Well, it’s happened. My formerly sweet, loving child has turned into a teen. Officially, he’s about 6 months from becoming a “TEEN” but, he’s all there in attitude:

eye-rolling – check

texting – check

prefers friends to family – check

complains about _(everything)_ – check

back-talk – check

grunting-as-communication – check

embarrassed of parents – check

But it’s not all bad…really. While I could do without the constant feedback on my every request – which is ALMOST like having a three-year old again (“I don’t want to…!” “Why do I have to…??”), there are some really great things I’ve discovered about my almost-teen.

Despite leaving his stuff everywhere, he’s a super-responsible person.

He’s very hard-working and conscientious.

He actually has organizational skills! (even though you can’t tell by the state of his school binder).

He is a kind and compassionate person.

He makes thoughtful decisions.

He (mostly) remembers to flush the toilet.

He has an excellent vocabulary and makes well-reasoned arguments (note to self: up your debating skills…you’re going to need them).

The transition from kid to tween to teen is as hard as it is miraculous. It’s amazing to witness the changes in your child as he or she matures and their character begins to reveal itself. But it’s also the time when you realize that despite how great you believe your kid to be, the desire for greater freedom and independence leaves the door open for more serious consequences when their decisions aren’t the best.

As a parent, I’m not naive enough to think he’s going to do everything right – mistakes will be made, I’m sure – but I’m hoping that we can navigate the teen years with as few rough waters as possible.