10 reasons to love the teenage years
The kids are all right
1. They're still a bit silly
"At the moment there are six teenagers in my living room. I am in my office which is a room in the house and I can hear every word they are saying. There have been in-depth discussions on the best popcorn flavour."
2. They don't mind indulging you
"My boys turn 14 and 16 this year and I find them really good company. Their friends come over and are polite and well behaved. They have friendly arguments about music, bands and gaming. And they don't mind having a board game evening with us oldies."
3. They're a pretty accepting bunch
"My youngest son is 16 and a guitarist. We have fabulous kids round here all the time. He has ASD, they just accept his quirks and him. The house is always full of music. Having teens in the house is actually (apart from the bog of eternal stench that is his room) rather lovely."
4. They're not as dumb as you think
"My son is 17, very cool and laid back and knows so much stuff. Today we've been for a walk and to Starbucks and discussed the merits and drawbacks of a laissez-faire economy, the films of Michael Douglas, the rapper Marky Mark, the science of waterproofing materials, whether or not to read the new book by Harper Lee, and dogs. Oh, and conspiracy theories around Kurt Cobain's death."
5. They really spread the joy
"My daughter has made a whole bunch of new friends since being at sixth form and a couple of them came over to our for an evening just after their exams. It was so lovely hearing them chatter and laugh so much - they even asked my opinion a couple of times!"
6. They can be heartbreakingly thoughtful
"Yesterday my son was outside tinkering with his car and the lady a few doors up came home with her toddler. As she got him out of the car he burst his balloon and cried, saying 'It banged, it banged!' My son came running in, saying, 'Mum, have we got a balloon? We must have a balloon!' We didn't have a balloon, but it melted me that he just wanted to make it better for that little boy."
7. They're improving over time
"My mum said a while ago that the younger generation are so much nicer than they used to be (she's 75). I think so, too. Much more caring about others less fortunate than themselves."
"I was a tit at 18, can't quite believe how responsible and organised they are. Best stage ever."
8. Watching them become adults is so rewarding
"My daughter is a proper person now, intelligent, insightful, with her own opinions on stuff. I love the fact that she is now reading the same books I enjoyed at her age, and is happy to chat about them with me. She does a fine line in sarcasm and irony and she's genuinely witty and makes me laugh. There's plenty I have got wrong in my life, but I think I got something very, very right with her."
9. They're a LOT less needy
"We can go out and leave them! When I think back to all those interminable years of sick, shit and fevers...nothing could persuade me to go back if I compare."
10. You might even be a little bit sad that it's over so quickly
"This has brought back some lovely memories of my sons' teen years. Serious discussions about games, cars, girls, and football. Huge pizzas devoured, litres of soda to wash it down. Inspecting a 'new' car. Listening to someone's loud rendition of the latest hit on an electric guitar. Cries of 'Muuummm' when I'd start to sing along. More fun than rolling around in a pile of puppies. Treasure these times; they're gone too soon."
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Last updated: about 3 hours ago