When Did Your Teenager Get So Grown Up?

Time seems to go by impossibly quickly when you're a parent. Where does the time go? Here are three milestones that marked your kids growing up.

When did your teenager get so grown up?

One of the major parts of parenting is watching your children grow older, and before your eyes, they become proper people with opinions, dreams and ideas. 

It is a hugely humbling experience but also incredibly scary. As my own teenager turns 17 this month, I have found it scary how fast the years go by and how she will be a fully-fledged adult next year and one who can make her own decisions. 

When did she get so grown up? When did your teenagers get so grown up? The answer is of course, before our very eyes while we worked, played with them and watched them go off to school. They grow up and it is tremendously sad and amazing too. They grew up and here is when…

The day they went to big school

You watched them go off all teary-eyed as you marvelled at their resilience and excitement at their big day. Of course, not all of them went off happily and for some kids, it broke your heart leaving them at the school gate. 

I always think big school heralds the beginning of the growth. The time when they go off and leave you for hours – they are essentially living their own little lives gaining insights into the world around them too. It is intriguing. 

Person looking through photo albums.
Time flies when you're a parent.

The day they were sad

This will always be engraved in your heart as you watched them cry over something someone said in the yard. Perhaps they lost a pal, did badly in a test or decided to leave an activity. These were all moments that shaped your teenager to grow into the person they are. They did it quietly and at a time when you thought you had forever to watch them grow. 

If your child lives with you for 26 years and you live till 75 you will have plenty of years without your children in the home. It makes it all the more important to savour and enjoy your time with them. The years fly by and you’ll have to find a life without the kids in it for the future. They may visit and you may be a close family, but you’ll never have the childhood years back. Never. 

The day they walked, talked and laughed

All momentous occasions, all moments of pure joy and love. The days you’ll always remember and the days they grew before your very eyes. Learning and having fun for years with you showing them how to be and how to live in a busy world. You showed them that and more. 

They are grown up not because of age, though it plays a part, but because you led them to this moment – to be great. Yes, teenagers are hard work, but they are also considerably talented, full of life and hopes. 

They do grow up too fast but time flies by because we are busy. So today, take time to sit with your family and know that the cleaning will wait, and you can do it when the kids are adults. For now, enjoy your family. 

Emma Hayes

Emma Hayes is a busy mum to two girls aged 17 and 11 and is married to her childhood sweetheart.

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