It seems that most of my blogs consider the more negative aspects of parenting teens and even being a teen. This seems, perhaps, a little unfair considering that I in fact love having teens and that, for the majority of the time, parenting my three is just great. It’s wonderful to watch them become who they are going to be. But it’s not just me who puts a slightly negative slant on this stage of development so I’m not going to give myself too much of a hard time. I am going to focus this post on why being a teen can be great!
So, this weekend has mainly been about the teens. Of course, weekends in our house are usually teen-fuelled but there has definitely been a theme of teen dominated activity versus maybe family time. Friday night saw my youngest daughter and her friends getting ready for a party at ours. Picture the scene, speakers up full, squeals of laughter, cries of “Muuuum can you put my false eyelashes on” (I am a total queen extraodinaire of the helping of putting on, definitely not the wearing of them!) and wafts of Victoria Secret body spray everywhere. And by everywhere I mean everywhere. Not a room was immune. I don’t dislike the fragrance but it’s not quite Chanel is it? And the girls don’t perhaps understand quite yet the essence of less is more. But do you know what? It sums up being a teen so beautifully. The air was full of excitement and promise. It was full of being young. And just a small part of me was a little bit envious. Oh, who am I kidding? A big part of me was. Their excitement for the party was infectious.
Now, I don’t want to suggest that I am envious of my children but I was for their barely concealed excitement. Actually, there was no barely concealed about the behaviour. It was out there for all to see, to feel, to indulge in and to wrap oneself in, that you had to smile. You could feel its energy. Talk around the table at tea was about the nerves they were feeling about who would be at the party, who wouldn’t, what to wear, what not to wear, who was seeing who etc, etc. So much to feel. Their emotions were soaring with anticipation, with hope.
And, for all the rubbish that being a teen can bring. The trying to find out who you are. The lows and highs of confidence. The body image issues. The boyfriend and girlfriend issues. The hormones. The mood swings. The strops. The attitude. Nothing quite beats the excitement that a teen feels for the experiencing of new things, of stepping out into the unknown for really living and for that the teen years really are just great. For all the negativity that those teen years can be cast, we need to perhaps remind ourselves of the positivity of those emotions and, where possible, bottle the wonderment that our teens feel and dip into it every now and then because I don’t think there is a feeling out there that quite beats the excitement and anticipation a teen experiences … just saying.