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To be dreading the teenage years?? Please tell me about your lovely teens

(111 Posts)
Mycatisfuzzy Mon 28-Nov-16 13:40:28

I need a grip.

My DD is 10. She is lovely - so happy, doing well at school, popular, has a really nice group of friends. She does a few hobbies, horse riding, music and Guides. She loves being outside, still loves playing with her toys, has loving extended family. She has her moments, but in general she is a sunny, lovely, happy child.

We were never able to have any more children, and perhaps that's partly why I'm feeling this way. As she edges closer to the end of primary school, I am filled with fear and dread of what the teenage years will bring to her.

I know I am guilty of skewed thinking. I also was a happy child, until something happened when I was 13. This something awful ruined my life and I had a horrible time of it, really up until my mid twenties - drugs, unsafe sex, depression.

I have also worked with troubled teenagers in the past, and I saw how difficult it was for them at times. Self harm, eating disorders, abusive boyfriends.

When I think of DD going through that sort of thing, I feel physically sick, and i wish I could run away with her and DH and our dogs, to some lovely, lonely cottage in some nice woods where she can play outside and ride horses and grow up in her own good time, away from anybody who might make her grow up far too quickly and painfully.

I know it's totally irrational, but I'm worried that as DD does get that bit older, my fears will hold her back. I don't want to be that overprotective mum and I fully realise that my own experiences have put a massive twist in my perception.

I would really love to hear about your own teens - just normal, happy teenagers who go to the cinema or ice skating and whose biggest problems are they eat too much toast and use up all the hot water

Mycatisfuzzy Mon 28-Nov-16 13:42:45

Posted too soon..

......because I need reminded that being a teenager doesn't = a horrible experience.... growing up doesn't have to be a painful process, does it?

QueenArseClangers Mon 28-Nov-16 13:47:03

I had a shit time as a teen. However, our two eldest are now 15 and 17 and are absolutely fab. I bloody love these teen years.
We still have 3 more kids to reach this age but if our lads are anything to go by then they'll have a much better experience of adolescence than I ever had.

AuntieStella Mon 28-Nov-16 13:47:22

Part of me doesn't want to answer this, because it feels like I'm tempting fate.

But I have - so far and touch wood - nice normal people (2xteens and one preteen). Yes, we have stroppy days, and occasional bouts of appalling rudeness and sulkiness. But short lived. They're mainly funny, lively invigorating people to have around.

No troubles at school, nice (also normal) friends, can generally be counted on to behave well and take a certain amount of rough with smooth. They still fight each other (moderately literally) but can also be each other's best friends and defenders against the outside world. I've just had two of them asking me to order online things for siblings' Xmas presents and they've made lovely choices clearly aimed at pleasing the recipient.

They're getting competent enough to be useful round the house, still have a good range of activities outside it (despite also managing hours of screen time).

And yes, it's all going far too fast!

Thefishewife Mon 28-Nov-16 13:55:04

My teen is prone to sulking and back chat at home but never been in bother at school and is doing well at collage my best advise

I keep them busy with activities witch distracts them from sex and hanging about the streets

Mine is into army cadets

Say what you mean a mean what you say I have had to be very firm with things like getting a job and also ds trying to back chat 🙄

Personally for me it's like a journey ds has a few crazy moments evey year when things become a bit much I will say as you have a girl you may get more friendship drama boys are not really prone to this but I have heard from my friends with teens daughter this can be a nightmare with fallouts and arguments every other week

hellsbellsmelons Mon 28-Nov-16 15:54:28

Hideous a while back but at 16 she just suddenly changed and is now a nice person who I like spending time with.

littlesallyracket Mon 28-Nov-16 15:55:37

I don't have kids but I have a few friends whose teens are lovely - the odd strop/flounce & a bit of sibling rivalry but otherwise totally pleasant, reasonable kids who do stuff like sports, playing in bands, volunteering etc. They go to the odd party but don't come home steaming drunk. I know more reasonable teens than nightmare ones, definitely.

CHJR Mon 28-Nov-16 16:00:25

I have only one teen so far (next is coming up!) and he's absolutely lovely. When he was a cute little one I used to dread his growing up, like you, but truly, I love being able to talk to him and listen to him and watch him navigate the new world of adulthood. He does get a bit grumpy once in a while but then so do I (we have had to cut a deal not to talk to each other before 9 a.m.!) I think it helps if you remember your own teenage years, the nightmare of hormones and uncertainty; it certainly makes me more sympathetic, for e.g., when DS wants to sleep in on a Sunday and his dad thinks he should be up by 9.

RatherBeRiding Mon 28-Nov-16 16:06:23

Mine, now young adults, were lovely teens on the whole. I say "on the whole" because I think it's almost inevitable that as they grow up they start pushing the boundaries, questioning authority etc to some extent, but I always accepted that as healthy, and didn't discourage them from forming their own values and opinions.

As a teen myself I was very strongly "discouraged" from having my own opinions and was treated like a child by overbearing and over-protective parents. I was determined to treat my teens like people, talk to them like people, respect their right to their own opinions even if I didn't agree with them. It seemed to work!

There were ground rules of course - absolutely no smoking in the house (neither did or do), no drugs, tell me where you are going, who with and what time you are going to be back. I also made it quite clear that I had their backs and was there to listen and help.

The other thing was that they both had a raft of extra-curricular activities they were both passionate about, they went to a lovely school and had friends with similar outlooks and interests. Lucky? Not sure. Personally I think a healthy relationship with your children before they hit the teen years, and the ability to not sweat the small stuff and overlook the odd tantrum, and talking to them will help.

They were lovely kids as teens and although I was dreading that stage a bit my fears turned out to be groundless!

IAmAmy Mon 28-Nov-16 16:07:56

I'm 16 and one of my brothers is 14. We terrorise one another and no doubt our parents from time to time. We have always been a close family, though, and rest assured we spend plenty of time with our parents, go out together quite a bit, have Sunday roasts in a local pub once a month, and all enjoy spending time together. I won't deny my friends and I try to get served in pubs from time to time though. I also go to a fair few parties and drink more than my parents would advise, but nothing over the top, honest.

Thefishwife I completely disagree, this is negative stereotyping of teenage girls. I go to a girls' school and have a brilliant group of close friends, even beyond that, we all for the most part get on. It's just when girls fall out it's called a "drama" and "typical teenage girls" but when boys do it's not commented on.

marvelousdcomics Mon 28-Nov-16 16:08:53

I have 2 teens and 1 pre teen.

Both teens are lovely. Helpful around the house, funny, doing fab at school. Always doing something functional, have great aspirations. Few stroppy days, occasional mood swings - not very often though. Also not very into technology. Both have good friends, all hardworking and very nice.

PJBanana Mon 28-Nov-16 16:16:22

My nephew and niece are 16 and 13. Both really lovely teens.

Nephew went through a 'grunting' phase and hardly ever came out of his room, but he's matured into a polite and very interesting young man!

Niece is a vibrant character who loves makeup/hair etc, really confident and with a lovely group of friends.

I feel similar to you. I don't have my own kids yet but the thought of them going through what I did already gives me chills. The way I see it is at least you have a head start. If you've been through some shit, you'll be able to help your daughter deal with anything that comes her way.

You sound like a lovely mum smile

Greengoddess12 Mon 28-Nov-16 16:17:46

Have 2 teens and 2 older.

apart from odd drunken incidents grin and some back chat been good overall.

Our ethos was no rules regarding dress, makeup hair, clothes etc. School rules obviously regarded. Lots of parents wage huge battles about trivial crap.

Thry had to tell us where they were and be in contact. They had to be polite and we dont allow tantrums or sulks. Tears fine. Lots of hugs and praise.

Thry knew they could tell us anything and totally open about sex and contraception. Condoms in the bathroom.

Good luck grin

StillStayingClassySanDiego Mon 28-Nov-16 16:39:20

I never had any bother off any of my older two until they went to university and even then it was the occasional drunk episode when back at home and a one off visit to A+E because he [ds1-21]fell over pissed and had a Harry Potter type gash on his forehead.

Ds3 -17 is still at home and very sensible, he's not a sheep and thankfully walks away from some of the stuff his mates are doing, hope he keeps on that path.

They were/are all pretty sensible and didn't/don't give me too much grief.

Billyray23 Mon 28-Nov-16 16:46:33

I loved the teen years with ds. I found 10,11,12 hard. Lost that cuteness that young children have. Attitude starts when they begin high school by 13 everything had settled down. They really become their own person, love having long chats , hearing his opinion and views on things.
He is 19 now and an amazing young man.

StillMedusa Mon 28-Nov-16 16:56:10

Mine were all teens together... all 4!! (one left)
One was hideous for a couple of years tbh..but he is absolutely lovely now.. he suddenly became human again at 17.
The girls had the odd strop but nothing major.. and the odd drunken lambrini episode, (and consequent grounding!) and have become lovely young women... I missed them both dreadfully when they went off to Uni and am secretly pleased that one is thinking of coming to live back at home for a while ( in her career)
No 4 is still a teen and easy going.

It has its moments but watching them turn from children to real grown ups is a real joy !

BackforGood Mon 28-Nov-16 16:56:17

I have 3 teens (well, ok, eldest is 20 now), and I've loved the teen years. Best years of parenting without a doubt. smile

Lovely to see all the work you put in when they were younger, coming through and watch them developing into mature, funny, kind, thoughtful young adults.

I was a horrible 13/14/15 year old, but tbh my home life was fairly erratic and I think I was fairly angry/sullen in response to that.

I worried about mine hitting 'Kevin' age but <crosses fingers> so far it's been okay (mine are 13, 16 and 18) They're better behaved now than when they were kids tbh. Definitely a lot easier to reason with and they generally accept reasonable explanations for requests (ie text me if you're going to be late because it's dark, we live in an okay-but not-great area and if you're not back roughly when you're expected I'll worry, plus it's polite and both me and Dad do it too)

Most of my friends kids were okay teens too - the odd 'what were you thinking?' incident, but nothing too horrendous. The problem on MN is that people post about their teens when they're at the end of their tether and need support - you get a skewed idea of average teenage behaviour. Most of them are fine and have no real issues and get from 12 to 20 with very few blips.

thatdearoctopus Mon 28-Nov-16 17:17:10

Another positive story here. My two are now 18 and 20 and I couldn't be more proud of them and how they have turned out. They are kind, respectful, funny, charming, articulate, bright and accomplished, with lots of lovely friends!
We've had none of the rudeness and sulks and door-slamming, apart from one week on holiday when dd was dumped by boyfriend, and she apologised afterwards and tried to make it up to us.
There is hope, I promise! Keep the lines of communication open, pick your battles (by which I mean don't fuss unduly about messy bedrooms. Shut the door on it), welcome their friends to your home, give them some space when they need it and always keep your antennae waving for any issues. Have a family dinner very evening you can manage with no phones at the table and remember to have fun together.

Topseyt Mon 28-Nov-16 17:17:32

I have three DDs aged between 21,and 14.

The odd bit of back chat and thinking they know it all, but really no actual rebellion and very little bother.

DD3 is 14 and is extremely into hockey. She would live and breathe it if she could.

DD1 is 21 and always quite academic, but fun too. Now in her final year university and considering what her next step will be.

DD2 is just about to turn 18. Less sure of herself and a home buddy. She is my more practical but non-academic one. She seems to have little desire to cut ties and branch out on her own, which concerns us a bit but she always gets there in the end.

They had their moments of course, but fairly few and far between. Not all teens are horrors or spawn of Satan all of the time.

TheDowagerCuntess Mon 28-Nov-16 17:27:04

I have no experience of parenting teenagers, but I had a drama-free, happy teenage experience myself, as did my brother.

We often joke at how little bother we gave our parents!

I went to an all girls school and had a lovely group of friends (not all girls have bad experiences with female friendship). It was a happy, contented time.

I think that whatever happened to you when you were 13 set you off down a road that you might not otherwise have gone down. Is this something you've been able to talk about with someone and work through? flowers

GreenShadow Mon 28-Nov-16 17:27:25

We have three DS. 2 are now in their early twenties but DS3 is still in his teens.
All 3 have really had incredibly easy and straight forward teen years. None became uncommunicative (although they may not have shared every last thought or event in their life), none had teenage strops or tantrums. No door slamming, no 'I hate you!'s, no police on the doorstep.

Yes, DS1 did drink too much, did dabble with drugs, stay out late etc, but always let us know what was going on/where he was. (He probably still does all the above but as he's now away from home, we don't get to know so much.)
DS2 wasn't interested in that sort of life style, but instead did drama clubs and geeky stuff and still rarely drinks.
DS3. Well, I sometimes wish he was more of a typical 'teen'. He leads a very dull life and has few friends. Like a lot of boys of his age, as long as he's got his computer/games, he is happy.
They've all had lovely friends which possibly helps.

I appreciate boys are often easier and more straightforward, but don't worry unduly at this stage. They don't all become 'Kevins' overnight.

JiminyCricket Mon 28-Nov-16 17:28:57

But teens are so much fun, the jokes, the singing in the kitchen, being able to watch tv and movies you all like, the nice friends coming round. And remember, a bit of rebellion and pushing the boundaries is a healthy part of development, as you will know from your work with teens.

TheDowagerCuntess Mon 28-Nov-16 17:30:47

Oh, we've also had some au pairs who've been 19 when they first arrived with us - these girls are a breed apart, even at that age. Responsible, mature, sociable, friendly, engaging, caring, independent, lots of initiative. I could go on and on.

Greengoddess12 Mon 28-Nov-16 17:33:46

Pick the important battles and let the rest slide.

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