Tim McGraw and Faith Hill work hard to balance their musical careers with their family life. The couple have three daughters, ranging in age from 11 to 16, and in a new interview, the sometimes-harried father uses an interesting analogy to describe parenting a teen.

“More than anything, I think you sort of act as a gutter guard,” he tells ABC News Radio (quote via Country Weekly). “You just sort of stand there with your arms out and just sort of catch ’em if they start falling.”

But the 46-year-old singer says kids have got to be allowed to make their own mistakes. “And every now and then you’ve gotta let them hit the ditch a little bit, you know, so they can learn something," he adds.

That's easier said than done. McGraw admits it's sometimes a struggle for him to relax and take it easy as a parent.

“You know, you feel like you instill in them values that you want ’em to have, and you try to teach ’em the best things that you can teach ’em," he reflects. "And at a certain point, you feel like that you’ve given that to ’em, and you know they’re gonna make good decisions.”