10 Reasons I Love Parenting My Teens

Though I’ve shed plenty of tears over my three teenage daughters, I have never subscribed to the belief that the teenage years are inevitably difficult for a parent to enjoy. There may be times, ages, and stages when times get hard, but overall, parenting a teen is a glorious thing, and I’ve enjoyed it more than even I expected I would. Here now are the 10 Reasons I Love Parenting My Teens.

10 Reasons I Love Parenting Teens

  1. I have SO enjoyed their more sophisticated sense of humor. These kids crack. me. up. AND they “get” my jokes, and almost always laugh.
    Hannah and Maddy Busted Tees

    Hannah (left) and Maddy (right) in their “punny” T-shirts.

    abby and maddy goofing off

    Abby (left) and Maddy (right) goofing off during recent family photos.

  2. I also love that my teens are beginning to share my interests. Movies, musicals, reading, writing – I love talking to them about these topics! And I love that they always have something to say, something to add to the conversation. We turn up our favorite songs and sing together in the car, we watch favorite chick flicks, we just…share.
  3. They come to me as a trusted sounding board.  Now, they don’t always open up right away, or even every time they’re troubled. I have worked very hard at watching for the signs that they need to talk, and even harder at my “approach.” When I do it just right, they visibly deflate with relief and tell me what’s going on. Teens will not always admit this, but they need you to listenThey need your carefully-worded advice. Popular myth will tell you that teens could care less about what you have to say, but that is simply NOT TRUE. They just want to know that you can suppress your own ego/worries/expectations and just hear them.

    wit hannah and abby on the MAX

    With Hannah (middle) and Abby (right), on our way to see Maddy march in a parade. These bonding moments are so important!

  4. I love watching as they develop more mature friendships. Gone are the days of meeting on the playground and becoming best friends over the monkey bars. Teens learn so much during these years about trust, loyalty, and sacrifice. It makes me proud how deeply my daughters care for their friends.
  5. I also love watching as interests grow into passions. With an increase in experience, confidence, and hopes for the future, my daughters have started holding a bit tighter to their talents and taking themselves more seriously. And well they should.
    marching band

    Maddy (left) is Drum Major for her marching band. Hannah (right) played four years of flute and piccolo in her marching band.

    abby is our swimmer

    Abby is our swimmer and also play water polo.

  6. “I love you, Mom” isn’t an auto-response as it can sometimes be with younger kids. When my daughters tell me they love me, they mean it, and sometimes they mean more. Like “Thank you, Mom,” and “I appreciate you, Mom,” and “I can’t believe you put up with some of my garbage, but I’m so glad you do, Mom.”
  7. It’s exhilarating to be this near to someone whose possibilities are endless. I have never tried to vicariously live through my teens, but I am keenly aware of the open road that stretches before them, and I feel a companionable excitement at the opportunities ahead.

    At my oldest daughter's graduation (Hannah, in the middle).

    At my oldest daughter’s graduation (Hannah, in the middle).

  8. With their growing independence and capabilities, I finally see how all the endless work of mothering is paying off.  When your kids are little, it’s hard to see what kind of positive cumulative affect comes from chore charts, time-outs, playdates, or the willingness to watch the same Disney movie for the 40th time. But what used to feel like a hamster wheel is finally starting to look like successful line cast into the future.
  9. My teens are much more aware of how they fit into a community. I love watching as they learn to serve others, have compassion for those in need, and use their time and abilities to improve the lives of others.
  10.  They are just so stinkin’ fun to be with!  They love to laugh, play jokes, make memories.  They have adventurous spirits and are usually “game” for just about anything.
snow angels

Maddy and Abby, making snow angels this winter.

maddy jumping

Maddy, soaring through the air.