Sunday, May 25, 2014

Toddlers vs. Teens: Boys Edition

Toddlers vs. teens? Which group presents bigger challenges to parents? When my son was a tot he was less-than-well-behaved. My favorite story to tell is the time when he asked for a cookie at the mall. Well, asked is a nice way of saying demanded it at the top of his lungs. When I said no (it was almost dinner-time and why should one mall cookie cost the same as two packages of perfectly good cookies at the grocery store, anyway?), he threw a fit. And he threw his toy car. Right into my lip. Which started bleeding. But, of course I got no empathetic looks from passers-by, just stares like I was being a bad mommy. Clearly I should have let him have the cookie and the bleeding lip was well-deserved.

Even though that was a challenging time, as my son turns into a teen I’m beginning to wistfully wish for those cuddly toddler times. So, to help myself (and anyone else who thinks that whatever time period their child is in is definitely the toughest), I thought I’d make a little comparison chart.


Independence Level
Over the top- telling that tot what to do will result in a tantrum.
Over the top – telling that teen what to do will result in a door slam.
He’ll explore what happens when he drops mommy’s phone in the toilet.
He’ll explore what happens when he and his best buds split a bottle of Boone’s Farm.
Testing You
How long can he cry before you give in and get him that cookie or billionth sippy cup of juice?
How long can he beg and plead before you let him use the car on Saturday night?
He doesn’t really care. He’d probably be ok with wearing a pull-up all day if it meant extra time playing with his train table.
A not so subtle scent mix of sweat and Old Spice or Axe.
The Opposite Sex
He’s worried that they’ll take his toys.
He’s perfectly willing to hand over his toys (e.g., cell phone, car keys, etc.) if it means a date to the prom.
Various grunts, groans and made up words.
Various grunts, groans and made up words.
Mode of Transportation
His feet.
You wish his feet. But, it’s more likely your car- with him behind the wheel.
What You’re Spending On
Things that begin with the letter “T”, like trains, trucks and toys.
Things that begin with the letter “C”, like cars and college.
Favorite Person
He’ll say it’s his friend or girlfriend, but deep down – it’s still mommy.



  1. I like your list! I have two teen boys, so I can totally relate. Reading your list, the toddlers/teens are about the same! Have a great weekend!

    1. Thanks! They can seem very much the same!

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  3. Awesome, thank you for sharing. I have a 13 year old and this has been one of the most difficult years for us. You find encouragement when you realize that others are experiencing the same things with their teenage son and that I am not a failure as a mom. We mom's can be too hard on ourselves.

    1. I completely agree. I think a lot of moms expect it to get easier as they get older, and it doesn't. There's so much information and support out there for new moms, that it seems like when your child moves towards the teen years there's nothing. But, there are plenty of other moms out there going through the same things that you are.