Are the teenage years REALLY worse than the toddler years?

(94 Posts)
itmustbewineoclock Tue 20-Apr-10 10:19:46

Really....really. People with teens keep on doing the shaking head knowingly thing when I talk about how hard toddlers can be. My theory is that they have forgotten as it's so long ago.

scaredoflove Tue 20-Apr-10 10:24:39

Give me toddlers any day. Parenting teens is the hardest thing I have ever done - I have 4 in 5 years.

Toddlers are demanding but most sleep a good portion of the night - teenagers are around for what seems 24 hours

They are angry and confused by the huge changes and of course, learning their own minds - have many many opinions

When a teenager shouts they hate you - you can believe that at that moment they do

Then add in all the worry of getting them through the next few years without drugs/alcohol/sex/crime

Toddlers are a doddle

mookle Tue 20-Apr-10 10:34:13

my cousin had 11 years between her two daughters and she reckons the toddler and teengae years are quite similar in terms of "hardness" just in different ways. with toddlers you are fully responsible for them and have to be switched on all the time you are with them which is hard, but teenagers are draining in other ways. So in her experience not one worse than the ohter - just different issues.

noddyholder Tue 20-Apr-10 10:41:30

Teenagers much harder my ds is pita atm

bruffin Tue 20-Apr-10 10:44:57

I think DS 14 is actually easier as a teen than a toddler, but I do think he was a particularly frustrated toddler. He has always been very mature for his age. He has a good sense of humour and it doesn't take much to get him out of a grouch.

DD 12 is a different storygrin delightful toddler with hardly any tantrums but I can see we may have a few problems in the future.

They are both fun to have around and the self sufficiency is something you don't get with toddlers.

FleurDelacour Tue 20-Apr-10 10:47:20

I think teenagers are wonderful. I love their energy and the fact they are looking forward. They are always good fun and have interesting things to say.

I have teenagers at home and also teach this age group.

They can be infuriating sometimes but if you are fair, consistent and show how much you care then in almost all cases they will respond very well.

Give me teenagers over toddlers any day.

both make a lot of mess, especially in the bathroom.

both make a lot of noise

both squabble continually with siblings

both need ferrying to and fro various activities.

both seem to go through their entire wardrobe in a day.

Teenagers answer back more, they eat more, their clothes are bigger so take more space in the washing machine.

smile

GentleOtter Tue 20-Apr-10 10:52:19

One of each here - toddler, teenager and fully grown man son.
It never gets easier. <sigh>

You have to morph into a mix of Mr Tumble, Hannah Montana and the Royal Bank.

ShinyAndNew Tue 20-Apr-10 10:53:51

Surely toddlers are much harder. I refuse to believe otherwise. Any one who disagrees has never met dd2.

whensmydayoff Tue 20-Apr-10 16:01:42

gentleotter that was hilarious! Im going to tuck that away and surprise my nearest and dearest with my quick wit!!

cory Tue 20-Apr-10 20:37:53

People are all different.

I never went through an angry teen stage (too busy dealing with my Mum's menopause grin), but was reportedly a little horror of a toddler.

And dd was far more angry and confused at 9 than she is at 13.

MarionCole Tue 20-Apr-10 20:40:10

I have a 3 yr old and a 14 yr old. The toddler is immeasurably easier. Sorry!

bourboncreme Tue 20-Apr-10 20:43:39

Very similar,the unpredictable cheerful followed by huge outburst with no warning followed by a big cuddle!The worst posrt is they are always around at least with a Toddler you can put them to bed at 7 and have a glass of wine!!

EccentricaGallumbits Tue 20-Apr-10 20:45:02

yup. mine as toddlers were fairly nice. now they're not.

alicatte Tue 20-Apr-10 20:47:27

Its different - just as pressurising but different. They cost so much. There is a long period in-between that is close to a doddle though.

GetOrfMoiLand Tue 20-Apr-10 20:47:38

I love it now that dd is 14, the teenage years are the best in my opinion.

I would much rather have a teen than a toddler.

Actually, they are very similar. Liable to have strops, pushing boundaries, wanting the impossible. I think teens are bigger toddlers, with smellier trainers grin.

Fingers crossed, I have had no trouble yet with dd, she is great. And I actually can reason with her now, not like when she was 2 and screamed and screamed in fury because there was a bird pecking on the shed roof hmm

I think toddlers probably are easier, yes they wee on the floor and shout 'I DON'T LIKE YOU' (often) but they are predictably weird. Whereas teens tend to be like Dementors from the Harry Potter films. wink

My DCs are only 7, but I imagine the teenage years being harder as at least you can send a stropping toddler to bed at 5.30 in the afternoon and not have to worry about them until the next morning. You can't do that with a teenager.

It must surely depend on the child. My eldest was a joy as a toddler. In fact, all of them were pretty easy, dd was the only one slightly prone to stamping her foot, but none of mine had tantrums. They slept, they were happy, they garnered admiring looks wherever they went. They were fussy eaters but not as bad as many children. Oh and they played and got on with each other.

Now my happy eldest child is 13, nearly 14, and he is as though he has been swapped for another child. He is frequently morose, he rarely laughs except at other's misfortune, I can never get a word out of him, he can get depressed, he seems totally lacking in motivation and by golly he can wind his siblings up if he wants to. The best I can say of him is that he is well behaved in school and his temper is very short lived so one minute he can be as uncooperative as it is possible to be, banging doors, shouting etc, and the next he is laughing and amenable. And all the time, there is the potential for much worse: drugs, drink, sex, etc.

So for me, based on my experiences so far, teens is harder than toddlerhood, but I would say toddlerhood was quite pleasant for me.

That said, I agree with Getorf, I much prefer teens because they are at least becoming adults and you can sometimes talk about interesting things with them.

LadyG Tue 20-Apr-10 21:02:40

I am dreading the teen years - have a 20 month old and a nearly 5 year old and toddler is so much easier-at least they are cute and funny and even when they shout 'No!!!!!' at you and throw themselves on the floor at least you can pick them up bundle them over your shoulder and carry on-not possible with a 13 year old surely?

cory Tue 20-Apr-10 21:50:17

Actually, I found the age of 3 was the worst: whingeing, moaning, clinging. By contrast, my teenager has a great sense of humour and is always making us laugh, she has an ability to look at herself from the outside and has lived long enough in the world to realise that experience might actually count for something.

3 is the age I really would not have back.

bruffin Tue 20-Apr-10 22:31:11

LadyG my 14 year old can pick me up and carry me over his shoulder if he wanted to, he is 5,11 and I am 5,2 even my 12 year old is taller than mesad

mumblechum Tue 20-Apr-10 22:35:14

Toddlers are way easier, at least when ds was upset at 3, I could quickly cheer him up/distract him with a lolly and a trip to the swings.

Teens take way more emotional intelligence and I'm afraid I often tell his dad to sort him out ie give him a pep talk/cheer him up as if I try to, we just end up falling out.

bruffin Tue 20-Apr-10 22:39:30

I just remembered when Ds was 3 we called him Kevin

He used to swing his arms just like Kevin did when he was having a paddy

SugarSkyHigh Tue 20-Apr-10 22:52:20

teenage years much more demanding, draining etc. than toddler-hood, but I suppose it's all relative. I felt tired when they were 2yrs old, and tired now when they're 13 yrs old!! kind of prefer it now, though, even though I think it is in fact harder. It's just their personalities are coming through now, their individuality and what they are going to become. And you kind of realise that all that crap about feeding, weaning etc etc wasnt the be all and end all!

For me though, the bottom line is that with a toddler ultimately you have the control. With a teenager, they can leave the house on their own and you can't stop them. It's a whole different ball game.

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