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Teenagers

Does anyone actually enjoy the teen years and like their teenagers?

82 replies

MasterOfNobody · 04/02/2024 07:46

I have been reading a few teen threads and they all sound so bleak with teens that think of nobody but themselves, swear, make bad choices, refuse to engage with parents etc.

it made me wonder whether I am exceedingly lucky (it would be luck, I am no great parent) or whether it’s just those who are actively enjoying the teen years don’t feel the need to post.

I have girls in years 13 and 11 and a boy in year 7 (so he’s not a teen). I love the teen years as their conversations get more relatable, the things they like to do as a family more similar to things I’d choose to do myself, they can help out more, they bring friends over who are run to talk to. I love spending time with them and am gutted to think my eldest will probably leave for uni this year.

they aren’t perfect, they can be inconsiderate and overly emotional and my Year 11 is best avoided for the day her period starts. I worry about them much more than I did when they were little and to be that’s the big challenge of having teens. Their problems are harder to fix and their mental health is so precious to me but sometimes precarious due to the pressures they put on themselves to do well at school and have good social lives and look good etc - it’s all so much for them to deal with. But on the whole they are a joy.

I should say I work outside the home 12 hours a day 4x a week and sometimes I wonder whether that is the key to enjoying them: I’m not here all the time and they have had to learn to do quite a bit for themselves. The cook our dinner, keep the place tidy and look after their brother and have to walk the dog etc so maybe that helps then not be ungrateful for things I do for them.

This isn’t a boast. I just really love teens and wondered how many others genuinely enjoy this stage. I also don’t want mums of younger kids to only hear how awful teens are, I was worried about these years and I wish I hadn’t wasted time worrying.

OP posts:
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FindingMeno · 04/02/2024 07:57

I've loved the teen years!
Yes, there are challenges and it can be scary because we are bit by bit giving them more independence.
But I love seeing the people they've turned into. I love their fresh uncluttered ideas. I love that the world is their oyster.
My teens are caring, kind, emotionally intelligent and unselfish and I find it sad that so many people are down on the youth of today.
It gives me hope for a better world when this generation takes over.
They're my best friends and we've got each others backs ❤

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lljkk · 04/02/2024 07:59

I have both enjoyed & been driven mad by them. Not mutually exclusive.

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Gumbo · 04/02/2024 07:59

Yes, me! I found the baby and toddler years tedious and hard work, but the older my DC gets the better he gets!

I am well aware I'm lucky with the type of child I have, but he's kind and thoughtful and witty, and we have fantastic conversations - whether about politics or his friends or school or anything at all. I'll miss him dreadfully when he goes to uni, but I'm so proud of the sort of person he is (and so grateful he's given me an easy ride in his teen years).

Teens always get bad press, but there are plenty of lovely ones out there - I love all my son's friends too, they're so nice!

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WandaWonder · 04/02/2024 08:01

My teen has their moments but also each day I learn something new about them and how they are developing into a wonderful soon to be young adult, more deodorant is welcome though

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Mishmaj · 04/02/2024 08:03

Yes! We’re having lots of great conversations and sharing fun activities with our lovely teens. Enjoying their infectious energy and their delight at discovering the world. Also dealing with mental health issues, drug issues, social ostracism, lots of doors being slammed, being sworn at. So it’s a mixed bag but the good outweighs the bad by a long way. (At the moment
at least! I’m enjoying this halcyon patch before the next disaster happens).

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TheCountessofFitzdotterel · 04/02/2024 08:04

It should be fairly obvious that the people having trouble are going to be over represented on here. I have 3 teenagers and I have written a whole lot more about the difficult one than the easy ones.

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shearwater2 · 04/02/2024 08:05

Yes! I really am enjoying a lot ofaspects. DDs' friends are lovely and funny.

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Octavia64 · 04/02/2024 08:06

My teens had some difficult times.

But I love them and even in the difficult times we had times when we had great conversations.

I chose to work with teens for most of my career (secondary school teacher) and now I host foreign teens in the U.K.

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HippoStraw · 04/02/2024 08:07

Mine were great on the whole. Bit messy and expensive, but lovely. Some other people’s, not so much, and caused any concerns.

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ColdButSunny · 04/02/2024 08:08

I have three DC aged 14 to 18. They're awesome and I love the teen years! It's so interesting watching them grow into adults. I've been lucky so far with no really tricky issues.

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Chrispackhamspoodle · 04/02/2024 08:08

DDs 15 and 16.Yes I am enjoying having teens.Mental health, physical health complications for both but I like being there for them and they are witty, smarter than me, interesting and I love their friends.God they can ge rude, emotional and dramatic but so was I.They don't get into trouble though..no vaping, boys or alcohol and do what I say over the big stuff.I really love being around them and feel they would come to me about most things.

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CreateHope · 04/02/2024 08:09

Mine are 15 & 16 so I’m aware I still have a lot of challenges ahead (driving and drinking being my two biggest concerns) but they are fabulous kids 90% of the time and life is definitely much easier now than when they were little 😄

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Tinytigertail · 04/02/2024 08:11

Mine are late teens and early twenties now. We had our challenging moments, but on the whole my kids and their friends were hilariously funny, engaging, interesting and great to be around. I've loved the teen years despite the odd challenge.

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Angrycat2768 · 04/02/2024 08:11

I have a teen and a nearly teen. I enjoy parenting with them far more than babies and toddlers. I agree with PP that they are messy and sometimes argumentative but onnthe whole, good company. Their friends are also as far as I can see, polite, friendly and hardworking boys, as are the teens in my family.

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KeepGoing2 · 04/02/2024 08:12

Yes I love the teen years and really enjoy spending time with my kids. That’s not to say they haven’t also had problems but they’ve never been the stereotype inconsiderate teenager at all- always kind and fun to be around. I agree with PP that people only usually post the bad stuff.

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carrotbagel · 04/02/2024 08:12

My teen stepdaughters are great. Can really see them developing their own thoughts and opinions on things.

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sharptoothlemonshark · 04/02/2024 08:14

I teach teens and the vast majority of them are lovely

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Angrycat2768 · 04/02/2024 08:14

Gumbo · 04/02/2024 07:59

Yes, me! I found the baby and toddler years tedious and hard work, but the older my DC gets the better he gets!

I am well aware I'm lucky with the type of child I have, but he's kind and thoughtful and witty, and we have fantastic conversations - whether about politics or his friends or school or anything at all. I'll miss him dreadfully when he goes to uni, but I'm so proud of the sort of person he is (and so grateful he's given me an easy ride in his teen years).

Teens always get bad press, but there are plenty of lovely ones out there - I love all my son's friends too, they're so nice!

He sounds like my oldest. I've told him he can only go to the local uni!

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boopboopbidoop · 04/02/2024 08:15

The teen years is for many parents the first really challenging time. But it can be an amazing time. I've had range of experiences but I do love the teen years. Even if there is an element of survival

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RuthW · 04/02/2024 08:22

Give me a teen over a baby or toddler and day. Yes there are difficulties but my dd got better and better the older she got.

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Darknesshasdescended · 04/02/2024 08:52

Yes. Loving the teen years here. Pleasantly surprised so far. Pretty harmonious household and honestly right now I actually prefer hanging out with the teens over most adults, their chat is more random and interesting and their minds are more open.

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PermanentTemporary · 04/02/2024 08:57

Loved ds being a teenager. It's so much more interesting. They still need you but not in that 24/7 kind of way. One of my happiest memories of lockdown is watching Arrested Development start to finish with ds. He is just a great boy and I loved his friends too. A tiny bit sad that he's 20 now and moving on.

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mondaytosunday · 04/02/2024 09:06

It has ups and downs. My DD (18) has been a delight most of the time, my son (20) struggled. Partly due to Covid which coincided with him leaving school and starting a vocational course at college - he couldn't do the all important work experience, he couldn't make new friends, he couldn't go to the gym (he is super active and exercise is essential to him as breathing). That and a few more things wretched his confidence and my cheerful happy go lucky boy became anxious and angry. Very very angry.
It's the psychological toll. Even fairly straightforward kids have to deal with first romantic breakup, temptations like drink and drugs, exam stress, friendship drama, and deciding what the heck to do after leaving school. I'm a widow since they were small, so it's all on me, and teenagedom has definitely been the hardest time to negotiate.

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xxwinterxx · 04/02/2024 09:08

My boys are 14 and 17 and I enjoy them the majority of the time, they have their moments and have had a lot of worries with my oldest related to his mental health, but they are mostly respectful and loving, they both still like spending time with me and their dad, and they are extremely loyal to each other.

Sometimes now when I'm chatting to my 17 year old he'll say something and I just think to myself - wow, we're having a real proper adult converstion! Not subject matter, but just his perspective on life being more mature and insightful than what it was even 6 months ago. (he has left school which has made a huge difference).

I love having their friends around too, so much better than having extra 8 year olds over for "play dates"! My biggest stress is the fact my oldest now drives, and is going in cars with friends who drive. I worry so much every time he's out, I know I have to find some way of dealing with it. Its actually one of the hardest things about it, just letting go...

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MediocreOne · 04/02/2024 09:11

For me it's been the hardest phase but by far the most rewarding. Teens are the best.

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