With the 13th birthday of our youngest, we now have three teenagers at home. I remember, as a young mother with four children, the pitying glances and dire warnings:
"Just wait until they are teenagers."
Our oldest is now twenty-something, and The Adolescent Apocalypse I was told to anticipate has not happened. I continue to revel in being the parent of teenagers, and I want to share nine reasons why I think parenting teens is awesome.
- Lively conversations - the kind of intelligent, interesting back and forth discussions and debates that don’t involve explaining yet again why there aren’t really dinosaurs on an island near Costa Rica.
- Nostalgia. Teens provide constant reminders of when I thought I knew everything and the world revolved around me.
- The emerging adult. Watching the child-cocoon crack open to reveal a unique, whole, separate person.
- Independence. I am thrilled when they finally get their drivers license so they can take themselves to the 150 places they MUST go each week.
- Seeing them learn self-motivation. That moment when they see the light at the end of the childhood tunnel, and seriously take charge of their own education and future.
- We make discoveries together. I'm taking notes on the ongoing science experiment that is their rooms.
- Enlightenment. No matter how experienced and sophisticated you are, teens help you see the world from another point of view.
- Skill building. You have the opportunity to learn and practice crisis management skills, because hair gel and humidity don’t mix very well.
- Confirmation of universal truths. Teens offer proof that the power of comfort food and a good night's sleep really can solve problems.