A few weeks ago I got it all out about how you know there is a preteen and a teen in your home. It ended up being two posts that people found very funny. Totally wasn’t going for humor, but I’ll take it. Because I’m sure that was mostly because people could totally relate to the frustrations that can be a teen and a preteen.
But I don’t think I’m doing anyone justice (especially my teen and preteen) if I don’t let you know how truly great this age can be as well. Every stage of life has its challenges, but with those challenges come some really great things.
And you know I’m just going to say it, I have the greatest kids in the world. I know everyone thinks there kids are the best, or at least they should. But I would trade my brood for anything even when they are driving me completely and totally insane. Sometimes we need these reminders of the good things though.
So here are ten reasons I love having a preteen and teen in my home…
Top 10 Preteen/Teen Traits
- They can buy you stuff. This week for Valentine’s Day when we were out and about my two older girls asked if they could go to a store without us to get us something. While we told them they don’t have to get us anything they still insisted. With their own hard earned money they bought us each a mug, a card, and some candy. My teen went one step above and bought me two carnations at school the next day. Now of course I would like them to really think about their purchases, but the fact that they thought of others before getting what they wanted warms the heart.
- They can stay home for short periods of time by themselves. Now this will depend on the responsibility of your child of course and the laws in your state too I suppose, but when my oldest started middle school we got her a key so if there was ever a time I wasn’t home in time for her to get off the bus she could get in the house. It doesn’t happen a lot, but occasionally a doctors appointment runs late so it’s nice that I don’t have to scramble to find someone to be there for them.
- My teen can babysit. Again, this is not something I try to take advantage of too often and never last minute on a whim. Her activities always come first. But last night we had a thing at the elementary school for my 10 year old and my 5 year old. They each needed a parent to attend (although they probably would have been fine if just one of us went). We had discussed it with my teenager and she actually looked forward to her time with her little sister for a couple of hours. She said the cat was more trouble than the baby. And she changed her diaper and put PJ’s on her and put her to bed all before we got back home. Very impressed with how she cared for her little sister.
- They can prepare their own food. Simple things like heating things up in the microwave mostly although my teenager does make herself omelets for breakfast many times and can make boxed macaroni and cheese. And yes, they’ll even prepare food for their younger siblings.
- They can take on bigger chores. My teenager washes her own laundry and washes the dishes every night. My preteen puts away the dishes and cleans off the table every night and the chairs for me. All very helpful tasks so I can focus on homework for my son and baths for the two little ones.
- Most of the time you can actually have conversations with them which don’t consist of words like potty, boo-boo, or poopy. They might even be good for a debate and sometimes they have even taught me a thing or two. Like a different way to do long division.
- If they are quiet I don’t generally have to worry that they might be getting into something. Chances are they are sleeping, reading, doing art, or listening to music with their headphones.
- Going out with them I don’t always have to be wondering where they are. For the most part they stick with us, but even if they stop to look at something they always manage to find us and the realization that they aren’t right there doesn’t send me into the same kind of frenzy it does with my younger children.
- I don’t usually have to wash their faces or brush their hair. For the most part they are capable of doing all of the personal care stuff themselves. Occasionally I will put their hair up or curl it if we have extra time and they want me to though.
- I don’t have to cut up their food for them or feed it to them. All stuff they can do on their own. Even serving themselves their dinner, or helping themselves to 2nds for that matter is something they can take on all on their own.
While it might be nice to be needed I do enjoy seeing them grow more and more independent. Of course ask me how I feel when I’m stuck twiddling my thumbs when the two little ones are a teen and preteen. Somehow I think I’ll still be quite busy with plenty of other things.
Parents of teens and preteens what’s the best about having older children?