Quotes for teens on life lessons

Quote about making mistakes and growing up- 'Just try to make the kind your family can laugh about...'

"Mistakes are part of growing up.
Just try to make the kind your family can laugh about over holiday dinner. "

-- Truth Be Told Quotes

Young people are supposed to do some stupid stuff, right? It’s part of being young. What you want are the youthful adventures that will be embarrassingly rehashed over holiday dinners for years to come. Like that story about your uncle with the goat, the bubble wrap, and the ill-timed dare? Your mom always rolls her eyes and looks disapproving, but she’s chuckling on the inside.

Some mistakes can cause life-altering damage. Those mistakes will get you pursed lips and disapproving glares. So ask yourself before you leap… how will this story play at dinner in a few years?

Activities for this quote

Teaching resources

Bring this quote into your classroom with a lesson guide and activities that are ready to use.

Quote Overview / Description

Quote about mistakes

This quote about making mistakes addresses the natural changes that occur as teens grow up. Their brains are rewiring so they don’t always evaluate risk well, and they tend to think nothing bad will happen to them (See The Teenage Brain, by Frances E Jensen, MD). This quote can inspire high school teens and young adults to think about their actions and to reduce the risk of making life-altering mistakes. The quote acknowledges that they want to have some fun and that mistakes are part of growth while offering teens a simple technique to evaluate potential risk.

Evaluating Risk Technique

Pausing to think, "How will this go over at holiday dinner in a few years?" can help teens consider how serious an action may be. When they picture their family members laughing vs. looking disapproving vs. being angry, teens have a more relatable measure of whether a risk is minor or serious.

Personal Health and Family Health

This quote also highlights the connection between personal health and family health and relationships. It helps teens see the perspectives of trusted adults and anticipate the impact of their actions on their relationships.

Discussion questions / Writing Prompts

Questions to prompt discussion, journaling, essays for high school health class and social emotional development lessons:

  1. What makes some stories about youthful adventure funny or shareable? What sorts of stories would parents likely frown about? Consider concepts about whether anyone got hurt (self or others), whether there was a lasting impact on someone’s life or goals, whether the act was contrary to a family’s values, whether the action damaged the trust parents had in the relationship.
  2. When is a time you didn’t anticipate how your action might impact someone else or your relationship with them?
  3. What is a mistake you’ve made that could’ve been a lot worse? How did it change the way you handle other situations?
  4. What’s a mistake you wish you’d made, or a chance you wish you had taken?
  5. What is something you learned from someone else’s mistakes?
  6. What’s on your bucket list? Do you think you'll reconsider some of the items as you get older?
  7. Is it necessary to avoid all mistakes in life? What are some good things that come from making mistakes?
  8. When have you ever said, “I would never do that… again.”


Activities and worksheets for teen SEL / high school health and wellness lessons:

  1. Making Mistakes Journaling Writing Prompt- Encourage high school students to explore their own mistakes and how the contribute to growth.
  2. Choices and Benefits Worksheet- In this teen SEL worksheet activity, students see how good choices help them reach goals, have positive relationships, and improve self esteem.
  3. Connecting Choices and Consequences Worksheet- I Choose Students see how good choices feel good, and bad choices feel bad in the long run.
  4. Choices and Consequences Movie Scene Worksheet- Students write a movie scene that shows how choices lead to consequences.

Curriculum Topics

High School Health Class / Social Emotional Development Core Curriculum Alignment:

  • Healthy decision making and taking personal responsibility for results and consequences
  • Evaluating and reducing risk
  • Recognizing the connection between personal and family health
  • Self awareness and healthy ways of managing natural changes
  • Understanding others' perspectives


  • Think of the consequences before you act.
  • Making mistakes is part of life. Use them to grow.
  • Your actions impact your relationships with your family and other trusted adults.

Character Traits/Values

  • Self control
  • Caring
  • Honesty
  • Forgiveness

The quote and opening paragraph of this page are an excerpt from the Book, Truth Be Told Quotes: Teen Edition. Presented with permission from the author, Colleen Doyle Bryant. ©LoveWell Press. Find the print and ebook versions of Truth Be Told Quotes on the Shop page.

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Colleen Doyle Bryant

Colleen Doyle Bryant is the author of five books and more than 50 learning resources about making good choices for the right reasons. Her Talking with Trees series for elementary students and Truth Be Told Quotes series for teens are used in curriculums around the world. Rooted in Decency, Colleen's latest release for an adult audience, explores what happened to common decency and how we can get to a place of more cooperation and kindness. Learn more at ColleenDoyleBryant.com.

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