25 Things That Surprised Me About Having a Teen Girl

by Nancy Reynolds

This post: 25 Things That Surprised Me About Having a Teen Girl

I remember a lot about my teen years… I remember how desperate I was to have more control over my life, how all I really wanted to do was hang out with my friends and how school was, (dare I say), actually fun. 

Still, despite the fact that I have vivid memories of my younger days, I sometimes find myself a little clueless and unable to draw from my own experiences when raising my daughter. The fact is, she surprises me (and, sometimes perplexes me) nearly every day. Here are just a few things that surprised me about having a teen girl. 

25 Things That Surprised Me About Having a Teen Girl



#1 That her bedroom is either so clean it’s ready for military inspection or it’s a complete disaster – there is no in-between

What is it about teen girls? When they become teenagers they turn into, well… slobs (at least my daughter did). Typically, it reaches a level of messiness that even she can’t tolerate so she spends two days cleaning it like it’s her job. 

#2 How much friend drama she has in her life

I don’t remember having that much drama in my life when I was her age. It’s exhausting… for her and for me. 

#3 That she can swing from sweet to sassy in the blink of an eye

As much as I love raising my girl, I find myself walking on eggshells around her a lot. Her moods shift like the wind. (Send help, please.)

#4 She spends more time in the bathroom than the rest of the family combined

Let’s put it this way, I hope my life never depends on how quickly my daughter can shower and get out of the bathroom. 

#5 She can change clothes faster than a Vegas showgirl

I recently discovered that my daughter is extremely talented. She’ll come downstairs and, moments later, she’ll disappear and reappear wearing a totally different outfit complete with different shoes and jewelry. 

#6 No matter how many clothes she has hanging in her closet, she still has nothing to wear. 

School clothes? Covered. Hanging out with friends clothes? Plenty. Gotta look extra cute clothes? Yup. Still, she never has anything to wear.

#7 How nice she can be when she wants money

She’s soooo nice when she wants money or a favor.  “Mom… gosh you look nice today. I love your hair that way.” (I didn’t do anything different with my hair.) 

#8 That trying to decipher her language would be so challenging

I feel like a detective trying to unveil hidden clues into her current state of mind and mood. She has a language all her own:

Nice = Not nice

Nothing = You better believe it’s something

Thanks, mom = Sincere appreciation for something I did. 

Thanks a lot = She’s ticked… that’s when I back away. 

I’m fine = She’s ticked off, wants me to leave her alone or she needs a hug. 

I don’t care = Sometimes she really doesn’t care, sometimes she cares a lot. 

Whatever = She heard what I said but has no intention of doing what I asked. 

#9 That a little TLC from me is all she needs to turn a bad day into a good day

I thought that once my daughter became a teenager, she’d turn to her friends when she had a bad day. But I was wrong. My girl still comes to me, still plops next to me and puts her head on my shoulder, and still looks to me for comfort. (I love it.)

#10 That she’d want to hang out with me as much as she does

Everyone warned me that once my daughter hit the teen years, she’d pull away. And, even though she has pulled away in some ways, she still enjoys hanging out with me. (I’ll take that as a win!)

#11 That she’d be glued to her phone as often as she is

Considering the fact that cell phones didn’t exist when I was growing up, I was totally ill-prepared when my daughter became consumed by her cell phone. 

#12 That she would take so much of her frustration out on me

 I’m her safe zone, which means there’s been plenty of times she’s used me as her emotional dumping ground. 

#13 How little surprises can put such a big smile on her face

A new lipstick left on her bathroom counter or her favorite chocolate bar propped by her computer – my daughter’s face lights up like a Christmas tree when I buy her even the smallest surprise.

#14 When she’s in the mood to talk, she just needs me to listen

 I stopped being “the fixer” when I realized my daughter doesn’t always want or need solutions or my motherly advice. Sometimes, all she really wants is a listening ear. (It took me a while to learn this lesson.)

#15 How much she still loves soft blankets and stuffed animals

The mound of stuffed animals and blankets in her bedroom is a sweet reminder that my daughter is still little on the inside. 

#16 That she’d be hungry ALL the time

I always thought teen boys were the ones who had insatiable appetites and raided the fridge at midnight, but my daughter proved me wrong. She’s always hungry. 

#17 That her complexion would be the bane of our existence

She’s comfortable leaving the house without makeup, wearing wrinkled sweats and her hair pulled up in a messy bun. But God helps us if she has a zit on her chin – her world (and mine) is turned upside down. 

#18 That she’d care so little about fitting in or what others thought of her

 I cared far more about what others thought of me when I was her age. But my daughter is strong, confident and rather oblivious to what others think of her – you go, girl!

#19 And, that she’d care so much about others

 She’s kind and inclusive. Witnessing her compassion first-hand is validation to me that maybe I’m doing something right. 

#20 How much my approval matters to her

 I thought that when my daughter became a teenager, my opinion wouldn’t matter that much anymore… but it does. It matters a lot. 

#21 That she’d need as much time alone as she does

I don’t remember spending that much time in my bedroom growing up. My daughter is content to spend hours in her room texting, scrolling, listening to music or just hanging out. 

#22 How many leggings she owns

I haven’t taken an official count, but I’m guessing 15, 20, maybe more? Leggings are her clothing of choice. Maybe it’s the equivalent of stir-up pants in my day.

#23 That she’d share so much with me

Of all the things that surprised me about having a teen girl, this surprised me the most. My mom and I had a great relationship, but I never shared as much with my mom as my daughter shares with me. I love it but, honestly, there are a few things I wish I didn’t know. 

#24 That I’d be so amazed and proud of the young woman she’s becoming

Every day, I see small glimpses of the wonderful young woman my girl is becoming and my heart just melts. She’s slowly becoming one of my very best friends and someone I’m proud to send into the world.

#25 That I would love her so much, with everything I am

My daughter is my heart, my love, my world… I love her with everything I am. 

If you enjoyed, “25 Things That Surprised Me About Having a Teen Girl,” here are a few other posts you might enjoy reading:

25 Things That Surprised Me About Having a Teen Boy

51 Everyday Ways to Love Your Teen (Especially if They’re Not Big on Hugs)

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