10 Interesting Things about Being a Parent of Teenagers

They say parenting teenagers is not for the weak. And they’re right.

But I say neither is parenting 3-year-olds. And after recently spending 2 1/2 weeks driving 4,000 miles and camping every night with my husband and kids, I’m awfully glad my kids can dress themselves with ease, entertain themselves for 10 hours in the car, and exercise wise caution at the edge of the Grand Canyon.

Sure, parenting teenagers can be challenging. Sometimes it can feel like navigating an alien planet, but it’s not all bad. Sometimes it’s great. And sometimes it’s just…interesting.

In tribute to my own adventurous family, here’s a list of 10 experiences that make parenting teenagers interesting, for various reasons:

  • Realizing your big kids still have many of the same impulses they had when they were 2 years old, and now acting on those impulses could actually get them killed
  • Sitting next to a bad driver who thinks she’s a better driver than you and likes to point out all the things you’re doing wrong
  • Feeling that special kind of amusement that comes only from seeing your kids discover and embrace a bit of fashion or technology from your past–something you decided was hopelessly out of date 25 to 35 years ago (think vinyl records, Elton John, and raggedy overalls with one strap hanging down)
  • Becoming the shortest person in your family
  • Facing the sudden knowledge that your kids are just as strong as you are–and you’re not getting any stronger (guess who is?)
  • Sheepishly turning to them to fix your tech problems…again
  • Fruitlessly trying to keep your kids from doing the same little things your elders tried to get you not
    to do, knowing they don’t think good posture is any more important than you did
  • Watching your kids exercise wisdom you didn’t know they had and realizing they’ve actually learned some of the things you’ve tried to teach them
  • Standing amazed as they display skills you don’t have and didn’t teach them
  • Joyfully discovering they have grown from mere consumers of family resources to actual contributors!

    I’m looking forward to a few more interesting years. And I’m praying they don’t get too interesting…

    1. Amy, this is so great! My humans-in-progress are 18, 15, and 13, and I completely agree. Thanks for a good laugh, and the simple recognition that I’m not the only one living this challenges as well.

    2. Oh, we are living the same life!
      With three still home and in their teens, I am used to the fact that I am hopelessly obsolete in the world of technology, driving, etc., but I have the hope that comes from having one “child” in his twenties who now comes home to ask Mum and Dad for advice.
      Ahhhh . . . this is satisfying!

    © 2015 Amy Simpson.