My view on what my parents will get out of me… 🙂
It’s of the general notion that parenting teenagers is not an easy job. There’s lots of negativity about the matter amidst the public and media and even parents of teens complain it’s a difficult job. However, as a parent of two teenagers, I believe there’s more good to it than meets the eye. In fact, there are more advantages to disadvantages of parenting a teenager.
So no matter if you have teenagers or have younger children and are worrying about their teenage years, it’s worth your time going through these 11 things worth appreciating about being the parent of a teenager.
1. You get to see their transition phase
This phase, teenage years, is when your child transitions from a child to an adult and is something amazing. Though it may seem scary and exciting, you are lucky you can see it. So instead of wasting time yearning for their childhood, learn to observe and soak in all their changes as it’s the biggest transition in their lives.
2. They are now self-sufficient
You were the constant source of entertainment for your children when they were small. However, as teens, they are now self-sufficient and don’t need your attention all the time. So instead of despairing about the time they spend on their devices, think about the time you now have to yourself!
3. They behave well in public
While you had to worry about how your toddlers would behave in a restaurant or someone’s house, there’s no worry with your teens. Though they may behave differently when they are alone, they know how appropriate they should behave when they are out in public with you.
4. You are helping them make important decisions
It is during their teenage years that teenagers have to make big decisions about their future, and decide which subjects to drop, which to study further, their career choices and their future. You will have a part in all their decisions, providing them the required help and guidance. This itself is a privilege as you are helping human beings choose the right plans for the rest of their lives.
5. You now have similar interests
Almost overnight your child’s interest in books, movies, food and places to visit seems to have changed to adult interests. You no longer have to choose your trips based on the quality of their soft play area and if they have a kid-friendly menu. In fact, you can now go to a movie together to see a movie you have always wanted, or even do things alone.
6. Improves your negotiating skills
If you have always wanted to improve your negotiating skills, you’ve got your chance now. Teenagers are passing through a difficult and confusing time as their bodies and minds change. They find it difficult dealing with things.
You can now either spend all your time fighting with them or learn to let the trivial matters slide and instead, concentrate only on important things. While you may make mistakes, with time, you will learn the best way to negotiate and handle them, and thus acquire better negotiating skills!
7. You now have more time to yourself
The phase transformation phase from a child to a teenager is so gradual, you may not even notice that you now have some extra time to yourself. However, if you spend just an hour with a parent of a young child, you’ll remember those days, and that you definitely have more time for yourself now.
8. Hold grown-up discussions together
You will find your teenager developing new and more informed opinions about the world and will be able to hold discussions with you on the same level now. They no longer look to you to provide answers; in fact, you have now learned as much from them as they do from you! So make it a point to hold discussions whenever they call for one, and these discussions will give you a better idea of their character.
9. Teenagers are actually pretty cool
If you have not actually spent any time with teenagers since you were one, you may have forgotten how cool, fun, optimistic and full of life teenagers are. Watching teenagers hang out with their friends and their strong and loyal friendships while they enjoy youth is something to be cherished. These are only a few joyful moments they will be enjoying before taking on adult responsibilities, and is a chance for you to remember what it’s like to be young again.
10. You realize they are more than just your children
Though you always knew your teenagers were not just your children, but also people in their own right, you never actually felt it before. This is when you start imagining them as adults making their way into the future, without you and your support and guidance. While this is bittersweet, learn to focus on the sweet aspects.
11. You realize the results of your earlier parenting
While there may be varied aspects of your parenting, there’s always some good. While you may curse yourself for letting them learn some bad habits when small, you will also feel proud when you see the good traits you’d brought out from them through your parenting.