Best Things About Teens

Being the parent of teenagers is fun, weird, and frustrating. You live with people who are as tall as (or taller than) you but still seem to need so much help. 

They know more than you about niche subjects like TikTok or pre-calculus, but they don’t know how to load the washing machine so it doesn’t throw itself out of the laundry room. They know a lot about fancy foods and expensive skincare products but have no money. They want your money to buy the foods and skincare that you wouldn’t dream of purchasing for yourself.

Do you want to know all the best things about having a teenager? Good, because I’ve made a list. 

Best Things About Having Your Very Own Adolescent:

  1. You never get bored because they are totally unpredictable. You could be laughing at a shared inside joke one minute and then get the Deep Freeze Silent Treatment the next. And trust me, they aren’t going to tell you why (but you probably wouldn’t really get it anyway).
  2. You can go on a daily treasure hunt and find at least five empty cups under little piles of things in their room. It’s a way to fill up all that extra time a working parent always seems to have between working, cooking, cleaning, and suffering from existential dread.
  3. You will stay humble because if you try to dance, sing, or possibly even tap your toe to the beat of the music, they will roll their eyes so far to the backs of their heads that you’ll forget what color they are. You will become completely convinced that you were never good at anything. No pesky arrogance for you!
  4. You can develop a close relationship with the school administrative assistant because the only way you’ll find out what’s going on is by emailing and/or calling the school office. It’s good to make friends for life at this age since you’ll soon be an empty-nester!
  5. You’ll learn about how to keep a flexible, interesting schedule. You will observe how they sleep from about 6 – 9 pm, do homework until 1am, and then sleep through their alarm until you roll them out of bed about half an hour before they need to leave the house.
  6. You’ll get unexpected surprises all the time. Just when you think they don’t want much to do with you, they’ll chat you up all through dinner. Did you think they were planning to hibernate through the winter, they’ve been in their room for so long? Late one night, they’ll come downstairs to dirty every dish while they cook themselves some instant mac n cheese.

The truth is, this list is the embodiment of the teen spirit because it’s sarcastic and filled with love at the same time. The truth is, my teens are hilarious, impulsive, and endearing. They are loud, obnoxious, and silly. They are vulnerable, brilliant, and kind. They are sweet, tender, and thoughtful. 

They are trying to navigate a world where their every mistake could be filmed and posted on social media for the whole world to see. They are trying to learn the truth in a world that constantly bombards them with falsehoods.

Sometimes, it’s true that they need to be alone with their phones and their thoughts, and I don’t hear from them for a while. But then they flop themselves in bed with me on a Saturday morning, all limbs and wry jokes. As they attempt to curl themselves into me just like they did when they were five, I remember that these cool kids are still my babies. And I am happy they are mine. 

Author

  • Leza Warkentin

    I have been living and teaching in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, since the turn of the century. I am a Canadian with a musician-Mexican husband and two Mexican-Canadian patas saladas who are growing up way too fast.

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