Parenting teens is like being on a roller coaster complete with unexpected twists and turns. One minute you are at peace, the next you are in the midst of a vicious row. Just when you thought you had a grip on things, something comes up to prove you need all the help you can get to retain your sanity.
It’s a delicate balancing act as you try to guide your teen while allowing them to learn their own life lessons. As constant arguments and emotional outbursts rage on, you’ll often wonder what happened to the sweet little kid you once had.
It turns out that parenting teens is surprisingly like parenting toddlers and you’ve already gone through that successfully (hopefully). In my experience, teens and toddlers have striking similarities. See if you agree with any of these:
1. They have an attachment to their toys.
Just like a toddler, your teen will want the latest gadgets and is capable of cajoling, whining and blackmailing to get them. If you want to unleash your teen’s inner Dr. Hyde, just try prying their phone from their hands. Things are sure to get a little…interesting after that.
2. They have odd sleeping patterns.
While toddlers love to get up at the crack of dawn, teens consider getting up before 10 am absurd. You’ll find yourself enjoying some late mornings in but only because your teen didn’t bother coming home before 11 pm the previous night and you stayed up worrying about them.
3. They have strange eating habits.
Remember how your teen used to be a picky eater as a toddler? Well, he’ll more than make up for it in his teens and will do his best to eat all your food. He’ll still hate veggies though so keep some healthy snacks handy.
4. They don’t communicate very well.
To be fair, toddlers’ communication is often hampered by a limited vocabulary. Your teen’s attitude, on the other hand, is what keeps them from communicating. Should they choose to talk to you, they’ll be quick to let you know “You just don’t understand!
5. They test your limits.
Both toddlers and teens love pushing your buttons. Your teen will do this to test your limits to see how much they can get away with. They are terribly good at it too, thanks to all the experience they got as toddlers.
6. They think they are the center of the universe.
It comes as no surprise that teens are very egocentric, just like toddlers. They not only think solely about themselves but also think others are thinking about them as well. Knowing that this egocentrism is part of growing up doesn’t make it any easier to bear.
So you see, you’ve encountered all this before, albeit from a cuter, cuddlier version of your child. You made it before and you can get through it again. Trust me, one day you’ll look back and laugh about it all.