Raising a teenager: So are the teen years really so bad?

raising a teenager

I’ve often said to people that I live in fear of the teen years. I have frequently been told that raising a teenager is wayyyy worse than raising a toddler. And we had a nightmare with the toddler years so that doesn’t bode well!

In conversation after conversation, people have been telling me just how hard it is. In some cases, people have told me it’s the worst! I figured I could just keep on burying my head in the sand about what was to come or actually do a bit of research into whether raising a teenager is really as bad as everyone says.

With that said, let’s hear what fellow parenting bloggers who are either in the thick of the teen years or have been through them and come out the other side have to say on the matter:

Yes, the teen years are hard!

My mum always said I was horrible at 14 and I was really smug and said my daughter wouldn’t be like that! But almost as soon as she turned 14, we have clashed, she works hard, doesn’t bring trouble but we just clash now, over pretty much everything. – Little Lillypad

I think it’s worse than people say but for reasons which differ massively depending on the teen. My eldest is 18 and I worry so much about his propensity to make really poor choices and the path it might lead him down. My daughter is 13 and although she is a straight-A student and has the capacity to be an utter dream to be around she is far too much like me so we clash on a daily basis! It’s easier in a way to have a small child in that it’s far easier to protect them. hat said I love that we now have shared interests and go to the theatre or cinema or gigs together now! – Mummy and Moose

I’m afraid to say that in my experience the teenage years are beyond anything I expected and not in a good way! I stupidly thought I had parenting sussed when my kids were younger, I was confident in my ability to parent but now that I have a 19-year-old, 18-year-old and a 15-year-old, I feel like I’m flailing much of the time. It’s really hard but that could be to do with some of our experiences that have been incredibly difficult and certainly not mainstream! Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. – Inside Outside and Beyond

Raising a teenager

Somewhere in-between

I don’t think the teen years are BAD, I just think they are HARD just the same as parenting is hard whether you have a new baby, a toddler, or a door-slamming teen. Parenting is wonderful and a bit shit sometimes. Thankfully the “bit s*** sometimes” is more than out-weighed by the wonderful. *mostly* 😉 – Kiddy Charts

I honestly think that when they’re good, they’re amazing and when they’re bad, they really can be horrid! But, I adore my son’s company and love his teenage personality and we spend a lot of time together on our own. When I talk to other parents of teens quite often our struggled are very similar so no, I don’t think it’s as bad as everyone makes out.  – Hello Cuppies

Raising teenagers - parents share what it's really like #parenting #teens #teenagers #parentingteens

No, raising a teenager is not so bad

I have a 17-year-old and I honestly don’t think it’s as bad as people make out. Yes, they can have an attitude at times and don’t get out of bed until lunchtime and have expensive taste. Plus you worry more when they go out with friends etc. But it is also lovely as you can do fun stuff with them and have proper conversations & it is great watching them grow into adults. – Newcastle Family Life

I actually haven’t found the teenage years to be too bad to be honest. We’ve had a lot of tears due to other girls being nasty to my daughter, but on the whole we’ve got through the last few years relatively unscathed. Our daughter is still the same loving, caring girl she was when she was younger, but now with the added bonus of being able to babysit her little brother so I can have the odd night out. She always let’s me know where she is and gives me an idea of what time she’s going to be home. And if I say she can’t go out for whatever reason she doesn’t kick off or sneak out without my knowledge. It’s been such a relief as I was dreading the teenage years. – With Love From Lou  

Can I sheepishly say that I haven’t found it too hard at all? I found the pre-teen years tricky with sibling rivalry between the three of them but once they got to their teen years and are now out the other side of it things have been great. Yes, there were a few episodes of door slamming but on the whole, I have really haven’t found it tricky at all. They are now in their early 20s and we all love spending time together and even went on holiday with respective partners last year too. – Mummy Barrow

Raising a teenager

Teens get a lot of bad press, but if the above is anything to go by, I am banking on the fact there is hope ahead. As always, all children are different – as are we the parents – so I guess you never know the teen you’re going to get. But what is lovely is how most of the answers above highlight the positives of raising teens which you don’t often get to hear about.

Were you worried about the teen years before reading this? Or perhaps you have teens of your own and would like to share your experience. Do leave a comment below.



  1. As a Mum to a 14 year old I can honestly say raising teens is a mixed bag. I have found it challenging but just in different ways to when they were teething or starting school. You’ve just got to hang on in there!

  2. With two teens and a tween in the houses I have to say it hasn’t been nearly as bad as I feared. Yes there are clashes, tantrums and cries off “I’m X years old, you can’t tell me what to do.”
    But so far we’ve escaped binge drinking, anti social behaviour and the police at the door.

    Saying that toddlers are easier because you can just pick them up and give them a cuddle and a tickle when they are tantrumming. It’s a bit harder to lift a 6 foot plus teen

  3. I have managed to guide three through their teens and have three more to go. It is definitely harder than the toddler years, but then everything seems worse when you are in it. The worst thing is letting them make their own mistakes but then you have to be there to help pick up the pieces

  4. My eldest is only 9, so I have this still ahead of me. I basically spent most of my teenage years withdrawing with a book, so I’m hoping he follows in my footsteps.

  5. Love this article it’s awesome to hear from so many people on the subject and just goes to show that it’s not something to dread though I’m not gonna lie I’m hoping I make it through with my little man thanks for sharing!

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