3 Simple Steps on How Herofree Parenting Can Transform Your Relationship With Your Teenager From Bad to Great

Parenting Solutions

As parents, we all want the best for our children. We want them to succeed, be happy, and live fulfilling lives.

But sometimes, our desire to protect and parent them can overwhelm us, so we take control and prevent them from making mistakes instead of letting them learn from the experience.

When parents take control, they inadvertently become the hero of their child's story, pushing the child to the sidelines and reducing them to mere spectators in their own lives. By grabbing the starring role, we cause nothing but frustration and resentment, straining the already delicate parent-teen bond.

But what if I told you there was a different way to parent? A method that develops a growth mindset in your child and keeps you and your teen on good terms.

This way of parenting focuses on allowing your child to be the hero of their own story while you guide and support them. Instead of always being the savior, you show them how to be the hero. And not just a hero for today. They learn to become the hero for the rest of their lives.

This concept is called Herofree Parenting. It's a parenting style that allows your child to experiment, struggle, fail, and possibly succeed but learn to never give up - all with your guidance and support. You become your child's trusted advisor and help them navigate life's challenges while allowing them to make their own decisions. This approach creates a closer bond between you and your teen.

You are their trusty sidekick through thick and thin. Their ride-or-die partner. They learn firsthand that hard work and doing the right things are more critical than uncontrollable outcomes. No matter what, you will always be there to support them.

This is how deep bonds are formed.

A parent is someone who knows all about you but still loves you.”


How to Be a Herofree Parent in 3 Easy Steps

Follow these 3 steps to transform your relationship with your child.


1. Promote Planning

Tip: Encourage their ability to think ahead and make decisions by guiding them as they plan their schedule. As busy adults, we often take control of our children's schedules, treating them as mere participants. A significant step toward becoming a Herofree Parent is asking your teen to plan their week and take responsibility for their schedule. Trust their judgment and assist when needed. They will need to fail a few times and pay the consequences for their actions before learning the importance of this.

Mistakes to Avoid: If you are a recovering Hero Parent (one who always saves the child from failure), fight the urge to control too many decisions, which will ultimately interfere with your child’s ability to think for themselves. Instead of dictating every aspect of their life, guide them and respect their autonomy.

Don’t Be Like The Hero Parent

The Hero Parent is the ultimate savior of their child’s world. The moment there is trouble, they are there to save the day. In this case, they take total control of the child’s schedule, letting their child know when and where to be at all times of the day.

But kids are resentful when you are in complete control. They want guidance, not orders. Consequently, if you have a teen who routinely misses appointments and deadlines, look in the mirror, not at your child, for answers to your problems.

Don’t Be Like Heroless Parent

The Heroless Parent believes less is more (less parenting allows the child to figure life out). While, in theory, it works, some children need more handholding to get them going (only some children are ready to ride a bike without training wheels).

Children of Heroless Parents are allowed to control their schedule, but they don’t have any strategies for success and make mistakes. Some kids rise above this, while others fail. The Heroless Parent takes great pride in saying, “Figure it out!” Again, in theory, this is great. Still, some kids need to be shown very specifically how to do something before being cut loose.

Don’t Be Like The Antihero Parent

The Antihero Parent is the parent who either does too much or too little. They are either too overbearing or too hands-off. But the worst part of Antihero Parents - they scold their child for failure and then proudly tell their teens, “You should have listened to me.”

The lack of consistency is bad for kids. But the worst part is how the child is reminded after every failure that their Antihero Parent is the real hero, and they better listen to precisely what they say; otherwise, they are doomed to failure!

When scheduling, the Antihero Parent will provide very little instruction, expecting them to figure out how to manage time and projects. When there is a mistake, the Antihero Parent will jump in, take over, relegating their child to the spectator role, and then take credit for saving the day.

The relationship between an Antihero Parent and their teenager can be a source of frustration for all parties involved.

2. Support Problem-Solving

Tip: Encourage your child to think critically by asking open-ended, thought-provoking questions such as, "Is there a specific way you would solve this problem?" or "Do you find anything unusual about this situation?" Praise your child's efforts and creativity in finding solutions. Avoid questions with a yes or no answer, and make sure that any question you ask can be followed up with another question, similar to how teachers use the Socratic Method when working through problems.

Mistakes to Avoid: Stepping in to solve your child's problems without allowing them to solve the problems themselves can limit their development and critical thinking skills. Allow your child the space and time to find solutions before offering help (not every question should be answered without deep thought).

Also, try to avoid using interrogatory words to start your questions (those words always put teens on the defensive). You can get the same information from them by rephrasing your question less directly or threateningly.

Don’t Be Like The Hero Parent

The Hero Parent solves the problem for their child well before they ever get a chance to fail. They may ask how their child would solve it, but when the teen’s logic starts to falter or they take a moment to think about the steps, the Hero Parent jumps in and give them the solution.

The Hero Parent has a fixed mindset and doesn’t believe their child is ready for the world's challenges. Rather than watch them struggle, the savior complex overcomes them, and they assume the Hero role. While Hero Parents feel their child will thank them, in reality, a deep-seated resentment takes root every time the teen isn’t allowed to have control.

Don’t Be Like The Heroless Parent 

The Heroless parent reminds the child that nobody was there for them when they were young, and they turned out fine (or did they?). So this method can work, but it can also be quite frustrating for kids who don’t have the proper problem-solving framework. We all need a little guidance, and the subtle difference between the Hero and Heroless Parent is the Hero Parent will guide their teen with strategies for success, then pull back, while the Heroless Parent steps back from the beginning.

Don’t Be Like The Antihero Parent

The Antihero Parent hopes for failure. They want their child to struggle and fail so they can show them the right way (which further cements the parent as the ultimate Hero). The Antihero Parent will say things like, “I told you so,” “I told you not to do that,” or “You should have listened to me.” Children of Antihero Parents have minimal self-confidence because they can never find a consistent message.

3. Celebrate Mistakes

Tip: Value growth and learning over perfection by seeing mistakes as opportunities to improve. Hero Parents realize that mistakes are part of the learning process, and since mistakes will happen in life, it is better to learn how to recover from an error than to expect a mistake will never occur.

Mistakes to Avoid: Criticizing or punishing your child for errors can lead to fear of failure, inhibiting their willingness to take risks or try new things. Instead, offer your teen constructive feedback and encouragement to help them learn from their mistakes. Never say, “Why did you do that?” Instead, ask them if there is anything they would have done differently to get a different outcome.

Herofree Parents are focused on the ultimate prize: an independent, confident child who grows up with a healthy respect for failure but their growth mindset wins out.


 “Failures are the stairs we climb to reach success.” ~ Roy T. Bennett


Don’t Be Like The Hero Parent

The Hero Parent can’t celebrate mistakes because they can’t stand the thought of their child making one! That is why they swoop in and save their little darling from ever having to suffer the agony of defeat! And few things are worse than a child who grows up thinking they can’t ever grow and never knows how to recover from failure.

Don’t Be Like The Heroless Parent

The Heroless Parent celebrates mistakes because it confirms their parenting style. The Heroless Parent often tells a mistake-prone teen, “You’ll learn.” But the Heroless Parent will then walk away while a Herofree Parent encourages their child to try again but asks, “Is there anything you would do differently this time?”


Don’t Be Like The Antihero Parent

Few parenting styles relish watching their teens make mistakes more than the Antihero Parent. This parent can’t wait to scold the teen for failure to listen to them, then can’t wait to jump in, assuming the Hero’s role and showing their teen that they can’t manage life without them.

In conclusion, becoming a Herofree Parent is not an easy task, but it is a rewarding one. It requires patience, trust, and a willingness to let your child take the lead in their own life. By guiding them with strategies for success and allowing them to experiment and fail without swooping in to save the day, you are creating a stronger bond with your child based on mutual respect and trust.

Become a Herofree Parent and watch your child thrive as they become the hero of their own story.


Case Study: The Transformation of Hero Parents and Their 15-Year-Old Daughter


John and Lisa loved their 15-year-old daughter, Emily. However, they struggled to connect with her as she navigated the challenges of adolescence. Emily began spending more time with her friends and withdrawing from her family, which left John and Lisa feeling worried and disconnected from their child.

To save their relationship with their daughter and ensure her well-being, John and Lisa unintentionally became Hero Parents. They began overparenting, overcommunicating, and overmanaging Emily. Emily lost control of her life and, consequently, lost the ability to make mistakes. 

Little did they know, their well-intentioned actions drove Emily further away.


Recognizing that their approach was not working, Emily's parents decided to try a different strategy. They started by asking Emily for her opinion on various situations, allowing her to make decisions and giving her the freedom to fail. 

This was a challenging shift for John and Lisa as they became accustomed to swooping in and solving Emily's problems for her. However, they remained committed to the process, and their love and support for Emily never wavered.


As John and Lisa began implementing these changes, they noticed a significant shift in their relationship with Emily. She appreciated the newfound trust and autonomy her parents gave her, allowing her to feel more confident and competent in her abilities.

Emily's appreciation for her parents' change in approach became evident as she began to open up more and include them in her life. She no longer felt the need to withdraw and hide from her parents. She recognized that they respected her opinions and allowed her to learn from her mistakes.

Learning how to improve your relationship with your teen starts when you become a Herofree Parent.