Why would you want to deal with someone else's teenager for a year? Most parents don't look forward to facing the teenage years with their own children, so why would you volunteer to take on the challenges of someone else's kid at this often-difficult time of life? Well, first of all, remember that these kids are generally responsible, mature and deemed ready by their own parents to live with strangers across the world for ten months (or three, depending on the program). Pushing boundaries is part of being a teenager, and these experiences have given us a lot of practice before our own children became teenagers. Our son is a teen now and our daughter is not far behind, and we've actually flexed our parenting-a-teen muscles several times now. For the most part, though, the teens we've hosted have been great kids. They do well in school, they make friends in the community, they volunteer, they help around the house, and they become members of the family. We hosted when our children were preschool-aged, we're hosting now that our oldest is in high school, and we'll probably continue to host once we have an otherwise empty nest. "Dealing with other people's teenagers" has turned out to be mostly a pleasure rather than a pain.
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