The other day I wrote about my crash course in taking care of teenagers. If you didn’t read it, my best friend had an emergency and I had to take care of her 3 teenagers – ages 13, 14, and 16. I have no kids, and I’ve never had to take care of kids, so it was a very interesting (and scary) time for me.
I’m back home, and now that I’ve had some time to rest and reflect, I thought I would mention the good aspects of going from no children to teenagers in an instant. The truth is that there were some good moments, and I learned a lot during my short time with them. And, I even enjoyed some aspects of taking care of the kids.
5 Things I Enjoyed About Taking Care Of The Kids
1. Being The Boss
It’s kind of empowering to have kids listen to you (for the most part). For instance, I had to tell the youngest kid what to do – constantly, and even though it took a few reminders, and she had to whine through it many times, she did what I asked.
I kept thinking to myself, “This will be the time that she just doesn’t do it,” but it kept working – over and over again.
If you think about it, that’s kind of amazing. I mean, what could you do if a teenager just said no and didn’t listen you?
You can’t tie them down.
You can’t lock them up.
Thankfully they just seem to fear the consequences enough to listen and do what they are told.
2. Enjoying New Experiences
I’m a homebody. Unless I’m on vacation, I’m perfectly happy staying at home most of the time.
Kids are not. They want to go out of the home and do something. At least these kids did.
When we went out, the kids were so happy! They were laughing, enjoying themselves, and thankful for little things – like going to the arcade. They enjoyed every new experience, even if they were grumpy, and I saw the world through their eyes during my time with them.
3. The Company
I’ve always been able to have alone time. When I was a kid, I was the only child. Now, I live with my husband and dogs and can still be alone for hours during the day.
I value my alone time. But, there is something nice about having company.
For instance, there was only one TV in the house, so there was always more than one person sitting in front of it. It felt nice to have other people around to talk to, laugh with, and even get annoyed at.
In fact, it was just nice having other people in the same room – knowing that their presence was there.
I know that this may sound ridiculous for bigger families, but it was interesting to always have someone around.
I had a lot of laughs with the kids and enjoyed their company when they were just sitting around being good.
4. Thinking Like A Teenager
I forgot how teenagers think and view the world. But, listening to them talk about their lives and their expectations for the future, I remembered very quickly.
It was nice to get out of my adult head that can easily be full of worry and stress, and get into a teenager’s head that is full of a different kind of worry and stress – as well as some innocence, curiosity, excitement, presence, and happiness.
5. Being Reminded That Those Years Are Behind Me
Lastly, I was reminded that being a teenager is a confusing time. I’m glad those years are behind me.
- I no longer have to listen to adults tell me what they think I need to do.
- I no longer have to live by other people’s beliefs and standards.
- I no longer have to fear being judged by others because of what I do.
I am an adult, and I was acutely reminded of that when I was taking care of teenagers who are struggling with who they want to be and who other people want them to be. I appreciate my Independence a little more now.
There Was A Good Kid!
It’s also important to mention the fact that the middle kid (age 14) was pretty darn good. Sometimes when I asked him to do something, he was slow at getting around to it, and sometimes he wouldn’t answer me right away, but those were the only real issues I had with him.
- He didn’t complain to me.
- He didn’t ask me for anything.
- He was polite, respectful, and kind to me.
- He helped me deal with the youngest girl.
- He encouraged me to stick to my guns with her.
- He made me feel appreciated for the week.
Considering that he was only a year older than the girl who gave me a ton of problems, it gave me a lot of insight into how kids mature at different levels. Sure, sometimes he let the kid in him come out, but he was very mature for his age and I really enjoyed my time with him.