To ask which are more trouble - toddlers or teens

(112 Posts)
ProudAS Tue 11-Mar-14 12:22:51

I'm not a parent myself but I am curious

Uptheanty Tue 11-Mar-14 12:24:22

Teens without a doubt.

Be warned parents.

OpalQuartz Tue 11-Mar-14 12:24:52

I've only had toddlers, but I would think that teenagers are more of a worry whereas toddlers are more physical work. Both can probably be pretty cantankerous! Interested to hear from people who have had both (so know what they are talking about) though.

OwlCapone Tue 11-Mar-14 12:25:20

I have a sick teen at home today. He has not left his bedroom in the last 2 hours. A sick toddler would be whiney, needy and irritating.

OTHO, I could wrestle a toddler into submission, not so easy with a nearly 6ft teenage boy.

OwlCapone Tue 11-Mar-14 12:26:19

And I'd choose either over a stroppy 8 year old girl.

BreconBeBuggered Tue 11-Mar-14 12:26:45

Put it this way - if you have both at the same time, you retreat from teen troubles and collapse into dealing with toddler dramas as though you're relaxing in a warm bath.

Boysrstupid Tue 11-Mar-14 12:27:13

Right now I'd say toddler as DD is having an almighty paddy on the floor (reason unknown)

About 2:30 I'll say teenager as a text from Ds school is sure to arrive informing me he has a detention (reason unknown)

Oh the joys...

OpalQuartz Tue 11-Mar-14 12:28:08

I found my daughter quite easy when she was 8. I find primary age a lot easier than toddler years

Both as bad as each other but in different ways (most of the time) The beauty of teens is that there's not as many years to wait before they leave home.

Lemonylemon Tue 11-Mar-14 12:32:44

Teens. Definitely. You can't send a teenager to bed early. They can talk and answer back.

I have a DS (16) and a DD (6).

Uptheanty Tue 11-Mar-14 12:33:24

I yearn for the challlenges that young children brought.... And i had no idea of how hard things could really get with a teen.

I cannot begin to put it ino words how stressful and all enveloping the stress and drama can be with my dd.

If my marraige & family survive the next 2 years as we've got through the last then we'll be solid.

Unfortunately it may not.

BertieBotts Tue 11-Mar-14 12:33:54

I loved the toddler stage. 3-4 was hell, though.

hoppingmad Tue 11-Mar-14 12:36:52

For me it's the toddler years, they are hard work and test my patience. The older my dc's get the more I enjoy them and enjoy the relationship.
Dt's are lovely but hard work - they are 2
Dd (10) is moody and irritable sometimes, a complete joy at others
Ds (13) is mostly wonderful. He has autism and we went through nightmare preteen years but he is growing and maturing every day. There were times a few years ago that our relationship was so strained that it was heartbreaking. Now he is my right hand man smile

I still have the rest of the teenage years to get through though so that might change!

OwlCapone Tue 11-Mar-14 12:38:01

I found my daughter quite easy when she was 8

Mine certainly wasn't this morning smile one teen boy went happily off to school with no trouble, one has not emerged from his pit and the 8 yr old girl threw a huge hissy fit when the iPad charger I told her was "somewhere near the sofa" was not touching the sofa but about a foot away on a side table. The resultant strop lasted all the way into school with frequent shouting of "I don't care" when I calmly mentioned how rude she was being.

impty Tue 11-Mar-14 12:39:05

Ooohhh this is hard.

Toddler's are very demanding, and can drive you crazy. They are also cute and funny and can melt your heart.

Teens can drive you crazy with worry and fear. Are exasperating, and are funny but less cute. Can hurt you in an argument etc etc.

Both hard in different ways <<helpful>>

eightandthreequarters Tue 11-Mar-14 12:44:02

Teens. The day-to-day problems a toddler has are almost always easy to resolve. Teens have issues. Big issues, thorny ones that involve friends and goals and grades and drugs and sex.

You don't need to cut up their food for them, though, and do they EVER sleep through.

KellyElly Tue 11-Mar-14 12:44:12

Teens sleep though. Some people are up constantly in the night with toddlers or have toddlers who are up at 5am. I think both have their different demands. You could have a teen who helps around the house and is a joy and a toddler from hell who you also have to do everything for. Or you could have a stroppy teen going off the rails and a model toddler who sleeps 13 hours and entertains themselves and never tantrums.

PurpleSproutingBroccoli Tue 11-Mar-14 12:57:02

I have two teen girls. In terms of physical work, toddlers are much harder as it's relentless - however, I'd take every exhausting, bum-wiping second of it over dealing with a teen. It's just so simple in comparison. The compensation (for me, anyway) is that life with teens is much more varied and interesting. But Christ, it's an emotional wringer.

impty Tue 11-Mar-14 13:01:42

Actually, I've changed my mind. Teens are harder. I never feared for my dc's well being as toddlers because I could control that. I kept them safe.

Teens- you hope you've taught them to be safe. But teens aren't always the greatest at making sensible choices...

OpalQuartz Tue 11-Mar-14 13:05:07

What age does it start getting easier again? 20?

Tailtwister1 Tue 11-Mar-14 13:09:24

I've only had toddlers and I would love to think they are the most trouble. Sadly from what I read I think I would be wrong.

The teenage years are the ones I approach with most trepidation.

formerbabe Tue 11-Mar-14 13:17:38

I was looking forward to my kids to becoming teenagers but not now I've read this. I reckon teenagers must make you worry more but toddlers are demanding and it is constant work. At least when they are teenagers you can work without having to worry about childcare and can stay in bed at weekends!

popcornpaws Tue 11-Mar-14 13:17:51

Toddlers are much harder, teens are great, they're more independent, funny and great company in my experience.
Obviously no two teenagers will be the same, but my dd is an absolute joy, she is 17 btw.

happystory Tue 11-Mar-14 13:22:17

With teens, you worry constantly where they are and who they are with. With toddlers you know exactly where they are all the time. Sleepless nights - with toddlers it can be exhausting, sapping, draining but I'd have that any time over a coming home late teenager who cannot be contacted and who possibly be up to something unwise.

Flicktheswitch Tue 11-Mar-14 13:22:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

pixwix Tue 11-Mar-14 13:28:13

Oooh! deffo both hard but in different ways. Both CAN be difficult to reason with. Both have similarities in terms of parts of the brain/emotions/chemicals etc outgrowing others. Both swing from dependence/independence at lightning speed.

Toddlers are more portable, and with effort, muscles like Fatima Whitbread, and a will of steel, can be hoofed up to their bedrooms for a 'calm down' for a wee while.

Teenagers tend to be bigger than me, and like to argue with me like Jeremy Paxman on a grudge match. it's less physical and more emotional with teens - both require a degree of hostage negotiation techniques.

Having said that, Ds1 is 16, and we've had our ups and downs at times - he is quite lovely, and to see him growing up and developing his own opinions/values etc is great!

Nailbiting at times, as you gradually trust them with more and more stuff, and sometimes you have to rescue em...

I have a DD nearly 14, another DD 11 and a DS who is 4 but due to DS is cognitively delayed and in a lot of aspects is toddler like, he certainly needs constant supervision to keep him safe.

I love the conversations I can have with my older two, they are becoming really interesting people. I love that they can walk about locally independently to see friends and shop a little. Sometimes their dramatic retellings of events of the school day and friend issues drive me nuts grin

My son requires heaps of looking after but he is so lovely and squishy and huggy, I don't really mind. it's noisey when they're all in but my heart melts when his sisters look after him and find him games to play.

On balance, it very much depends!!


notso Tue 11-Mar-14 13:34:06

I have a nearly 14 yo, 9 yo, 3 yo and nearly 2 yo.
On the face of it the 13 yo and 3 yo are similar, irrational, moody, often over tired, needy and emotional.
However my 3 year olds needs and problems are simple, broken biscuit, doesn't want to leave the park, needs a nap for example. He will say Mummy I'm cross.
My 13 year old is much more complex, sometimes I feel there is something wrong but she says there isn't, other times she is angry or upset but doesn't know why.
I worry more about my teenage DD. I worry when she is out with her friends, I worry about her at school, I worry about her when she is online and I worry she is eating properly.
I don't worry as much about my toddlers, if they don't eat I am not too bothered they will be hungry at some point, if my 1 yo won't get dressed then who cares if he is in the playground in his PJ's, if my 3 yo throws himself to the ground screaming in the park who cares he's 3.
Toddlers are incredibly tiring, two toddlers can be draining at times if someone offered to take two of my four for a day so I could have a rest I would choose the 3 yo and 23 month old every time.
If someone said I could have an expert to advise me on dealing with one of my children on a daily basis I would ask for support with my teenager definitely.

gamerchick Tue 11-Mar-14 13:36:06

Teens.. I would rather have the relentless bone aching tiredness of the young tines than dealing with teenagers.

Nocomet Tue 11-Mar-14 13:43:06

Toddler DD1 was exhausting, racing off, climbing, getting into everything.
Teen (16) DD1 is lovely

Toddler DD2 just needed looking after as small DCs do.
Teen DD2, well she's only just 13, but so far way better than the 9y, I'll through a rage if the world doesn't revolve around me version.

IAmNotAPrincessIAmAKahleesi Tue 11-Mar-14 13:45:46


Though I wouldn't have believed that until I had my own, and mine are pretty good

I toddlers and teens at the same time. That's, erm, interesting to say the least grin

survivingthechildren Tue 11-Mar-14 13:47:37

Imagine your toddler can drive. And get access to alcohol.

I think you have my answer grin

Skivvywoman Tue 11-Mar-14 13:52:23


Although I'm hoping that dd will be a good teenager as she was an awful baby/toddler

LadyBeagleEyes Tue 11-Mar-14 13:53:18

You can usually solve most toddlers 'problems' for them with a kiss to make it better.
You can't with a teen, they have to learn how to live in an adult world and make their own decisions. You can advise and hopefully nudge them in the right direction, but when they're hurting you are too, but can do nothing about it.
This is one of the reasons I found ds easier as a toddler. Mummy could just kiss it better.

I think people look back on the toddler years with heavily rose tinted glasses 12 years later when dealing with teens - they forget exactly what years of fairly intense sleep deprivation was like, if they had it... Also of course some kids are eady toddlers, some are easy teens, some are neither, so its a fairly meaningless question.

The only people I'm listening to on this are the ones dealing with toddlers and teens at the same time - as some on here are ;)

bigTillyMint Tue 11-Mar-14 14:00:47

Teens, definitely. As others say, you could sort out their "problems" but teens have to sort their own.

DS was a spirited toddler, but is currently much better. 13 in 2 weeks!
DD was a really easy toddler and child, but is coming into her own as a teenconfused

Tinpin Tue 11-Mar-14 14:01:58

However 'good' your teenagers are they are so much more of a worry than toddlers. With toddlers you are in charge ( or should be) You are able to solve their problems and keep them safe. Teenagers break your hearts because they have problems you can't help with, you can only listen . They worry you half to death when they pass their driving tests and disappear in mums car. You go back to sleepless nights as you wait for the key in the lock and their step on the stairs.
On the up side they are funny, exuberant and a joy to have in the house.

feelingdizzy Tue 11-Mar-14 14:03:16

Toddlers are physically demanding and you can sort out their problems, whereas teenagers are mentally demanding and it can be hard to watch them sort out their own problems.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Tue 11-Mar-14 14:06:56


Animation Tue 11-Mar-14 14:07:09

Teens are great! And yes they sleep through.

DameDiazepamTheDramaQueen Tue 11-Mar-14 14:07:31

On the up side they are funny, exuberant and a joy to have in the house

YY smile

TheBody Tue 11-Mar-14 14:07:51

teens of course. you always know where your toddlers are and they they are in safe hands.

you never can be sure of they with your teens.

I can't belive anyone who has had teens, and mine are generally good kids, thinks toddlers are harder.

Animation Tue 11-Mar-14 14:10:33

And love talking to teens. Toddlers can't talk.

Nocomet Tue 11-Mar-14 14:10:51

Yes, assuming you don't have a toddler, small child who could vaporise, silently, into thin air.

At least now she sometimes has her mobile on.

nokidshere Tue 11-Mar-14 14:14:26

My two boys have never been "hard" luckily. But the teen years are more stressful and worrying because of their growing independence. As others have said, your toddlers are with you most of the time and you can keep them safe and you have to let your teens go.

My two are funny, interesting and lovely characters now although the 12 year old is more prone to emotional outbursts than ever before. The 15 year old is very laid back and chilled out.

KellyElly Tue 11-Mar-14 14:20:18

I can't belive anyone who has had teens, and mine are generally good kids, thinks toddlers are harder. Or they may have just forgotten the bad bits and just remember the cuteness of their teens when they were toddlers amidst all the teenage angst grin

musicposy Tue 11-Mar-14 14:20:39

Toddlers are harder, by far.
Not for the world would I go back to the tantrums, the screaming, the potty training, the needing to do everything for them.

Yes, my teens get stroppy and are quite capable of a teen version of a tantrum hmm. But I'd much rather they shouted or even swore a bit and slammed the odd door than lay down in the middle of tescos kicking their feeting and yelling "go away, you're not my mummy!" at the top of their voice <narrows eyes at DD1>

Maybe I've been lucky with them as teens but DD1 is 18 and DD2 14 and nothing I've had to deal with has even approached what I had in toddlerdom. At least you can talk to them about why they shouldn't drink/ take drugs/ stay out until 2am/ sleep with their boyfriend at 14 <narrows eyes at DD2>, and with any luck they will see reason. I'd much rather that than try telling a 2 year old why they can't have sweets or have to sit in the trolley.

thanks so glad to have two teens! They were cute as toddlers, but I my life with them now is so much better. They are funny, entertaining, make me laugh, can be left by themselves and I don't have to wipe their bottoms grin

OpalQuartz Tue 11-Mar-14 14:25:25

Great post Music grin

hoppingmad Tue 11-Mar-14 14:30:24

Exactly music. Plus you can do stuff with teens much more easily. You can go on holiday, take trips out without having to worry about nappies, naps, remember their favourite bear/book/car. You can pop to the shops on your own without lugging car seats or overtired toddlers.
Yes teens are hard work but less relentlessly so than toddlers

hoppingmad Tue 11-Mar-14 14:31:20

Plus teens are at school a lot of the time grin

britney92 Tue 11-Mar-14 14:37:03

I have a toddler and a teen at the same time confused

OpalQuartz Tue 11-Mar-14 14:38:45

What's the verdict then Britney92? grin

Arrggghh - just early into the teen years here and I'd say toddler years were physically exhausting but the teen years are mental torture grin

...and I would add that so far mine are remarkably well behaved and compliant.

I am already worrying about them being out in pubs and clubs and driving etc and dreaming of the times when they were happy to stay within an arms length of you and went to bed safe and sound at 7pm.

On the plus side, you can go out to the shops and leave them behind which you couldn't do with toddlers.

notso Tue 11-Mar-14 14:45:57

Ah but hopping with toddlers you can go on cheap holidays in term time and they sleep during the day so you get time alone. Plus they don't roll their eyes at you when you enjoy a cold beer with your breakfast or record you shagging on their sleep talking app.blush

Although toddlers do shout embarrassingly loudly "look Mummy a big fat willy" when you accidentally take a stroll on the nudist section of the beach.

hoppingmad Tue 11-Mar-14 14:47:41

Do you want to tell dt's they are supposed to nap - they stopped that months ago.
I'm not even going to ask about the recording incident blush

firesidechat Tue 11-Mar-14 14:50:59

Definitely the teens, but that may be the control freak in me.

With toddlers, you always know where they are (totally ignoring all the occasions when the eldest went missing). They need more care, but aren't much of a worry on the whole.

With teens it's one long worry, even if you have reasonably well behaved ones. Late back from parties, dodgy friends, being driven around by other teens who have just passed their test and the list goes on. So happy that they are adults now and it's all behind us.

One word of warning though. You never actually stop worrying about your children.

Of course you can only go on cheap termtime holidays with toddlers if you only have toddlers (no older, school age kids) and are not a teacher

notso Tue 11-Mar-14 14:56:55

thanks for the loss of naps. I am lucky enough to be able to still enforce naps by making them lie down under a blanket boring them to sleep by putting radio 4 or some daytime drivel on. 3 yo is awake half the night though so it's no wonder he's tired.

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Tue 11-Mar-14 15:03:13

Survivingthechildren: Imagine your toddler can drive. And get access to alcohol.

I think you have my answer

Oh shitbags.

gingermop Tue 11-Mar-14 15:04:32

toddlers harder phsically but teens emotionally, give me a toddler any daygrin

I only have a four year old, enjoyed the toddler years. Dreading teenage years based on the experience of having been one myself!

AcrylicPlexiglass Tue 11-Mar-14 15:25:48

I agree it depends on the child and also the adult(s) involved. I have twin teens and a just out of toddlerhood singleton. My "easiest" child by far is one of my teenagers. He sleeps, is sweet and lovely when I ask things of him, accepts boundaries, more or less, interesting person who I love chatting to, approachable and affectionate but not needy.. My other teen shares most of these traits apart from the boundaries bit and he is a source of constant extreme stress! He is constantly out, never willingly reveals where he is/ is intending to go, when grounded climbs out of the window to escape, loves graffiti, dabbles with drugs. Basically a nice kid, I think, but impulsive and thoughtless and desperate to be in the thick of things. My little one is very high maintenance in a completely different way. Needs me constantly, wakes up at 5am, bolshie as a bolshie thing at times-far more overtly defiant far more frequently than her teenage brothers. But I think the posters below are right when they say that even a very difficult toddler is easier to keep safe than a teenager.

OwlCapone Tue 11-Mar-14 15:36:56

I can't belive anyone who has had teens, and mine are generally good kids, thinks toddlers are harder.

Maybe they had different children to you. Just a thought!

TheBody Tue 11-Mar-14 15:39:14

but the aching tiredness of toddlers doesn't compare with the worry of teens.

you can't alter the fact that you can tuck up your toddler at 7pm and generally they sleep until 7am, well mine did, but teens are out and about and you aren't there to keep them safe.

it's lots of worry even with 'good ones'.

TheBody Tue 11-Mar-14 15:41:47

owl no you miss the point. I am not talking about specific toddlers or teens, actually mine were fairly good as both but you can always protect your toddler and you can't ah ways protect your teen

huge difference.

hoppingmad Tue 11-Mar-14 15:44:21

Well either way I have the best of all worlds - twin toddlers, pre teen, teenager and some SN thrown in for good measure confused
Still, if anyone offers to give me a break its the dt's I'd hand over far too happily

Notso dts didn't sleep through until 18 months. Even now he considers sleeping past 5 an outrage sad

NCISaddict Tue 11-Mar-14 15:47:23

Mine were much more trouble when they were toddlers, just keeping them alive was a struggle. I remember a poster on here saying if she reached the end of the day and they were 'fed and not dead' the day was a success, that typified my days exactly.
My teens were a breeze compared to that.

BoysMum1 Tue 11-Mar-14 15:57:02

At the moment mine are age 6, 9, 11, 13 and 14.
I realised last night that in 4 years time I will have 4 teens in the house. Someone shoot me know please.

OwlCapone Tue 11-Mar-14 16:07:09

No, Body, I've not missed the point at all. People's experience of teens v toddlers will depend very much on their experience of both. You said you can't believe anyone who has had teens thinks toddlers are harder. I would never make such a sweeping statement as I can't possibly say what other people's experiences were like.

ISeeYouShiverWithAntici Tue 11-Mar-14 16:09:59

depends what you mean by trouble, I suppose.

Every stage has its unique challenges.

You don't sleep as much when they are babies but at least they don't answer you back grin

they are far more independent when they're older - which gives you more to worry about grin

I don't think they are 'trouble' at any stage but certainly you go through a whole load of different experiences at different ages and how you behave as a parent has to change a LOT!

jacks365 Tue 11-Mar-14 16:14:49

Toddlers are harder or at least mine is but when she completely exhausts me one of my wonderful teens will always help out. I have been very lucky though with my teens.

MaddAddam Tue 11-Mar-14 16:20:08

I have a nearly 14 yo, a 12.5 yo, and a 9yo.

So far I am finding the teen and almost-teen stage one of the best bits of parenting. Much easier than having toddlers. I come and go, they come and go, and when we interact they are capable of lively interesting discussion.

They are no moodier than they previously were, yes they can be critical but I quite like that actually. And I probably still win the house prize for argumentativeness.

wigglybeezer Tue 11-Mar-14 16:20:46

Teens, toddlers don't have exams!

TheBody Tue 11-Mar-14 16:22:32

however whatever your experiences of individual toddlers/teens the fact is that toddlers are far easier to protect from life's difficulties and dangers than teens.

unless your toddlers roam the streets after dark, drive, party and are exposed to alcohol, sex and drugs,which I am guessing the average toddler is not, then they are generally protected by adults 24/7.

teens arnt.

I didn't read the op as individual teens/toddlers but as a generic group.

KellyElly Tue 11-Mar-14 16:44:08

unless your toddlers roam the streets after dark, drive, party and are exposed to alcohol, sex and drugs,which I am guessing the average toddler is not, then they are generally protected by adults 24/7. Ah, but do you have to hide the bleach from teen in case they try to neck a bit or stop your teens from licking wheelie bins and trying to eat cat poo grin

TheBody Tue 11-Mar-14 17:20:22

Kelly not yet but never say never!! grin

cory Tue 11-Mar-14 17:48:03

Depends on what you find most difficult to handle: a small clingy person who sticks to your side throughout the day and talks non-stop or a big independent person who talks back and may actually occasionally understand things better than you. shock

As for keeping safe, Kelly is right: there are dangers both ways.

Personally, I find it reassuring that dc are now old enough and sensible enough to look after themselves: they seem to do a much better job of it than I did than they were little. grin

Fewer accidents, fewer scares- what I see of them is sensible decisions, pulling out when a situation gets dodgy, getting help when someone is in trouble- it all looks good from where I'm sitting.

HolidayCriminal Tue 11-Mar-14 17:48:43

6yo is the worst age ime. Between tots & teens I think I prefer tots, although tots are cuter & teens are funner.

bigoldbird Tue 11-Mar-14 17:54:50

Toddlers are awful, I hate them. Never get any peace. Teenagers, if you are lucky, choose your battles and always keep communications open, are tremendously good fun, except when they disappear in a car full of teenage boys having told you they were being picked up by a friends parent. However, despite all the worry and tears the teenage years caused me, I found them much easier to deal with than horrible, whiney, clingy, snotty nosed toddlers. Yeuch.

mrsjay Tue 11-Mar-14 18:02:25

Teenagers are just over grown toddlers really although at the time the toddlers seemed such hard work give me a pack of 2 year olds anyday to one stroppy 16 yr old hmm

SecretRed Tue 11-Mar-14 18:16:45

I have a toddler AND a teen. At the moment they seem to be tag teaming with the bad behaviour. There is never a moment where neither if them is being a pita confusedgrin

TheBody Tue 11-Mar-14 18:45:46

shall we say then both as bad/good as each other and don't do it op.grin

dementedma Tue 11-Mar-14 19:24:10

The very worst is the young teen....older teens are proper humans and reasonably ok to deal with.
The pre-teen/young teen is an absolute horror!

MaddAddam Tue 11-Mar-14 20:27:55

It seems to me that you have some choice about whether to worry about your teens. (leaving aside the particularly problematic ones with severe anorexia or drug problems, but most teens aren't in that category).

I tend to yak on about safety and then hope for the best.

But toddlers, you can't just decide not to worry about them getting run over/falling off a cliff/drowning/lost in a public place. I still wake up in with nightmares about that sort of toddler experience.

And you can choose whether to wait up for a teen if they are out late, but you can't choose to ignore a wakeful toddler at 5am.

OooohShiny Tue 11-Mar-14 20:51:06

My mum has a saying...

Wee weans, wee worries...big weans, big worries grin

usualsuspect33 Tue 11-Mar-14 20:54:14

I much preferred teens to toddlers.

AcrylicPlexiglass Tue 11-Mar-14 21:14:28

I'm not sure about the choice thing, maddaddam. Almost 100% of the teens I know in this area are exposed to drink, drugs, sex, police stop and searches, etc. Only a very small minority don't join in. Parental worry seems directly correlated to how much of a blind eye is turned but even those who are oblivious to their teenager's antics can get a big horrible shock when they suddenly get called by police/ school /party host's parents to report disaster. At least 3 of my boys' friends are under the youth offending team, most have tried weed and mdma, lots are regular smokers, lots are sexually active etc etc. Choosing not to worry is all very well but there is a fine line between that and being unrealistic about the dangerous stuff they're doing or at least watching their friends doing.

carolinecupcake Sat 15-Mar-14 17:13:26

Toddlers are physically hard work - I often wonder how I managed when they were little- but then again I was 10 years younger!! I think teens are much more of a worry cos a lot of things are not under your control - schoolwork, friends,internet,personal safety. You can only hope that all the things you tried to teach them as they were growing up are somewhere in there!I think that my life is much more stressful now that I have teens and I can understand why my mum says that no matter how old your kids are, you never stop worrying about them!

sandalsinthebin Sat 15-Mar-14 17:17:15

Teens no contest. I look back with fondness on the toddler years. I don't look back with any fondness on the teen years.

Teens are harder, absolutely no sodding contest!

BackforGood Sat 15-Mar-14 17:23:47

It's going to depend on the teen, and also on the toddler, obviously, but overall, for me, I LOVE the teen years.
Toddler years tend to be combined with a baby as well, and that usually = sleep deprivation, and I don't do well on sleep deprivation.
When teens are having a strop you can just go without them, but it's frowned upon to leave your two yr old home alone wink

DramaAlpaca Sat 15-Mar-14 17:24:08

I'm enjoying having teenagers far more than I enjoyed having toddlers.

My three DC are close in age & I found the toddler years really hard work.

I'd rather deal with a teenager any day, despite the inevitable dramas and angst.

diddl Sat 15-Mar-14 17:31:38


My teens are pretty much self sufficient when necessary, reasonable & can be left!

PlumProf Sat 15-Mar-14 17:32:12

Toddlers are loads harder. They are 24/7 and can't be reasoned with, and need everything doing for them (washing, cooking, playdates). My teens are delightful, great company, independent and thoughtful. They can cook, travel independently and are great conversationalists. Perhaps I have been lucky or perhaps (my own theory) it is because I have not tried to rule their lives but have trusted them more and more over time. (Girls btw). The only thing is the worry, but that is my problem and not to do with them - I worry about how drivers drive when they are on their bikes going to school/ university, I worry about how safe they are on the night buses home from parties and I worry about how they will afford to live as students. Yes, as Acrylic says, I am sure they drink and are sexually active but that is pretty similar to adults (they are older teens btw) and they manage it whilst still getting top grades and glowing reports so I can't really complain. OTOH my life felt like a living hell of drudgery and boredom when they were toddlers ( it is just possible that I am not good with small children!)

Bitofkipper Sat 15-Mar-14 18:05:04

I foolishly believed that if your children had a loving and stable upbringing then they would be OK. Silly me!
One teen was heavily into drink, hard drugs and stealing (hasn't ended well)
Other teen academic and sensitive but a huge worry in other ways.

They were lovely toddlers.

guineapig2014 Sat 15-Mar-14 18:11:54

I'm with OwlCapone on this one. I agree that a toddler would be winey but a teenager would just keep quiet in their bedroom. grin

bigbuttons Sat 15-Mar-14 18:13:56

teens are harder no contest. Give me a toddler anyway.

pussycatdoll Sat 15-Mar-14 18:25:12

I think the 16-18 stage is most worrying
Will they do well in their exams, do they want to go to uni, how will they pay for it, if they don't go where will they live ? How will they earn
Will they stay at home forever
The education \ career choices are what I find most stressful

Give me potty training any day

callmekitten Sat 15-Mar-14 18:28:47

DD is 10yo, so not a teen yet, But I remember people saying that things would be easier when she was a toddler rather than a baby. They weren't easier. And then they said things would be easier once she was in school, but they weren't. I have come to the conclusion that things don't get easier with kids. They just get hard in different ways.

Isn't it worth mentioning what personality your toddler had?

My ds' s were all placid and biddable as toddlers, in fact smug mother alert it was 16 that my first son related stress incident kicked in < apart from ds2's Christmas card at primary school issue ooh the shame>.

Teendom is a minefield.

Teendom throws up all kinds of shite.

singaporefling Sat 15-Mar-14 18:40:32

Without a doubt TEENS.... Toddlerdom/tiredness is all very hard work, but at least you know where they are/what they're doing/their 'problems' are usually smaller/cheaper/easier to sort out... Teens OTOH... More demanding in emotionally challenging/draining ways, some of their issues/problems/demands can be much much more expensive/costly in terms of time/money/peace of mind.... Wouldn't/couldn't be without them of course and they bring much joy/entertainment, but with 3DC's/2SDC's now from 15 to 30, there will be some measure of relief/achievement at seeing them all safely into productive happy healthy adulthood... And we're actually at the GC stage now (aged 4 and 2) so we're back at toddlerdom but get to hand them back after sleepovers grin. I didn't have ANY idea of this before having babies/toddlers/teens/gc, it doesn't seem to matter what you're told, it doesn't mean much until you're in it...

BrawToken Sat 15-Mar-14 18:47:52

It depends entirely on the child I suspect, my teen is a 16 and worrying (the usual, parties, drinking, boys) and wonderful (loves helping with small child, housework, doing well enough at school and has a p.t. job) in equal measure and she was a lovely toddler. My 5 year old was a dream toddler but who knows what she will be like...
Teenagers are born incrementally so you don't just wake up with a teenager. I have found each prior step prepares a parent for the next!

GertyD Sat 15-Mar-14 18:54:19

They are both pretty bad/amazing in their own ways. At least you can go to the pub and leave the teen unsupervised for a bit grin

Fecklessdizzy Sat 15-Mar-14 19:36:13

Oooh, give me teens any day! grin They can be left for the evening, they can make their own lunch, they can explain exactly why they are pissed off with the world, they can be bribed to perform useful household tasks ( I need never clean out the gutters again - joy unconfined! ) Their mates recommend good books for you to read ( Scott Lynch - Fab! ) They get things off high shelves in the supermarket, they mostly put themselves to bed, they organise their own social lives ( goodbye play date hell ... ) They are better at crossing the road, they never want to be carried on long walks, you can do your own surfing and not splosh around behind them making sure they don't drown, I could go on and on and on!

In fact I just did!

BlackeyedSusan Sat 15-Mar-14 19:39:50

teens. toddlers can be put into time out or carried out of whereever kicking and screaming. I am waiting to see if mine turn out better as teens.

CustardOmlet Sat 15-Mar-14 19:40:03

My toddler has headbutt me twice today and screamed on/off for 3hrs, I'm hoping for an improvement in the teenage years (although I get the feeling he will cause me a lot of worry!)

ConfusedDotty Sat 15-Mar-14 19:41:23

Teens and even worse in their 20s

Thegingerpig Sat 15-Mar-14 20:15:15

Fecklessdizzy you have given me some light at the end of the tunnel after an exhausting day with 2 toddlers!

MammaTJ Sat 15-Mar-14 20:22:16

Toddlers Teens

You know where they are You have no clue where they are

They wake you at night You stay awake at night wondering if
if they need you. they might need you.

You drive carefully to keep They drive themselves or get into other
them safe. teens cars and goodness knows what
could happen.


MammaTJ Sat 15-Mar-14 20:23:18

Should have done preview! That looked better before I posted.

ArmchairDetective Sat 15-Mar-14 20:26:08

My mum always knew where I was when I was a teenager. At home doing my homework usually.

FrancesNiadova Sat 15-Mar-14 20:37:54

Teens. You can contain a toddler's mess in a small area & win them round with shockingly shallow bribery/rewards. Teens have an apathy to EVERYTHING, that I envy, they mess up your home and your mind

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