25 Things That Surprised Me About Having a Teen Boy

by Nancy Reynolds

This post: 25 Things That Surprised Me About Having A Teen Boy

By Katy M. Clark

I grew up as the middle child sandwiched between two sisters. Yup, I was just like Jan Brady, minus the bonus brothers.

In a house full of girls, my sisters and I filled our teenage years with activities like sports, theater and student council. But it was also filled with a mountain of “girl stuff” including Aqua Net, barrettes, jelly shoes, stirrup pants, princess phones and, well… pretty much everything pink.

Looking back, growing up with sisters meant I was never exposed to the reality of life with a typical teenage boy. Sure, I had a few guy friends I used to hang out with in middle and high school and I definitely caught on to a few teen boy “isms” during that time. But I never got to see first-hand what life was like living with a teen boy… until now.

I think that’s why my teenage son, who’s now 17, constantly surprises me. There are so many things that surprised me about having a teen boy in the house that I didn’t see coming – some perplexing, some surprising, some serious, some downright funny… here are 25 things that surprised me about having a teen boy.

25 Things That Surprised Me About Having a Teen Boy



#1 How many rolls he can eat at Texas Roadhouse

He can eat a dozen rolls slathered in butter and then chase them down with a huge steak and a baked potato. The funny part is, in two hours flat, he’s hungry again.

#2 How many rolls he can eat at Texas Roadhouse and NOT gain weight

This one’s not fair! All I have to do is look at a roll and my waist expands an inch. Yet, my teenage son devours a dozen without a smidgen of fat appearing anywhere. Ahhh… to be young.

#3 That he would find potty humor so funny… for so long

I was thinking (and frankly, kind of hoping) he’d outgrow finding bodily functions so funny. I thought wrong. 

#4 How much he’d enjoy playing video games

After school, after work, after sports – I always know where to find my son – playing video games. I guess I thought he’d read a book or watch TV like me.

#5 How much time he spends playing video games

Not only does he like video games, he can play them for hours on end. And, don’t get me started about waiting for him to wrap up a game to come to the dinner table.

#6 That he never, ever wants to talk to me about girls

Not even a little bit. If he has a girl he’s crushing on, it’s not like I’d ever know. But just in case he needs a little sound motherly advice, I’m always ready.  

#7 That I’m the embarrassing one, never his dad

How is it that when my husband and I rock out to Bon Jovi, it’s only me who mortifies our son? According to my husband, it’s a fact that all teenage boys find their mothers embarrassing. (I think he’s just trying to make me feel better.)

#8 How bad he smells after working out or playing sports

The odor hits you like a freight train and lingers on everything from his sports equipment to the upholstery in the car. I’ve spent a small fortune on air freshener. (Trust me, it doesn’t work.)

#9 That he would know the name, number, college and position of virtually every professional athlete

He forgets to take out the trash, but he can remember every statistic about the Detroit Lions’ 4th round draft pick in 2017.

#10 That I’d be jealous of the way he talks about sports with his father

Maybe it’s because my husband, not me, also knows every statistic about the Detroit Lions’ 4th round draft pick in 2017. 

#11 That His Wit and One-Liners Would Keep Me Laughing

Bottom line, he’s funny when he wants to be. And, man, can he come up with the quick-witted one-liners. I love that side of him.

#12 He rarely comments about my appearance, but when he does, I take notice

Recently, my son told me he liked my shirt, which was funny because it was an old shirt I hadn’t worn in a while. But, because he noticed, because my son said he liked it, it’s now my favorite shirt.

#13 That I’d have to get on my tippy toes to look at him eye-to-eye

Sometimes, it just hits me how fast he’s growing up. Just yesterday it seemed like I was cradling him in my arms and now I have to gaze up at his face towering above mine.

#14 How deep his voice sounds

 Gone are the days of my boy’s high-pitched voice. Now when he talks, I’m astonished to hear his manly deep voice. Where did my baby go?

#15 How big his feet are

My boy’s feet are huge and his shoes are like aircraft carriers next to my rowboats in the mudroom. You could land an airplane squadron on those things.

#16 How sensitive he is

He acts all rough and tough with his “I totally got this” attitude. But deep down inside, he’s sweet and caring, sensitive and tender. He’s a little bit of everything.

#17 How much he cares about his friends

My son’s friends are a big part of his life. He loves hanging out with them. This one surprised me because society oftentimes doesn’t portray strong friendships between teenage boys.

#18 That he would care so much about his hair

He might not have the plethora of hair products scattered all over his bathroom sink counter like I did back in the day, but he still wants his hair to look just right. 

#19 That he cares so much about the world around him

Teenagers are so often portrayed as selfish, self-centered and narrow-focused, but my son actually cares about the world around him. Sure, he has his selfish moments (don’t all teens?), but when the chips are down, I know his heart will always be in the right place.

#20 That he cares so much about me

He’s not always quick to show it. He may not be the first one to lean in for a hug. But when I look in his eyes, I know. That boy loves his mama. It’s the greatest feeling in the world.

#21 That he answers text messages with one word

One word. That’s all I get. Usually, it’s a “Yes,” “No,” or “Ok.” Seriously? I’m not looking for a novel, but a few more words would be appreciated.

#22 That he puts his emotions out on the table

He doesn’t share everything with me. In fact, there are probably a few things I don’t want to know. But, I’m surprised by how often, how much, and how deep our conversations sometimes are. It’s not just girls, boys want to share what they’re thinking and feeling, too.

#23 That I’m so impressed by the man he’s becoming

Whether I catch him holding the door open for someone, rocking a hard-as-heck test, saying something profound or insightful, or just smiling at me from across the room, I’m so impressed by the man he’s becoming and so incredibly proud.

#24 But surprised that deep down inside he’s still little

He leaves his dishes on the counter (never in the dishwasher), he doesn’t pick up his clothes or wet towels off the floor and I still take him to the pediatrician – all small reminders to me that beneath his “manly” surface lies my little boy who still needs me.

#25 That I would love him so much, with everything that I am.

Of all the things that surprised me about having a teen boy, I think I was most surprised by how much he means to me. I’m not surprised that I love my son, but I am astonished by how much I love him. Honestly, it’s with everything I am and everything I’ve got. It’s a feeling I wouldn’t trade for anything in the world.

About Katy M. Clark:

Katy is a writer and mom of two who embraces her imperfections on her blog Experienced Bad Mom. Follow her on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.

If you enjoyed this post, here are a few others you might enjoy!

10 Ultimate Truths About Parenting Teen Boys

Teen Boys: The Rippling Effect of a Mother’s Touch

8 Things Your Teenage Boy Desperately Needs You to Teach Him

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