November 19, 2018 by middleearthnj
Teenagers get a bad rap. Yes, they can be frustrating, moody, and difficult. Yes, sometimes they make us want to pull our hair out. But, teenagers can also add a lot of joy and inspiration to our lives if we choose to see it. In honor of Thanksgiving, we developed a Top 10 List for all the reasons we should be thankful for the adolescents in our lives.
1. More Freedom
From the moment your child is born, you realize that your life is no longer your own and you are now the slave to a very demanding master. You spend years wiping butts, making food, chauffeuring all over town, and cleaning up messes. You are sleep deprived, never alone for a minute, and unable to sit down to a meal in a nice restaurant. And then one day, you realize that your child’s adolescence means you finally have a bit more freedom. Your teen can stay home while you run an errand. They don’t interrupt your sleep… in fact, typically you have to interrupt their sleep! Your teen can get themselves food if you’re not able to make dinner. They can sit through a long meal at a fancy restaurant. Your older teen can even drive themselves to their activities. Adolescence translates to more parental freedom.
2. More Thinking
Teenagers keep us on our toes! There are lots of ways that having a teen can really make you think. First of all, helping teens with their homework can remind us of information that has been dormant in our brains for year! Second, because teens are being introduced to new concepts all the time, they have fresh perspectives on things that we might not have considered before. Adults can get jaded and overlook things, but teens are seeing it for the first time. Finally, as teens develop their independence, they start to form their own opinions on politics, world events, and culture that can surprise us. Teenagers challenge us to think differently, and if we are open to hearing them, those challenges can help us grow and change.
3. More Honesty
While teens are not always admired for their honesty – where did they really go on Saturday night?!? – they are very honest about their opinions. While your spouse or best friend might lie to you to make you feel good, teens have no problem telling you when you’re being uncool. If you want an honest opinion, your teen will likely be your best source.
4. More Laughs
Teenagers often have a quick-witted, sarcastic humor that never misses a punch line. Teens are often able to find the humor in any situation and use it to make everyone around them laugh. When your child was young, your jokes probably went over their head, but now they can enjoy your humor and share some of their own. Laughter truly is the best medicine and having a teen to joke around with can be a real joy.
5. More Technology
Your teen is like built-in tech support without a service fee. Teenagers can fix the computer, download apps, and educate you on the proper usage of social media. They can tell you about the latest up-and-coming technology being released (and also ask for you to buy it for them). They are a great source for all your technological needs.
6. More Current
Teens offer us a peek at what is cool and hip. They introduce us to their interests and the latest trends. By keeping us up-to-date on what’s new and coming, they keep us young.
7. More Help
While it is not easy to get our teenagers to do chores, they are capable of being very helpful. From laundry to dishes, from cooking to pet care, teens can make some real positive contributions to the household. After all the years of us doing everything for them, you might find your teenagers are willing and able to return the favor, if you show some sincere appreciation.
8. More Milestones
When our children were little, we marveled over all their major milestones – first food, first word, first step – and it delighted us! The teen years actually have some major milestones, too, that can be equally exciting. It’s amazing to watch your teen master a new skill, achieve a goal they set and worked hard for, learn to drive, go on a first date, attend prom, and graduate. Equally delightful is watching your teen make tough decisions and overcome obstacles. We can be grateful for their increasing maturity!
9. More Perspective
Raising a teen has a way of helping us to focus on what really matters in life. As they get older, you learn the importance of picking your battles and standing your ground when it’s important. You realize that your teen’s developing character might be worth more to you than the awards they win. The adolescent years have a way of putting your minor concerns in perspective.
10. More Passion
Teenagers are resilient. They usually have big dreams and are confident they can reach them. They are able to keep going despite what life throws at them. They want to make a difference in the world and celebrate whenever they realize they’ve helped someone. They don’t want to miss a thing in life and embrace staying up and trying new things. They have energy and are eager to tackle the world! Many of the adults in our world seem beaten down, so it’s refreshing to see a teen’s youthful exuberance!
We see a lot of reasons to be thankful for our teenagers, and we hope you do, too! Everyone here at Middle Earth wishes you and your loved ones a very Happy Thanksgiving.