Quotes for teens on life lessons

Quote for teens 'You may find that your parents aren't all you dreamed they would be...

"At some point you may find that your parents aren’t all you dreamed they would be.
Hopefully you can love them for who they really are."

-- Truth Be Told Quotes

Before you were born, your parents had dreams about who you’d be. As it turns out, you’re your own person, with your own personality. (“I want to do contact juggling, not ballet, Dad!”) And they had to learn to accept you for who you really are.

There’s going to come a time when you look at your parents and you might be disappointed that they aren’t all you dreamed they would be.

Just like you, your parents are who they are, with their own baggage that helped make them that way. They probably made some very human mistakes. And there’s a good chance that they did what they thought was best at the time. Hopefully you can find a way to love them for who they are, not who you wished they would be.

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 family relationships

This quote about healthy family relationships helps teens and young adults see that their parents are human too, and that parents are worthy of compassion and empathy. The quote helps them realize there is an element of fairness in giving their parents the same type of acceptance that teens often want for themselves. Family relationships can be healthier if all members try to understand other perspectives and offer compassion.

Many teens and young adults, as they become more self-aware and seek to understand their individual place in the family unit, start finding a lot of fault in their parents. They may be angry, sad, or disappointed at their parents’ personalities, parenting style, level of involvement, achievements, and countless other aspects of the parents’ way of being and living.

This quote is not meant to excuse the impact parents with negative behaviors have on their families. But it can help teens see where their parents are coming from, in order to find a path to understanding, perspective, and forgiveness. Teens may have heard the quote that “You can’t understand being a parent until you are one.” This quote about compassion can help teens see that there may be more forces at work in the way a parent conducts their life and makes parenting decisions.

Discussion questions / Writing Prompts

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

  1. What are your grandparents like? What was the culture like when your parents grew up? How might this have influenced the type of person your parents became?
  2. Do you identify more with one parent more than the other? Why? What traits or interests do you have in common? Is the other parent wrong for not sharing those traits or interests?
  3. List three good traits for each of your parents. List three things you’ve learned from each parent.
  4. Choose a time when you were really angry or frustrated with your parent. Retell the story from your parent’s perspective.


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

  1. Journaling Writing Prompt- Download a printable journaling page with this quote and writing prompts that helps teens write about family relationships.

Coloring Pages

Download printable coloring pages for a mindfulness activity that features this quote.

  1. Classic coloring page
  2. Parental Units coloring page
  3. Family Trees coloring page

Curriculum Topics

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

  • Healthy family relationships
  • Perspectives of others in conflict situations
  • Emotional and social wellness
  • Promoting a healthy, accepting, inclusive environment


  • Everyone, including parents, has personal issues to deal with. Being aware of someone else’s perspective makes it easier to be accepting or inclusive.
  • Parents are human too. Just as teens seek acceptance, it is fair to offer it in return.
  • Looking at issues you are hurt or angry about from a different perspective can help you process the emotions in a healthy way.

Character Traits/Values

  • Compassion/forgiveness
  • Respect
  • Empathy
  • Fairness
  • Caring / Showing respect for others' feelings

Alternate Images

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Quote for life on relationships with parents

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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