important to respect other people’s feelings. You’re also teaching them the importance of at least trying to work with someone that you don’t see eye-to-eye with.
9. Stand up for yourself
Before you say “shouldn’t we teach our sons the same thing,” hear me out. Yes, of course we should teach boys to be capable and stand up for themselves. But this is the 21st century and we STILL live in a world where women have to fight for every right that they have and get objectified FAR more often than men do. So, it’s more important than ever to teach our daughters to be self-confident and self-sufficient.
10. Remember this simple formula for living
I think this is a great one to finish off with because it says everything teens need to hear AND everything we adults should remember. It really is the ultimate “guide to life” quote.
20 More Inspirational Advice Quotes for Teenagers
As promised, here are 20 more great words of wisdom to share with your teenager (and maybe to remind yourself of, too).
- “The people who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do.” – Steve Jobs.
- “No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.” – Robin Williams
- “Beautiful people are not always good, but good people are always beautiful.” —Imam Ali
- “Never listen to anyone who tells you what you can and can’t be in life.”
- “Never dull your shine for somebody else.” – Tyra Banks.
- “Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”- William James.
- “Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of someone else.” – Judy Garland
- “It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” – E.E Cummings.
- “Don’t wait for other people to believe in you. Believe in yourself!”
- “The only person you should try to be better than is the person you were yesterday.” – Matty Mullins
- “Live your life like you are 80 years old looking back on your teenage years.” – Taylor Swift
- “Never apologize for being sensitive or emotional. Let this be a sign that you’ve got a big heart and aren’t afraid to let others see it. Showing your emotions is a sign of strength.” -Brigitte Nicole
- “Remember that love does not mean one person gives all and another person receives all.” -Abirami P. Kurukkal
- “Don’t be afraid of failure. This is the way to succeed.” – LeBron James
- “If you’re making mistakes, it means you’re out there doing something.” – Neil Gaiman
- “Don’t let setbacks define you; learn from them and grow.”
- “Look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see, and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious.” -Stephen Hawking
- ““When you replace ‘why is this happening to me’ with ‘what is this trying to teach me?’ Everything shifts. Focus on the lesson, not the pain.“
- “Young people willing to push super hard to make something happen are among the most powerful forces in the world.”- Sam Altman
- “You’re never going to be happy being anyone other than yourself.” – Thibaut
Of course, the most important thing that teens need to hear is “I love you.” I figured that went without saying, though. But just in case, here’s your reminder. Everyone needs to feel like they matter to someone, but our teens especially need that reminder sometimes. So say it as often as you can!