Six reasons to love their teenage years

Photo of big fingers squashing little personWhen it comes to parenting, teenagers get a pretty bad press. The mood swings, the rudeness, the mess, the risks, the smell! No wonder so many parents dread the teenage years.

But it isn’t all bad. There’s a lot to look forward to when your children become teens. Here are six of the reasons why I love being the parent of a teenager:

1. The TV is much better

Is it just me or is Modern Family actually quite funny? It certainly beats Teletubbies and Postman Pat, that’s for sure. My stamina is nowhere near teen level (a whole series of Big Bang Theory in one sitting, really??) but finding a companion to watch Amazing Spaces with me has been a real boon. And snuggled up on the sofa with no-one looking, I sometimes even get a rare teen cuddle…

2. I can forget to buy milk

When they were little, my worst nightmare was finishing bathtime and realising we had run out of milk. The calming bedtime routine would implode as I squeezed sockless feet into shoes and dragged the kids in their pyjamas to the shop. “Do we need milk?” was the mantra with which I trained myself to be an uber-organised superhuman mum of young children. Now, the kids can fall asleep without milk and they can stay home alone if I’ve forgotten anything else. I can slowly unravel to a new mantra of “Who cares if we’ve got milk, where’s the chablis?”

3. No more theme parks

If theme parks are your thing, then this one won’t appeal to you. But personally they are my definition of hell. Luckily, teens prefer to have their theme park experiences in each other’s company and mum coming along is now their definition of hell too. We are finally on the same page…

4. They make you think

My teenage son is fascinated by world news and politics. Unlike most adults, though, he doesn’t yet have fixed views on what he should or shouldn’t think. Which means he asks really interesting questions and he won’t accept lazy answers. Such as, why is it ok for a satirical magazine to deliberately offend members of a religion but he would get detention if he did the same thing at school?

5. You can buy them books you love

Real, proper books that will make a difference to them, books that will help define who they are and what they believe in: their inheritance texts. Animal Farm, Lord of the Flies, Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy!

6. They will remember these years

Let’s face it, no matter what amazing things you do with your children in their early years, they won’t actually remember any of it. But memories from their teenage years are their anecdotes of the future.

So enjoy!

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©Anita Cleare 2015
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10 thoughts on “Six reasons to love their teenage years

    1. AnitaCleare Post author

      It’s really depressing how much they forget when you come to think of it! I once spent 3 hours wrapping up a bicycle as a Christmas present and my son can’t even remember that bike let alone that he got to unwrap it on Christmas morning!

  1. Sue @ Home Heart Harmony

    This is so true. We are a few months away from officially being parents of a teenager but I completely agree that there are lots of great things about it. I love that we can now share so much with our kids – favourite films, books, galleries, museums, stately homes and restaurants. We can travel more widely and know that it won’t be too much for them. We also get to have proper chats about life and the world and they are interesting, two-way conversations. #TwinklyTuesday

  2. Jade Munro

    What a brilliant, lovely, positive post.
    You are so right, my favourite memories of me and my mum are from my teen years. I cannot wait for my daughter to reach the point where we can enjoy the exact things that you write about.
    Thanks for writing this.

    1. AnitaCleare Post author

      It makes you think, doesn’t it, realising that toddlers and preschoolers (and even primary schoolers!) won’t remember even the tiniest fraction of the things their parents did with them……!

  3. Caro | The Twinkles Mama

    Aah bless you!! This is a lovely post for me to read at the moment! I’m getting upset that we’ve (just about) left the baby stage! So nice to know there’s still loads to look forward to 😉 Thanks so much for linking up with us xx #TwinklyTuesday

  4. Sarah MumofThree World

    Love this! It’s such a good reminder to us all. Sadly we don’t live very near any theme parks, so we haven’t yet managed to get the kids to go without parents (plus my husband loves them – weirdo!).

    1. AnitaCleare Post author

      There are some days when I really have to remind myself of the upsides of these teenage boys – and other days when the positives are vey apparent 🙂


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