13 Unexpected Perks of Raising Teenagers

It turns out, the upside of raising teens sure outweighs the downside... you just have to pay attention to the "good"

by Nancy Reynolds

This post: 13 Unexpected Perks of Raising Teenagers

I know… raising teenagers can have its share of difficulties. In fact, some days our kids can drive us to the brink of insanity. But, hey… there’s also plenty of good stuff mixed in. We just have to pay far more attention to the upside and the perks of raising our kids rather than the challenges.

If you have teens, chances are you’ll be able to relate to (at least) some of these unexpected perks. And, if your kids are on the verge of becoming teens, take comfort in knowing that the upside of raising teens sure does outweigh the downside. Check out these unexpected and cool perks of raising teenagers!

13 Unexpected Perks of Raising Teenagers


1. You Have Free In-House Tech Support

I’m not kidding, the MOMENT your teen can serve as your IT support, the second half of your life begins. My son can debug my computer, find a password I lost and fix a frozen screen faster than any high-charging professional ever could. Not only are teens total whizzes when it comes to computers (and iPhones), their service is FREE! (Well… that is, if you don’t count the heavy sighs, eye-rolls, and “OMG… do I HAVE to? I got stuff to do, Mom!” comments you have to deal with.)


2. You Can Feed Them Hot Pockets and Ramen Noodles and They’ll Think it’s Gourmet

You really gotta love teenagers. They’re so stinkin’ easy to please when it comes to food. Pizza? Ramen Noodles? Hot Pockets? Chicken Nuggets with a batch of Mac n’ Cheese? G.O.U.R.M.E.T.  Enjoy it while it lasts though because eventually their culinary tastes start to mature and suddenly they’re asking you to buy ingredients so they can make seared scallops with grilled veggies and rice pilaf. 


3. They Finally Have an “Adultish” Sense of Humor

When they were young, they just stared at you with a blank look on their face (or you had to mute the television or cover their ears). Now you can cut up with them, laugh together and enjoy much more “adultish” humor which makes for great bonding. 


4. You Have a Netflix Buddy

You may not love everything they choose to watch and you might have to bribe them to actually watch something you want to watch, but if there are snacks involved most teens will go with the flow when it comes to hanging out and watching a movie or series. (Honestly, it’s times like these that make everything up until this point so worthwhile.)


5. You Can Have an Intelligent Conversation with Them

One of the coolest parts about raising teenagers is being able to sit down with them and have an intelligent, thoughtful, conversation. Suddenly, they have a profound opinion about politics or world affairs, or they’re weighing in on a story they heard on the news. And, much to your surprise, their perspective is insightful, funny, or wise. Sure, raising teens has its share of challenges, but if you take a moment to soak up all the amazing changes going on in their brains, the positives sure do outweigh the negatives.


6. You Have In-House Fashion Police

OMG, Mom, you’re not wearing THAT, are you???” “Geez, Dad, do you HAVE to wear those ugly shoes every time we go out?” When you have teens, you really don’t have a choice but to step up your fashion game. But beware… if you actually ask your teen for their opinion about what you’re wearing, your new haircut, or a dress you bought for a big event (for instance), be prepared for brutal honesty. “Well… to me, it looks like you just stepped off the Mayflower and you’re heading to dinner with the pilgrims, but if you’re into that kinda look, go for it.”


7. You Have a Front-Row Seat on Their Journey to Adulthood

One minute your son is rolling his Tonka truck across the kitchen floor and the next he’s 6’1″, has a deep voice, a stubbly chin and he’s driving and taking dates out on Saturday nights. It all seems to go by so slowly in some ways and at rocket speed in others. Watching your son or daughter grow up, mature, and become independent before your very eyes is 100% the greatest honor in this world. But it’s also so bittersweet since we long for the days when they wrapped their tiny hand around our fingers. Slow down, baby…we need more time to soak this all in…


8. They Keep You “In the Know” On Trends, Lingo, and Culture

I’m here to tell you teens are ON TOP of things! Say what you want about them being on their phones all the time, but it’s not all bad… they’re not just scrolling on social media. It’s where they’re keeping up to date on ALL the latest and greatest news and trends. From the newest slang and the hottest fashion trends to world events and political spurs – they’re ON it. Just ask ’em… they’ll give you the lowdown.


9. You Can Swear in Front of Them

Not that you necessarily would swear in front of them, but damn… after years of holding your tongue out of fear that they’d repeat a word in their Kindergarten class or bolt it out in middle school when their teacher assigned a huge project they didn’t want to do, it’s kinda nice to know you could drop the F-bomb and they wouldn’t totally freak out. After all, they’ve heard it ALL before. I mean, you might get a “Geeezzz, Mom… REALLY?!” But that’s about it.


10. They Can Run Errands for You

It might take some serious bribing (typically involving food) but it’s definitely a cool perk of having teens that drive. In fact, just the other day, I was craving a Starbucks Salted Caramel Cream Cold Brew so I handed my daughter the car keys and my credit card and told her if she went out and got what I wanted, I spring for a Starbucks for her, too. Worked like a charm. See? Having teens isn’t ALL that bad. 


11. They Hold You to a Higher Standard

Oh, this is a biggie. They’re watching everything we say and do. From how we manage our anger and stress to what we eat and how we treat others – they’re taking it all in, silently forming their opinions of us and learning. If we want to raise compassionate, honest, hard-working, decent human beings, we don’t have a choice but to set a good example. The truth is, they make us better human beings.


12. They Teach You the True Meaning of Unconditional Love

Can we all agree that raising teenagers is HARD? Sometimes, when life gets difficult and our kids push us to the verge of insanity, we have to dig deep for every ounce of love, patience, and parental commitment we can find in our hearts. And, when we finally weather those storms and come out on the other side, we realize that all those hard days – the eye-rolls, sighs, slamming doors, and occasional “You’re ruining my life” comments – were worth it. Because standing in front of us is an amazing human being we’re proud to call our son or daughter.


13. They Become One of Your Very Best Friends

Parenting has a way of saving the very best for last. One of the absolute BEST perks of raising teenagers is when you realize that your role has shifted. Sure, you’re still your child’s parent and you always will be, but you’re also their friend and they’re yours – and, it’s amazing and magical and wonderful.

So, for every parent of teens who’s in the thick of those (sometimes) tumultuous teen years, hang on. The very best is yet to come…


If you enjoyed reading, “13 Unexpected Perks of Raising Teenagers,” you might also like reading these posts:

I Know I’m Not Supposed to Be My Teen’s Friend, But Sometimes That’s Exactly What He Needs

Life with Teenagers: 20 Things I Really Wasn’t Prepared For

51 Things I’ve Learned About Raising Teenagers

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