I remember hearing from friends and family how dreadful the teenage years are for parents. While no kid is perfect, and no parent is either, I’m learning to enjoy some of the things that come with having a 13-year-old in the house.
Loving the Teenage Years
Front Seat Passengers
Our son loves to sit in the front seat and critique my driving. Instead of being frustrated by this, I’ve learned to turn our conversations into pre-driver’s ed class. “Mom, why did you speed through the yellow light?” “Well, the roads are slick and it seemed like the best decision in the moment.”
As our son reminded us often, he was the last kid to get a cell phone on earth. Having a cell phone adds more work for parents as we try to monitor activity and texting, but it is also a huge convenience. I love knowing he can call if practice goes late or if he needs me to pick up something while I’m at the store.
With all that is going on in the world right now, I love being able to be open and honest about real-life things. I love hearing his thoughts on current events and issues that come up around home.
While he saw a few PG-13 movies before he was 13, we have a whole new list of favorite movies to watch with him! Sometimes this gets a bit awkward with romantic scenes, but overall it’s fun to share some more adult humor with him.
Our son is taller than me now and I use that to my advantage in the chore department. He is able to really help out with things like helping me move furniture, fixing a basic meal, or helping to install a new light fixture. I also love that he can be home alone or help with his brother/cousins too. Having an extra “chaperone” is always helpful!
I hope all 13-year-olds find at least one good friend. We’re lucky that he has a group of buddies and I love having them over at our house. They are funny, kind, and a bit awkward at times!
I love that he is responsible for getting his homework done, remembering his instrument and basketball gear for school, and things like showering. We’re still working on keeping his room clean, but I love that some of those burdens no longer fall on my shoulders!
Not all parts of having a teenager are easy though. I find it hard to watch him seek approval from friends instead of his parents. It’s hard to “let” him make mistakes knowing it will help him build character. And it’s hard to know we don’t have many years left with him at home. This past year has been a year of tremendous growth and I’m excited to see what the future holds for him—and us as parents of a teenager!