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Being a parent to a teenager has got to be one of the most challenging things you'll ever go through. As a soon-to-be Mom for the first time, the thought of having a teen is infinitely more terrifying to me than taking care of a newborn. When they're little, you can still protect them from the dangers of the world and they still see you as the main guiding force in their lives. But as teenagers, they're struggling to gain their independence and mostly want nothing to do with you, and it can be hard to find the right balance of helping them to make the right decisions without pushing them away. Parents of teens: Hang in there. You're doing amazing, sweetie.

So when the teenagers of the internet were asked how they want to be parented, their answers were surprisingly insightful. Sure, they're also filled with some moodiness and a whole lot of cursing, but they are teenagers, after all.

Making mistakes

from AskReddit
This one probably hits home for a lot of teens and parents. Sure, no one wants to see their kids going through hard times, but making mistakes is how you learn the most important lessons in life.

Consistency with expectations

from AskReddit
While it's easy to dismiss these types of questions with a "because you should want to help out the family, that's why" type answer, lots of kids appreciate you taking the time to explain your expectations and treat them with the respect they deserve.

Remember your passwords

from AskReddit
As a 30-year-old woman, I've had to help my parents retrieve their passwords countless times, so I can't even imagine how irritating it must be for teens having to provide constant IT support.

Curb the anger

from AskReddit
Many parents probably don't realize how often they react with anger instead of understanding. While it's hard to change what comes naturally, putting in the effort to try to see things from their perspective can make a big difference.

Don't ignore red flags

from AskReddit
This one is so important. It's easy to get wrapped up in our own lives and ignore what's right in front of you, but if your kids start to withdraw and it seems like something's wrong, don't wait for them to tell you, because they most likely never will.

Don't pretend to be perfect

from AskReddit
Nobody's perfect, and if you try to maintain that image to your kids they'll constantly feel like they're coming up short. Admit your mistakes, even though it's hard.

Respect your ex

from AskReddit
I can't even imagine how hard it is on kids with divorced parents who feel they have to be the constant mediators. Don't put that burden on them. They still love their other parent, even if you no longer do.

React with love, not anger

from AskReddit
Teens should be allowed to express their feelings without fear of judgment. Showing your emotions should be encouraged, but suppressed.

Let them make their own choices

from AskReddit
This one has got to be tough for most parents. When you see them as your little mini me's for the majority of their lives, letting go and allowing them to be their own people can be a struggle.

Stop all the yelling

from AskReddit
You may not think that you're taking out the stress of the day on your kids, but they might feel differently. Also, parents, remember that teens rarely make calls anymore. Texting is key.

Back off a bit

from AskReddit
I'm guessing I'll be one of those parents you'd classify as "over-protective," since the whole idea of a laid-back parenting approach sounds impossible to me. Hopefully, I'll be able to strike some kind of balance so my kids aren't constantly irritated by my irrational fears.

Space is important

from AskReddit
I know, I know. We hover because we love. But often times that just pushes our kids away from us more than ever.

Times have changed

from AskReddit
I know firsthand how hard it was to find gainful employment and save up enough money to finally buy a house, so pushing those expectations on my kids will hopefully be something I will know not to do.

You can't force it

from AskReddit
Love, support and gentle guidance. That's what it's all about.

Explain your reasoning

from AskReddit
While it's true that you are still their parents and therefor you make the rules, you can't just expect your kids to blindly follow orders.

Cut back on social media

from AskReddit
If a teenager is telling their parents to put down the technology and actually talk to them, it's time to LISTEN.

It's all about empathy

from AskReddit
It can be hard to try to see things from someone else's perspective, especially when it's so easy to put your own experiences into situations. Your kids share your DNA, but they're still their own people with their own unique and important lives.

Teach the basics

from AskReddit
Do you know what I wish my parents had taught me as a teenager? Basic yet important things like how to change a tire or how to file taxes, both of which I still struggle with as an adult.

Offer good advice

from AskReddit
You have years of experience, so offer your perspective on things as advice to your kids, not orders. And, although it's tough, try to keep the judgment to a minimum.

Respect goes a long way

from AskReddit
Every human deserves respect, and during those pivotal years when you're no longer a child but not quite an adult can be extremely confusing and emotional. How can you expect them to act like adults if you treat them like children?

Don't compare your kids

from AskReddit
This one is just a big 'ol no-no. Not only does it cause an inferiority complex, but it also just promotes sibling rivalry.

Make them want to trust you

from AskReddit
You want your kids to feel comfortable opening up to you without fear. Be a good listener, and try to remember the mistakes you made when you were their age.

Put in the time

from AskReddit
This breaks my heart. Let this post be a lesson on how not to be a parent.

Let them fail

from AskReddit
This teen actually encourages you to check your kids when they act up because raising them to be brats will only cause them more trouble once they reach adulthood. We all know at least one or two people whose parents let them get away with anything, and it shows.

Don't assume the worst

from AskReddit
While it's important to look out for red flags, it's also best not to jump to conclusions, either. It's a fine line, and getting it right can be tough. No one ever said parenting would be easy.

Don't expect support

from AskReddit
You're the parent, so don't expect your kids to shoulder the responsibility of supporting you when you're supposed to be their source of support. Like this teen says, they're trying to figure out their own, um, stuff.

Let them be social

from AskReddit
I know it's hard to watch your teens go out with their friends and potentially get into trouble, but it's important to trust them enough to know that they'll make smart decisions. And if they don't, hopefully, they'll learn from it.

Swallow your pride

from AskReddit
Here's another tough one. But, surprisingly enough, your kids will actually respect you more when you own up to your mistakes rather than pretending to be perfect all the time.

Grades are not everything

from AskReddit
So many kids feel intense pressure to perform well in school, and it can cause horrible anxiety and depression issues. Mental health is more important than straight A's.

Support. Support. Support.

from AskReddit
Unless your kid is making decisions that will harm themselves or others, the support has to be there. "Don't be scared to be annoying" is great advice. Because, the truth is, you're a parent. Being annoying is just part of the job.