12 reasons to love living with teenagers

RACHEL DOHERTY

Social worker, teacher and the founder of Tweens2teen

Parenting teens is just as demanding as the early years of nappies, dribble and crawling. But for parents of teenagers there’s also some moments of joy that can get overlooked in their moods.

Teenagers get a bad rap, but living with older kids is worth celebrating. I can’t believe I have a houseful of teenagers. Where did those babies and little people go?

“The best substitute for experience is being sixteen.”

RAYMOND DUNCAN

Reasons we should enjoy having teenagers in our home

One of the reasons I started Tweesn2teen was to create a way to work from home and enjoy these last years with our kids. I haven’t regretted that decision for one day!

So here’s 12 reasons living with teenagers is worth celebrating:

1. You can leave teenagers at home alone

You start to get your own life again when your kids are all teenagers. Yes we can go to that work Christmas party. Oh, I’d love to go to the movies. Teenagers are quite adapt survivors. So even if you don’t leave dinner ready, they’ll find something to keep themselves going.

2. Teenagers make life exciting again

The teen years are full of firsts. The first date, the first job, the first driving lesson. Okay, that one might not be too exciting. But there’s a great deal of joy watching your child try out their own version of grown up life.

3. Teenagers are like adults with training wheels

They can reason and make decisions. They can do their fair share around the house and pay board. There’s lots to like about having not-quite-adults living in your house!

4. Everything about teenagers is big

Big emotions, big experiences. Big excitement and big disappointments. I just find myself smirking at my own memories of being a teenager. Then taking a deep breathe before working out what to say or do.

5. Teenagers aren’t afraid to share their opinions

Hearing their ideas can be so refreshing! They soak them up from so many sources. It’s nice to have your own thinking challenged by the fresh perspective of a child. I love being able to talk about politics, religion, social justice and human rights.

6. When teenagers say “I love you” they mean it

My teens are thrifty with their words. They won’t say something just because it’s the right thing to say. If you get a hug or an “I love you”, it’s coming from the bottom of their heart.

“Teenagers who are never required to vacuum are living in one.” – Fred G Gosman

7. Teenagers are handy helpers

From sorting out an issue on your computer to picking up something at the shops. Or signing for a package you’re waiting on, teenagers are rather handy to have around.

8. Teenagers don’t need putting to bed

It’s nice to know you don’t have to wait for them to fall asleep before you can hit the sack! And you can have a sleep in without a wake up call too.

9. Your little one is still inside that teenage body

They may be taller and have a deep voice, but there’s still that little boy inside. Your daughter might look like a grown woman on the outside, but need a parent when the chips are down.

10. Teenagers can do a lot more than we give them credit for

We think it’s unusual for a teenager to start a business, or to develop a social enterprise. But they all have that capacity if we believe in them. They can get themselves from one place to another. They can cook. And the world of work is a much better teacher of life than school.

11. Teenagers can turn fresh dreams into reality

They aren’t constrained by the old ways of doing things or rules about what we can do. They also have less to lose while they experiment.

12. They’re all different

Being a teenager is about blending in by being the same. Yet they all have their own uniqueness, that’s a little less hidden than ours.

There isn’t a lot I wouldn’t do to have a few more years with my kids this age. But as parents we don’t get to make that choice. So the least we can do is enjoy it while we can.

If you want to know more about how great life with teenagers can be, check out my article on the secrets of raising great teens.

What do you like about living with teenagers?

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