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 two-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.

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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.

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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.

About the writer

Cynthia Copeland is an author, and an honorary scary mommy of three kids and three step-kids.  Her latest book -- Good Riddance: An Illustrated Memoir of Divorce -- is available wherever books are sold.

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Brenda Warnes 2 years ago

How true…Love this article.

Erin Waldegger 2 years ago

Great and funny article for my friends of boyz!

Sara Clement 2 years ago

I disagree with the part about driving in the car being easier. My teen is now driving. This means I have minor heart attacks with every car ride, because no matter how awesomely careful he is, he is a NEW driver who is not at all savvy to the fact that most other drivers are actually adept at doing anything they can get away with at any given moment. This makes for VERY terrifying driving. I would prefer strapping him safely in a car seat and taking charge of traffic on my own. Much less stressful.

Steven 2 years ago

Great post! I especially enjoyed #2 “You can leave food and water out for him, like you would for a cat.” Teenage boys are very enjoyable to be around and usually open minded, receptive, flexible, and fun. Although, sometimes parents might become frustrated with their teen son because they may act indifferent or emotional. I think if a parent is empathetic and creates dialogue with their teenage son they will have a great relationship!

Destinee 2 years ago

I’ve got two boys, and you’re actually making me look forward to the teen years! They’re a ways off yet (my boys are 3 and 1), but this sounds like heaven! (Sorta…LOL)

Valerie 2 years ago

Today you talk all of the reasons you can get away from your teen aged boy, because he is naturally wanting to get away from YOU. I think of it differently. Here are the reasons I love having a teen boy even more than a little one: 1) He asks questions of me that I really have to think about before answering – like why I have the long held religious or political beliefs that I do. 2) He is hilarious. And he finally gets MY jokes. 3) I see the man that he is becoming. And yes, I feel that perhaps the world is a better place for what his dad and I did for him, but also for that inexplicable thing he brought with him from wherever it was he came from. 4) It’s true. I don’t have to go through “It’s a Small World” because I still have nightmares about those creepy Mattell Dolls with their glittery eyes. All I am saying is that teenagers often get the short shrift and yes they are colossal pains in the ass. If he rolls his eyes one more time, I may put them out. But today, as he spent his own money to buy us BOTH a chocolate donut, FROM THE GAS STATION, FOR BREAKFAST, I felt that somewhere in there, was a man I’d like to know. Thanks for listening to my blather. xo

Louise 2 years ago

My son is now 31, married & although not blessed with any babies yet this summation of parenting a boy is right on the money !!
It got easier and easier as he grew up…. His teen years were for the most part a breeze…. Nothing like the wild little hellion he had been as a “child” !!
He is now my very best friend and would come to my rescue if I ever needed him in a flash… I adore his wife and WOW… how lucky I am to have gotten here… Get through the first 13 years and you will see this happen….

catina 2 years ago

I am still teary eyed thinking about my sweet 5 year old as a teenager. But it’s nice to know the advantages, I will mark this post so next time when I am up all night because of 5 year old nightmares, I can remind myself there is light at end of tunnel!

Roshni 2 years ago

well….at least we have something to look forward to!

nagehan @ contemporary mother 2 years ago

Haha! I love this. I’m currently 5.5 months pregnant and we decided against finding out the gender of our baby. I’m hoping for a boy and I will certainly keep these in mind. xo

Jack 2 years ago

We are at the start here, got a preteen boy who is just beginning this particular road. He has been relatively picky about his eating, but as nature starts to kick his appetite into gear he is finding “new” foods to consume.

Marta 2 years ago

Ha, Can’t wait! My boy is only 6 so I’ve got 10 more years to go, but at least I know now its going to be a pretty good ride. Now my daughter as a teenager I’m much more worried about. She’s all sass at 2.5 already.

Wendy 2 years ago

My boy was such a joy during his teen years! However, all he would eat was pizza, spaghetti, grilled cheese, and (thankfully) peas!
It took a wife to make him start eating better!

Julz 2 years ago

Two of my three sons are now teenagers, and my older daughter is a tween in the midst of puberty, and, for all the hormonal turmoil, they’re much easier to deal with than when they were little kids. They also help in the care of their four-month-old sister, which is a HUGE plus, because they can actually watch her (and change her diaper, and feed her a bottle of pumped breast milk, etc.) while I take a shower – BONUS!!

Laura 2 years ago

Eating everything in sight? Oh, yes! And my son’s favorite meal was to go to the little Korean hole-in-the-wall up the road and enjoy the karaoke while chowing down on a dish that was so hot steam would come out of his ears. They were rather in awe of his eating prowess, I have to admit. :)

Stephanie (www.whencrazymeetsexhaustion.com) 2 years ago

Mama Bear and her Politeness Plan!!! My son will be four in July and as I type this, he’s begging me to hand him his milk that is but a foot away from him. Does THAT ever change?!

    mel 2 years ago

    from my experience only somewhat and with prodding. My 13yo is becoming much more self-sufficient although we did have to push him into this with all the expected dirty looks until he realized that doing it himself meant not having to wait for me to get done with anything before getting his drink. My 8 and 5 year olds are ridiculously lazy in this regard expecting me not only to get their drinks while a mere 2 inches out of reach but also wanting me to hold the drinks or snacks so that they will not even have to expend the effort to bug me for said drinks off the table next sip

Amanda Martin 2 years ago


Jessica Smock 2 years ago

I agree with you that they might be easier. (My two year son is now in the phase where everything needs to smashed, thrown, or broken.) But there’s no substitute for the little boy hugs and snuggles. And the cute little boy voice….

    mel 2 years ago

    My 13yo son snuggles with me more now than when he was younger or than my 8yo son, he just calls it using me as a pillow so he can spread out more while we watch tv.

Shel 2 years ago

Reading this post made me feel a smidge better about dealing with my son’s new-found attitude and need-to always-talk-back-ness- There may be a silver lining, and he may live to see his teenage years after all.

Becca B 2 years ago

What a relief! I have two almost 6 year olds and I’m ready to pull my hair out.

Frammitz 2 years ago

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.

Jen 2 years ago

Love this! Three boys under 5 and you’ve given me hope!

Practical Mama 2 years ago

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.

Maura 2 years ago

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

Miky 2 years ago

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…

Tanya 2 years ago

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.

Cookie’s Mom 2 years ago

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.

    Cynthia Copeland 2 years ago

    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!)

Lisa 2 years ago

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…

Grown and Flown 2 years ago

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.

Mamarific 2 years ago

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.

Jessica 2 years ago

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.

Teresa 2 years ago

You forgot the best part. The occasional text that says “luv u 2”

    Cynthia Copeland 2 years ago

    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!

Astra 2 years ago

Oh and don’t forget the yardwork!!

Momof5Cuties 2 years ago

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!

Momchalant 2 years ago

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.

Anita @ Losing Austin 2 years ago

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….

Jenelle 2 years ago

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)

Lynn from For Love or Funny 2 years ago

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!! :)

Amy T. 2 years ago

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! :)


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