Teenagers: What You'll Miss/Won't Miss

Laura Richards
Nov. 24, 2015

You love 'em, but sometimes they make you want to scream! Here's what you will (and won't) miss about having teenagers under your roof.

With teenagers, there's never a dull moment. Ever. An empty-nester once said, "Someday you'll miss the craziness. Our house is dead-quiet, and that's depressing." Point taken.

Here are 10 things you'll miss about your teenagers and 10 things that you might try to forget:

Top 10 Things You Won't Miss

  1. Endless Piles of Laundry
    The laundry is going 24/7 in your house (maybe even on Christmas). The bigger the kids, the bigger the piles of laundry -- especially if your teens do sports.

  2. The Huge Food Bill
    Before it hits the kitchen shelves, it's half-eaten ... that's if it even makes it from the car to the house.
  3. Hiding Treats
    Many parents have a secret stash of candy, chips and other stuff meant to be savored, not inhaled. Pro tip: You can bury the good ice cream deep underneath frozen veggies. (They'll never find it.)

  4. No Privacy
    What kid wants to see his middle-aged, half-dressed mom racing to answer the phone? No kid.
  5. Dirty Bathrooms
    How does toothpaste even get on the wall? You won't miss scrubbing the sink and shower three times a week.

  6. Noise
    Loud music, banging on the drum set, "talking" as if they're at a concert, your daughter screaming that the cute boy sent her a text -- teens come with a lot of noise.
  7. Bickering and Crankiness
    "Who ate the last cupcake?" "Why is he allowed to go to a paintball party when you wouldn't let us do that at his age?" Ahh, the tremendous crankiness and short fuses of your teens.
  8. Worrying
    Whether it's a late party or her first time driving alone, you worry about her safety. You'll still worry when she's gone, but it won't be under your nose anymore.
  9. Hearing Yourself Yell
    You probably never yelled like this until you had kids. When you're bringing up teens, who are daily growing bigger and louder than you, a bull horn or a referee whistle may seem like a good investment.
  10. Saying Crazy Things
    Take "Don't stand on the rocking chair," for example. You couldn't believe it came out of your mouth -- the first or the fifth time.

Top 10 Things You Will Miss

  1. Time Together in the Car
    Your kids having a license is a double-edged sword. It's oh-so-nice when they can drive themselves to school, but once they have that freedom, they seldom seem to want you along.
  2. Their Weird Humor
    Shhhh ... as much as they exasperate you, they know how to make you laugh. A lot.
  3. The Crazy
    It's hard to admit that anyone would miss watching her teens sled off of a roof into a snowbank or skateboard down the slide in the backyard -- but some sick, twisted part of you will.
  4. Having Personal Tech/Pop Culture Experts
    Whom will you turn to when you need help with your iPhone or want clarification on the difference between 5 Seconds of Summer and One Direction?

  5. Being the "Hang Out" House
    Being "that house" is something you love and had always hoped for; it's proof that you're sort of cool and not too embarrassing to be seen by their peers.
  6. Extra Hands
    You appreciate the extra sets of hands to help around the house and yard -- especially for collecting dog poop. (Is that a selfish reason?)
  7. Dinners
    Even though no one can get a word in edgewise, it's the one time you sit and share about your day.
  8. Family Movie Night
    Face it: Being crammed on the couch eating chips and watching classic movies together is one of your favorite things -- however sweaty and odorous it tends to be.

  9. Saying Good Night in Person
    You take for granted that you live under the same roof. Goodnight phone calls from the dorm are sweet, but treasure saying it in person.
  10. Their Friends
    Yes, the revolving door of kids can be taxing and they eat all your snacks, but you've watched them grow up and kind of hope they visit you when they've moved on to bigger and better things.

Are there things about your teen that make you smile (or scream)? Tell us about them in the comments. And if you're never sure when to do which, check out Staying Connected With Your Teens.

Laura Richards is a Boston-based freelance writer and the mother of four boys including a set of identical twins who are teens. She has written for numerous parenting publications and is the president of On Point Communications.

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