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Teenagers and Toddlers

Teenagers and Toddlers

I have entered the teenager twilight zone!  I have two teenagers, age fourteen and seventeen. When I ask them to go for a walk, their body language screams out, “What and be seen with you in public?”  I can remember those cuddly toddler years when they were excited to walk around the block with me holding hands all the way.

But, you know what?  Teenagers and toddlers have more in common than you think.


Similar milestones

Major milestones for toddlers are learning to talk and walk.  You look forward to their first words.  They seem sure to fall over at any moment as they wobble like drunken sailors.  Teenage milestones include learning to drive and speaking in their own slang.  When my daughter started to drive, I wore out my imaginary brake as it appeared to me she would crash at any moment.  How are u at understanding text lingo – omg and lol?

Temper tantrums

Do you think the “throw yourself on the floor and wail” behavior in the three year old is similar to the thirteen year old “stomp up the stairs and slam the door” behavior?  Emotions seem to run high at certain times in your child’s life.  What about the times that tug at your heart?  It was easier to cheer up your toddler with a kiss on her boo-boo, than to cheer up that first girlfriend – boyfriend break up, although double chocolate chip ice cream seems to be of some small help.

Can’t live with them, can’t live without them

There are times when toddlers test your patience with their need for constant attention, and times when teenagers drive you to the brink with pure attitude.  I have some advice to get you through.

🙂 Take a deep breath.  Patience is a virtue you don’t truly develop until you have children.  Give yourself some time before you react.  If you keep your cool, it will be easier for them to keep theirs.

🙂 Pick your battles.  You have to say “no” to your teenager at times, just like you did when your toddler wanted to run across the street without looking.  Setting a reasonable curfew, insisting to know where he is at all times, and, yes, even forcing him to spend some family time is important for a teenager.

🙂 Give them choices.  Remember the parenting advice about giving toddlers a choice on what pajamas to wear, instead of declaring it is bedtime?  Teenagers need to have their independence.  Asking them what night works best for the family outing is better than fighting about having a family outing.

Hang in there.  If I can do it, you can do it!

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