Passionate About Wine Country
and the Moms Who Live Here

Toddlers and Teenagers – Is There Really a Difference?

I read a very accurate article about how there is not enough articles about how to parent teenagers. We have a plethora of good reads about infants, toddlers, and young children. But what about parenting teenagers? People with small children tell me they cannot wait until their cute, little babies are older and a bit more independent. 

Well, sorry – but I’m here to burst your bubble!

Toddlers and teenagers are, in fact, very similar. I swear I often tell my 16-year-old that she’s a toddler trapped in an older girls’ body. Her response is, “I know! I am so codependent.” As much as you parents with young children think you will be home free, trust me – you won’t be. 

Let me shed some light on a few things that make parenting toddlers and teenagers very similar:

> They are both selfish.

Toddlers want what they want, when they want it. And teenagers are no different. Toddlers really don’t know that they’re being selfish, while teenagers don’t even care that they’re being selfish. If my kids want to go to the mall, they don’t care if I’m too tired to take them or have other stuff going on. They really want to go… now!

> Watch out world!! We have picky eaters over here, too!

Raise your hand if it’s a good day when your toddler eats every meal you make for them. When my best friend’s tyke doesn’t want to eat, she puts her hand over her mouth and shakes her head. It is the cutest thing. Teenagers are very particular with their tastebuds, too, and they are not afraid to show it. 

> Privacy in the bathroom? Forgeddaboutit.

Does your toddler hang out in the bathroom with you when it’s time to do your business? Is that the time when they have the most to say to you? I don’t know if it’s because I have daughters or what, but man! These girls ALWAYS bother me when I’m in the bathroom. I could be in the shower and they come to talk to me about life, boys, or what’s for dinner. Or I’m on the toilet and one will barge in with something soooo important.

> Let’s count how many times they say, “Mom”.

This one is pretty self-explanatory. Sometimes, I like to just sit quietly and see when they’ll stop calling me. #neverhappens

> Tantrums, tantrums, and (oh, yes) more tantrums.

I really couldn’t tell you which one is harder to endure – a toddler tantrum or a teenager tantrum. With both, you may have to leave a store, but a teenager tantrum usually doesn’t include crying on the ground  while kicking and screaming. A teenager will, however, use the harshest words they can to cut through your heart like a knife. Prepare yourself now for all the “I hate you” and “You’re a horrible parent” moments.

> They need you. 

Of course toddlers need you. They need you to survive. They need to be fed, clothed, entertained, and loved. And while teenagers may never tell you, they also need you. Probably more than they did as a toddler. And they will show it in the oddest ways. My teens rarely hug me or tell me that they love me. But in their own way, I know they do.

What other ways are toddlers and teenagers alike? Let me know in the comments.

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