There’s a reason people start warning you about teenagers the moment your little one is born. Teens can be moody, snarky, defiant, and disobedient. And those eye rolls, they’re enough to make you lose your cool instantly.
But it’s not bad. Underneath all that attitude is your lovable tot, still craving your love and approval, even if they won’t admit it and even if they now wear a shoe size bigger than yours. Here’s a round-up of some great reasons to love teenagers and why raising teenagers can be a really positive part of the parenting journey.
Raising Teenagers: 15 Reasons Teens are Awesome
1. They blossom in front of your eyes
And we’re not just talking about puberty here. It’s the internal moments where you realise they’re becoming their own person with their own ideas, thoughts, goals, dreams, passions, and opinions.
It’s exciting to witness their transition into young adulthood, and the way your influence has shaped them while also developing their individuality. It also pulls on those heartstrings and can leave you feeling just a little weepy and a lot proud.
2. They sleep…a lot!
Remember those never-ending sleepless nights trying to get your little one to sleep, or at the very least to stay in bed?
Now that your kiddo is a teen, they seem to sleep like there’s no end in sight. Sometimes you even wonder if they’re sick or depressed.
And while you may miss them crawling into bed with you for middle-of-the-night cuddles, you won’t miss being kneed or elbowed in the face or ribs as you finally get to sleep through the night uninterrupted.
3. They’re funny people
When they were little, you loved laughing with them as they proudly told their silly fart and poo jokes, even though they made no sense. Their laughter was so infectious, it was all you needed.
Now that they’re teens, not only do they get grown-up jokes, but they also have their own sense of humour and they’ve become pretty funny humans.
4. They can fix your computer, phone and iPad without it costing you
No need to call tech support to figure out your new phone, troubleshoot your computer, or figure out why your WIFI isn’t working anymore. You’ve got a teen at home!
5. They fend for themselves
Gone are the days of bathing them, dressing them, and even feeding and cooking for them. Of course, you still cook for them, but they won’t go hungry if you’re home late or have errands to run. Teenagers can make sandwiches, heat up leftovers and put together a platter of nachos which means your days of being 24/7 SNACK WENCH are officially over!
Some teens even actually enjoy cooking and are darn good at it which means you may be treated to a meal every now and again.
6. They don’t need constant company
Remember when they were little and they were constantly with you? This isn’t the case anymore and while this transition of being constantly needed to only being sometimes needed can be really hard, it’s also quite liberating.
Teens have their own friends, interests, and activities, which don’t necessarily include you. But even if they seem too cool to hang out with you anymore, they will always need you and appreciate what you do in the background. So enjoy this extra ‘you’ time – watch what you want to watch, take up a hobby you love and go out to places you want to go without having to drag a child along with you.
7. They can make their own money
Now that they’re older, they can get a part-time job to pay for their own hobbies, social events, and even gas if they drive.
No more asking you for money. Well, I’m sure they’ll try to spend yours instead of theirs, but now you can use this opportunity to teach them financial responsibility. It’s a win-win for you!
8. You can be yourself around them
Remember the days you had to watch your mouth because the cursing police were right around the corner? Or, how you’d try to hide your bad days, even if you’d often fail, just to shield them from the discomfort?
No more! Of course, you won’t be going around cursing like a sailor or just unleashing on them when someone cuts you off at the supermarket queue.
But now that they realise you’re a real person with feelings and emotions, you can let go a little and show them all your sides without fear of scaring them or being a bad influence.
9. They’re still a kid at heart
Remember those fart and poo jokes from earlier? Well, no matter how sophisticated their tastes have become, they still laugh at those silly jokes. You’ll notice that, even though their tastes change over time, there are still a few little things from their childhood that won’t ever change. It could be a favourite cartoon or the fact they love having their backs tickled. It could be a stuffed animal that no longer sleeps in their bed but that they keep close by on their dresser. Deep down, that little kid is still inside and it’s so sweet when a part of their childhood comes out.
10. They make great sitters
Have any young siblings, pets, or plants that need taking care of? Now that you have a teen at home, they are perfect for watching their little sister, the neighbour’s dog, or watering your sister’s plants while she’s out of town, giving you some free time to run errands or just relax for a bit.
11. You can stop with the stupid Elf
Most (but not all) teens don’t care about the damn Elf on the Shelf. They also are happy to be told the truth about the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the tooth fairy.
But this doesn’t mean your teen won’t ENJOY having a big of magic at Christmas and even Easter. It simply means you don’t have to worry about accidentally dropping the news that you’re actually stealing his teeth. Plus, if you still have little ones, your teen may be a Godsend as you may have an accomplice to join in on the magic and the sneaking around.
12. They give you hope
With their view of the world expanding and their unique perspective, teens begin to realise their voice matters. And while this voice tends to argue with you, it’s also so reassuring to know that this next-gen is going to be okay.
As their interest in things other than themselves, like politics, the environment, and the world in general grows, so does your hope for their future and that of society. And with their optimism, creativity, curiosity, and adventurous spirit, how could they not move mountains?
13. They can actually help you around the house
And not like ‘help like when your toddler ‘helps’ you vacuum and you have to redo it because… well, vacuuming one tile isn’t enough. Teenagers are able to do most of the things we adults can do – and don’t want to do – like housework, laundry, and mowing the lawn. And teens are pretty keen to do these things if money is involved.
Plus, strong teens can also open pickle jars which is a godsend!
14. You don’t have to ‘pretend’ to lose
Teenagers are okay with being beaten in games so you can actually try your hardest without worrying about a tantrum when you beat them in LIFE. But, be warned, our odds of winning against our teens are greatly reduced, especially in running races or anything strategic.
15. They are proof that you’ve done a pretty good job (so far)
Look past the back talk, the eye rolls and the moodiness and you’ll see an individual that is finding their own path. An individual who may not be perfect, but is kind, funny, smart, opinionated and loving. An individual that you held, fed, nurtured, loved and cared for.
An individual you should be proud of and an individual who is proof that you’ve done an amazing job at being their mum and raising them this far.
We all know teens have built a bad rep and with good reason. But it’s so important to remind yourself of all the good things teens bring to the table too. Take a moment to embrace and spend time with your teen and you’ll realise they’re becoming pretty cool people with strong opinions, smart ideas and impeccable hand strength that can open pickle jars.
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