"We are still waiting for that rebellion to hit," Irwin says in the latest issue of PEOPLE

By Patrick Gomez
Updated October 28, 2015 02:30 PM
Credit: Ari Michelson

Terri Irwin has been warned that her 17-year-old daughter Bindi will start her rebellious stage “any day now” for the last six years.

“We are still waiting for that rebellion to hit,” says Bindi, who is featured in the latest issue of PEOPLE. “I keep waiting for it, like, one day I’ll just wake up and feel like going crazy, but so far it hasn’t happened. It just doesn’t appeal to me.”

In fact, the daughter of the late Crocodile Hunter star Steve Irwin says she hasn’t even come close to living like a wild child in her teen years.

“I think my most rebellious times are on my birthdays, when I go out and get Chinese food, bring it home and watch a movie or read a book with a cup of tea,” says Bindi, who is currently competing on season 21 of Dancing with the Stars.

Terri says she has seen her daughter change in recent years, but only for the better.

“She’s not asking me what I think anymore. She’s being courageous and making good decisions for herself,” says Terri, 51. “When a child is really young, you work so hard on ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and then you work hard on them understanding that everyone around you has a life and may need a hand. She has that awareness of others and that the world doesn’t revolve around her. And now she is starting to make those kinds of statements and decisions on her own and I’m really proud of her for that.”

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Bindi recently graduated high school, but she isn’t planning on moving from Australia Zoo (where her family lives and works) any time soon. And her brother Robert, 11, would be surprised if she changed her mind.

“Conservation and wildlife really is the biggest part of our life. It’s not like one day we are going to wake up and say, ‘I’m done with conservation. I’m done saving the world. I’m going to be an astronaut.’ It’s always going to be a part of our lives,” he says.

And Bindi agrees: “I want to make sure who [my dad] was is reflected in everything I do,” says Bindi. “I really want to take everything Dad worked for and everything my family represents and all of my dreams and goals and combine them and push them out to the world.”

For more from Bindi – including her relationship with her “incredible” boyfriend and how she’s honoring her father’s legacy – pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday