10 Reasons Teenage Boys Are Easier Than Little Boys


Teen Boy

When you have a big, boisterous teenager who spends half his life texting and the other half in the shower, it’s easy to wax nostalgic for that sweet little boy staring back at you from the scrapbook pages… the one clutching the stuffed t-rex, the one who’s fallen asleep on your Golden Retriever, the one digging contentedly in the sand box with his shovel shaped like a shark.

But before you start blinking back tears, let me just say this:  There are some real advantages to having a teenage boy rather than a little tyke.  Here are several of the biggies:

1. No more standing in a 2-hour line for Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride… followed by another hour and a half waiting to float through It’s a Small World.  Nope, you send him off –and the friend you’ve brought along for company– with Disney Park Hopper Passes and a room key, along with instructions to meet you at the hotel check-out on the following Saturday—bags packed.  They’re too old to be victims; if anything, they’ll be the perps (but your local paper won’t cover it, so relax).  Meanwhile, you and your husband can kick back at Jellyrolls and take in the dueling pianos.

2.  You can leave food and water out for him, like you would for a cat.  You don’t have to dish it out, heat it up, or serve it.  He can move it on his own from refrigerator to microwave to table.  Just have a gallon of milk in the house so that he can wash everything down and you’re good to go.

3.  And while we’re on the subject of food, teenage boys are not picky eaters.  They will – they do – eat everything in sight.  Moldy, slimy, dried out, expired – doesn’t matter.  Every bite has the potential to make them bigger and stronger, so they’ll take their chances.  Gone are the days when they hid peas in their napkins or refused to eat foods that were too squishy or too yellow or foods that touched other foods.

4.  Car rides are immeasurably easier with teenagers.  They listen to their music through earbuds, so you no longer have to feign enjoyment of the Fisher Price Little People Sing Along CD.   Even if they don’t happen to have their iPhones or iPods with them in the car, they’ll fall asleep within a few minutes, so you’re free to tune in to NPR.   And unlike toddlers, for whom nodding off in the car for half an hour means going to bed four hours later that night, teenagers will always sleep for at least 12 hours, no matter how much napping precedes their actual bedtime.

5.  If they do wake up at night, bored, they won’t cry out for you.  They’ll entertain themselves.  That’s all we’ll say here.

6.  They’re useful: They can lift things, fix things, and make things.  They know what to do if that little color wheel on your computer spins endlessly for no good reason or if the TV informs you that there is No Signal.  If something starts clanking in the car, they actually have an idea of what it might be.  (This is not gender specific, I must say. When my daughter was a teenager, she knew more about car engines than anyone in the family.)

7.  They up your game.  Your athletic skills will improve dramatically because boys rarely sit across the table from you and tell you about their feelings.  They talk in the context of doing other things.  And those things include shooting baskets or tossing a Frisbee or batting a ping-pong ball back and forth.  If I need information, I know I will have to put on my sneaks and my stretchy clothes and get ready to move.

8. Running errands is a cinch.  Drag a teenage boy around with you on a Saturday morning and you’ll be amazed at how quickly and easily you can check things off of your to-do list.  The teenage girls who work at Starbucks, at the return counter at Target, and at the CVS pharmacy will clamor to help you out when you approach them with a teenage boy in tow.

9.  If you read to them, it’s not The Berenstain Bears Forget Their Manners.  It’s a few sentences about college football or maybe a cautionary tale about texting while driving.  Not thrilling stuff, but still preferable to reading (and re-reading) about Mama Bear and her Politeness Plan.

10.  And – best of all — there is a decent chance that in a dozen years or so, your teenage son will be married and his wife will have babies and you can have all the fun of a little boy all over again, without having to pay for braces or car insurance or college and without worrying about whether the babysitter is stealing from your change jar.


  1. 1

    Amy T. says

    Hey, thanks so much, Cynthia, for that little glimpse into my not distant future. I look forward to my son eating everything and entertaining himself. Great article! :)

  2. 2

    Lynn from For Love or Funny says

    I have two teenaged girls, Cynthia, and I’d have to say they mirror your list quite well…except for #7. There is a LOT of talking about feelings in my house. Most often, it’s talking about teenaged boys!! :)

  3. 3

    Jenelle says

    I’ve always had this sneaking suspicion that teenage boys are MUCH easier than young boys. I’m sure they have their difficulties…but since we’re just getting one boy to act remotely civilized and the other is still a baby, waiting to unleash his inner beast…I’m SERIOUSLY looking forward to these things! Of course my 4-year-old just informed me that he’s going to live with me forever…I cant’ decide if that makes me scared or joyous! (Either way, I know it won’t hold true)

  4. 4

    Anita @ Losing Austin says

    You just made me look forward to those years a bit more which helps this sometimes weepy mama! I have an almost 10 year old, and last year realized that we were halfway done raising him and my heart broke. But there is also good to come….

  5. 5

    Momchalant says

    I love your comparison to leaving water and food out like you would for a cat, HAHA. This is great. I have a 13 month old boy. I’m excited and nervous for him to turn into a teenager. But for now, I’m just cherishing his tiny times.

  6. 6

    Momof5Cuties says

    Awesome – so freaking true! We have three teens and two tweens…this is a great new phase – and they are CONSTANTLY eating! Thanks for a great post, Cynthia!

    • 9

      Cynthia Copeland says

      So true!! Teenage boys often text what they’re embarrassed to say aloud (especially in front of their friends). I’ve saved every single “I love you” text!

  7. 10

    Jessica says

    I have a 14 year old son and I can honestly say I absolutely love spending time with him. :) He IS an eating machine for sure too, Lol – and you were spot on with saying it didn’t matter the foods condition. :) Loved this! Thanks for sharing.

  8. 11

    Mamarific says

    Ahh, thanks for this “light at the end of the tunnel” reminder. I will now resume my position on the floor as tackle buddy for my toddler boy.

  9. 12

    Grown and Flown says

    Number 11? Their interests and activities open up new worlds for you enriching your life and teaching you things. Through my teens boys I have learned about technology, sports and boat building. We start parenthood by leading our kids, but it is not long before we follow.

  10. 13

    Lisa says

    If only all teenage boys were that easy… (((hugs))) to the moms of teen boys that are troubled or in trouble. I feel your pain.

    (Love my boys and yes, this is a great list.)

    Once a mom of four boys told me one of the best thing about four sons was getting four wonderful daughters-in-law without having to take them through puberty.

    Yesterday, when I was trying to get my sweaty 13 year old to take off his hoodie (very warm out), someone pointed out if I had a girl I’d be trying to get her to put more on. Sigh…

  11. 14

    Cookie's Mom says

    I especially look forward to #3. And thanks for the motivation to stay fit! Great list, though I have to say, it mostly made me realize I need to appreciate what I have right now. No more complaining about having to read to him when I’m too tired, because someday he won’t need me to anymore.

    • 15

      Cynthia Copeland says

      Their needs change, but our boys will always need us– even when they’re no longer at home and all we can do is to send cookies or an uplifting text message or give relationship advice over the phone. (And I don’t mind that even a little bit!)

  12. 16

    Tanya says

    I can’t wait for the day my son will eat anything!! I can’t get my toddler to eat anything now. I keep asking him when he is going start eating.

  13. 17

    Miky says

    A couple of more…no more frantically grabbing for the remote and changing the channel to Disney everytime they walk in the room. My teen loves to watch news and history programs with me and can hold his own in a conversation about politics or current events. Also, you can leave them alone in the house and not have to worry about them getting hurt or destroying the house. For a little while anyway…

  14. 18

    Maura says

    I like the last sentence in #5. Eludes to something that can’t be said outloud but still rings true :)

  15. 19

    Practical Mama says

    I love this list. My son is not teenager yet, not even a tween. But I definitely started to enjoy his elementary years, enjoying sports with him, having him help with stuff or help his sister.
    As for food, he’s a pretty good eater now, that makes me think he might eat my arm off if i don’t have his food ready for him when he’s a teenager.

  16. 21

    Frammitz says

    Thank you so much! I have two baby boys and no idea what I’m getting into. All I know is that they will not be this cuddly forever. I had heard that teens are like toddlers with advanced language skills. I am looking forward to taking less than an hour just to get into the car to run an errand.

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