The Joy of Parenting Teenagers

Before I had children, I loved babies. I loved toddlers. I loved preschoolers. Oh, look they’re learning the alphabet! I even loved elementary school aged kids. But I really, really, really didn’t love teenagers.

I used to worry about it. What would happen when I actually had children? How could I pretend I liked them once they hit puberty? What would I ever do with them?

And then there were all the horror stories. Well-intentioned friends and family members began making predictions as soon as I was pregnant. “Just wait until you have teenagers…”

The joy of parenting teenagers

But, when I actually became a parent, the worrying about teenagers was sort of pushed to the back of my mind. When I was in the midst of the baby years, I didn’t really have time to worry about it- too many diapers to change, too many sleep-deprived nights. When they were toddlers, I was too busy keeping them from certain destruction. When they were preschoolers, I was having too much fun teaching letters and numbers. When they were school-aged, I was too busy getting this whole homeschooling thing going.

And so time crept by (or flew by in hindsight), and now I have a teenager. And an almost teenager. And the truth is they are pretty wonderful. Sure they have their bad moments. (I surely have those myself!) But there is so much fun to be had and times to be shared with them.

They “get” the jokes now. I can actually say something with a pun or an innuendo, and they get it.

They can carry on an adult conversation. Now, I’m really not just talking to myself all day. I have people who actually care.

They can- and will- discuss their opinions about EVERYTHING. And, trust me, they have an opinion. On everything. But, most of the time it is fun and stimulating to have a discussion.

They have big ideas. Sometimes I’m old and tired. And my ideas seem to be wilting. But they are young and fresh. And I’m inspired by their ideas.

They can be helpful. Yes, sometimes they’re self-centered. (Again, aren’t we all?) But, often, they can sense when I’m tired or frustrated or overwhelmed, and they offer help.

I love my teenagers. Don’t listen to the naysayers. They are wonderful. Look forward to them. Enjoy them. I’ve got two more to look forward to!

This post was originally linked with Blogging Through the Alphabet here.

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