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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

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...

Perspective21 Tue 11-Mar-14 13:31:32

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

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