A lot of people complain that teenagers are difficult and drive them crazy with their moods and attitudes. But, as a parent to teenagers myself (our kids are 14, 17, 19, and 22), I happen to love it. Yes, it's a whole different ballgame parenting teenagers than parenting little ones. Easier and harder all at the same time. Here are a few things that I love about being a parent to teenagers...
1. No more science fair projects! Seriously, I cannot tell you how much I loathed "helping" my kids with their science fair projects. There's two routes parents usually go when it comes to this...1) be on hand to answer questions or listen to ideas but let your kids do ALL THE WORK THEMSELVES and the project turns out looking fairly crappy OR 2) be the control freak parent who takes over the project and turns in a stellar professional looking science project that everyone knows was completed by the parent. I confess - I've done both. When your kids become teenagers, they can totally handle any science fair projects on their own.
2. Once your teens start driving it is awfully nice to be able to ask them to run to the store because you forgot a loaf of bread (or milk or whatever).
3. Its like having your own personal tech advisor (think Geek Squad for FREE!). If you ever have computer issues or want to download music or transfer photos from your phone or set up that new printer or scan something or whatever...no worries. Teenagers can do it in half the time it would take you to figure it out. Just play dumb and work really, really slowly and your teens can't help but step in and take over. It will be done in a flash!
4. You (in this case, I mean "me" because this might not apply to you) can take pride in the fact that you have instilled a love of 70's and 80's music into your kids. To this day, my teenagers can belt out lyrics to just about any Bee Gees, Queen, Hall & Oates, Elton John, or Def Leppard song. When my 19 year old daughter said that "Electric Light Orchestra is the best band ever!" I knew I had done something right.
5. They will keep you up-to-date on all the current jargon and sayings. For example, back in my day when you were dating someone it was called "going out". But, say that now and teenagers will laugh and mock you. There are various stages I'm still trying to figure out, but the hip phrases now range from "talking" (which is pretty harmless) to "hooking up" (which means just what it sounds like)...YIKES!
6. You have the perfect excuse for acting silly, such as spontaneously breaking into song or dance. Yes, your teenagers might roll their eyes or shake their heads at you, but they secretly love it and might even just join in.
7. You get the privilege of seeing what special, wonderful, smart, funny, and beautiful people your babies are becoming. Sometimes I just stare in awe at my kids...the way my son's expression reminds me so much of my dad, the funny and clever things my youngest son comes up with to make us laugh, how my daughter is so knowledgeable about current events and politics, the way my oldest son gives advice to his siblings...it really is an amazing thing to see!