I recently posted on Instagram about how sad I get when I see parents say they’re scared of the teenage years. I think it’s really common – I was too, from around the time when my first child reached the age of 7. Now, 10 years on, I’m sad to think that I lost time worrying about things that haven’t happened. I had an overwhelming response of relief to my post, so I asked people to tell me their best things about parenting a teenager.
- They can be really good company – they finally understand what the adults are talking about, and have an opinion on it.
- Their view of the world – they educate us on current affairs and force us to see a different point of view. If you open your mind to a teenager you can have fascinating conversations, healthy debates, and really change how you see the world.
- The shift (sometimes) from parent to friend.
- The deeper connections that grow between you as they become fully themselves.
- Being able to watch decent films at the cinema together
- Their sense of humour
- Laughing at the same jokes, enjoying the same things on TV, marvelling at the people they’re becoming.
- Getting a more up to date playlist on Spotify.
- Being able to talk through situations, listen to one another and (sometimes) find mutual ground.
- Being able to swear in front of them without putting £1 in a jar.
- When their friends come over, you don’t have to entertain or supervise. In fact, you hardly see them unless someone’s hungry. Remember those days when you had to negotiate fair play? Long gone – it’s none of our business now!
- The freedom you get back. You can go out for dinner again without needing a babysitter!
- You can send them to the shop on errands when you run out of milk.
- Having a very cool best mate.
- Their banter and understanding of life.
- You get free technical support. (I’m wary of this one though – my mum started like this, and now tries to switch on her phone with the TV remote…)
If you’re looking for tips on parenting a teenager you might find these posts useful: