My daughter is in middle school and my son is in high school. Despite the negative rap about teens in general as well as having teens, parenting in our household has been relatively low-key and easy (tolerable), courtesy of my teen son and daughter. It is almost like the widely advertised terrible twos and horrible threes that never visited our family. I’m not doing anything special. If anything, I am still my very-obnoxiously-lecturing-self as a mother.
We enjoy having teenagers as much as I enjoyed having kids at younger ages.
This post is inspired by my kids one of whom wrote a brand new song and the other who writes a fiction book.
♥ Teenagers are self-sufficient
Teenagers are one degree away from being adults. They can do anything and everything from bathing themselves and picking their own clothes at the very basic end of the spectrum to filling out their own forms for school and doctors and making elaborate plans to go out with their friends. After 16, they can legally drive and work. As a parent, all you have to do is to guide them to make the right decisions and keep close as a scarecrow to make sure they don’t hurt themselves. The best part after younger years is that they can take themselves to bed after a tight good-night hug and a kiss.
♥ Teenagers will leave you alone
Remember those days when you wanted to be left alone to take a quick shower or enjoy 15 minutes of quiet to yourself in the evening? Teenage years are those years. They go in their rooms as soon as they come from school and shut their doors to be alone and leave you alone. They would even prefer to eat dinner in their rooms unless you drag them to the dining table so that you can see their beautiful faces.
♥ Teenagers can stay at home by themselves
This is one of the biggest logistical benefits of having a teenager. You can run out for quick errands and they’ll happily stay at home by themselves. They can also come home from school and enjoy “home alone” until adults come home from work which means no more scrambling for after-school activities for all 5 days of the week.
♥ Teenagers are incredibly tech-savvy
Besides the fact that they make me feel old when they show me something I didn’t know I could do on my cell phone or on my computer, I truly enjoy it when my kids show me tips and tricks of technology I use. Contrary to the common myth, they can also operate the dishwasher and the washing machine.
Contrary to the common myth, they can also operate the dishwasher and the washing machine.
♥ Teenagers are digital natives
Teenagers are criticized for being on their cell phones and in front of their computers all day long. However, I think that digital mediums give them an opportunity to expand their horizons and provide them with the tools quicker than we ever had the opportunity of. First of all, they can get actual, scientific answers right away to all of their questions, both smart and dumb ones. Second, they have access to more tools and outlets to get inspired, learn, create and share which most of the time they use for better purposes than to encourage each other to eat detergent pods. It’s just that dumb things garner more attention in the media.
♥ Teenagers are way more resilient than they should ever need to be
When you think about the current events and slightly gloomy outlook on humanity and the environment, teenagers are taking on bigger responsibilities and burdens than we did when we were teenagers. Adults have a hard time dealing with daily news of violence and mass shootings, the stress of the imbalance of work-family life and social pressure while they expect teenagers to stay calm and relaxed going through periodic shooter drills, hearing their friends succumbing to depression and show extraordinary performance at school and extracurricular activities to get ready for the game called adult life.
♥ Teenagers make you better because you’ll see yourself in them
As they grow up and look more like an adult, they’ll also sound and act like an adult, specifically, like adults that you know really well: their parents. Seeing and hearing your own reflection in them will drive you to be a better version of yourself.
♥ Teenagers use every lecture you’ve given them against you
Don’t you dare tell your teenagers to get off of their cell phones and then check yours or tell them to eat well and sneak a bar from the Halloween stash. You’ll be happy to confirm that they listen to your tirades, but every single lecture you give will be used against you at the least appropriate times possible.
You’ll be happy to confirm that they listen to your tirades, but every single lecture you give will be used against you at the least appropriate times possible.
♥ Teenagers clean up as much as they make a mess
Every joke you hear or meme you see about overflowing dirty cloth hampers and a pile of bowls and cups in teenagers’ bedrooms are true. It is mind-blowing. However, given the right instructions at the right time, they can be the biggest helpers around the house.
♥ You can have meaningful adult conversations with them
For our family, the best conversations happen in the car driving to and fro, for after-school activities and events. Kids open up and talk about what’s on their minds better when you’re not looking at each other. Another fun convo setting for us is the dinner table. It usually starts with an obnoxious conversation-starting question asked by me, followed by loud eye rolls and jokes ends in talking about that one time that weird thing that happened.
♥ Teenagers are fluent in communicating with facial expressions
In addition to having adult convos, teenagers have an extensive lexicon of facial expressions to communicate their dislike, disappointment as well as joy and excitement. By the time they are teenagers, they are also fluent in parents’ facial gestures of warning, disapproval as well as pride and gratitude. They’ll quickly recognize your side-eye or raised eyebrow even though they might intentionally ignore it.
♥ Teenagers have a wry sense of humor
To be honest, I don’t understand all the jokes my teenagers throw at me or all the memes they share but I think they are funny in general. They respond to texts with funny memes. Even if they don’t agree on anything else, they agree that my lack of understanding of GenZ humor is pretty funny.
Even if they don’t agree on anything else, they agree that my lack of understanding of GenZ humor is pretty funny.
♥ Teenagers are the best travel buddies
Surviving many miserable vacations and trips with my kids as toddlers and preschoolers, we are finally awarded the accompaniment of physically capable and fun human beings. We usually plan our itinerary together. I love the way that they enjoy travel, exploring new places, and tasting new food with us.
♥ Teenagers will share your wardrobe, books, hobbies and so much more
Sharing the wardrobe comes in handy especially when they remember they need a basic white shirt or black pants the next morning. Even though fashion needs are still distinctly different, we share basics as needed. Kids read books that we read and I like reading some of the YA fiction they read. All musical instruments are shared except for me and I and my daughter share our drawing and painting supplies for our art projects.
♥ Teenagers talk about times when they were younger
When you get a good convo going, at some point, your teenagers will refer back to a memory when they are younger and will crack everyone up. It is quite interesting to notice what events make a memorable impact on them.
♥ You can get by with gift cards for birthdays
If you are challenged with picking gifts as much as I do, preteen and teenage years bring quite a bit of a relief to birthday gift anxiety. Even though I appreciate well-thought and personally picked gifts, knowing that gift cards to their favorite stores or movie theaters will make them happy as well gives comfort before birthday parties and the holiday season.
♥ Teenagers will enjoy a beautiful sunset with you
I remember dragging my kids to watch the sunset whenever and wherever we were on vacation and they wouldn’t really appreciate it. Now I love the fact that not only will they enjoy the sunset with us, but they’ll also wake up to catch the sunrise together and sometimes call me outside to look at the beautiful moonrise. So keep taking your kids along to show them and share the beauty of nature. They’ll eventually learn to see the beauty themselves and appreciate it.
♥ Teenagers are kids
No matter how big or hairy they get, teenagers are still kids inside. They give the cuddliest hugs. They will race you and play tag. They will play board or card games at times. I respect that they don’t want us to treat them like little kids. I love to see the little curious, play-loving kids in them are still around though.
♥ Teenagers are inspiring
Teenagers are amazing in the ways that they can be fearless. They create, perform, communicate, organize and build daringly. They care about their friends and family. They care about the world around them. I am inspired by their motivation to do the things that they are passionate about.
Do tell me, what you love most about your teens.