Most people think life with teenagers is anything but boring.
And it’s mostly true. My teen daughters are 14 and 16 years old and their lives seem to be in a constant state of excitement — homework, work, sports, clubs and other extracurricular activities.
But then again, they’re good kids who don’t get into trouble or hang out with the wrong crowd. I’m not chasing them around town trying to figure out where they are or who they’re with. They don’t smoke, drink or do drugs.
So in that regard, my life with teens is pretty boring. And I’m fine with it.
I have watched my daughters’ friends find themselves in unfavorable situations because of the circle of friends they keep and the activities they enjoy. It’s enough to make any parent shudder.
I’m thankful my girls have managed to steer clear of such excitement and have taken on more constructive uses of their time.
And I feel exceptionally lucky. The only exciting thing I’ve had to deal with at this age so far is drama, which is pretty minor and resolves relatively quickly. I actually find myself rejoicing in the day-to-day frivolousness of it because I know the arguments at this age could be so much worse.
That doesn’t mean I enjoy hearing complaints about my cooking or my children’s constant need to argue about doing their chores, but I'll take these minor grievances over something more severe any day.
But, as all parents of teens know, we aren’t out of the woods yet.
The teen years are scary. I find myself in a constant mental tug-of-war. I want my children to go out and enjoy their youth. I want them to spend time and make memories with their friends. I want them to be able to look back on their high school career and remember more than sitting in their rooms on their tablets and phones.
At the same time, I also know the more they put themselves out into the world, the better chance the world has of showing its ugly side. There’s not much I can do to stop that from happening one day — as much as I wish I could. Eventually, my girls will be faced with situations and levels of peer pressure I desperately wish didn’t exist.
When that does happen, I just have to pray the conversations we’ve had made an impression and they make the right decisions.
But they’ll make mistakes. I know they will. I did at that age. It’s inevitable.
However, we’ll get through this stage, just as we’ve gotten through all the rest — with stubbornness, tenacity and, at times, a lot of prayer. I know I’ve raised great girls.
In the meantime, I’ll remember to appreciate the minor spats, the thankless dinners and the never-ending stream of eye rolls. They are a small price to pay for an otherwise boring existence.