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12 Behavioral Similarities Between A Toddler And A Teenager

4 min read

Most parents of toddlers (including me) can be heard complaining and waiting for their little one to grow up. But little do they know that when they actually grow and reach their teens, they behave very similar to toddlers. Shocked? But this is seriously true. In case you have a toddler at home and are also praying fervently for the day when he/she will cross this stage, hold on! Let’s look at some similarities between the two stages so that you can be ready when they get there.
toddler and teenager

12 Behavioral Similarities Between A Toddler And A Teenager

  1. Development speed: There is a huge spurt of cognitive, physical, emotional and neurological development in both the stages. For both toddlers and teenagers this is a necessary development however much inconvenience this can cause to people around
  2. Temper tantrums: Thanks to increased speed of development, parents have to put up with the resultant temper tantrums. Both toddlers and teenagers become highly sensitive and emotional and have wild mood swings. This is because of the significant neurological development (plus hormonal changes for teens) which in turn affects the way they view and react to their surroundings and the people around them. As parents, in both the cases, the only solution in a situation like this is to be patient and wait for this phase to pass
  3. Inflated Ego: You’ll be surprised to find that both toddlers and teenagers have inflated egos and for both, the world should revolve around them. They want all you attention and half the time, you’ll be left wondering what’s going on inside their head…tough to figure that out though
  4. Social behavior: Kids want and happily make new friends just like teenagers, but their problem is sharing, cooperation and being for longer than 10 minutes in other children’s space. Teenagers also make friends, but in contrast are more influenced by their friends. They are more concerned about how others perceive them. Toddlers and teens both have important social evolution at these significant phases of their development
  5. Fiercely Independent: Whether it is as simple as buttoning up the shirt or anything big, both toddlers and teenagers constantly feel the need to prove that they are independent and that they can handle any situation. While toddlers don’t want to hold hands while crossing the road, teenagers don’t want to be seen with parents for fear of being ridiculed by friends
  6. Adventurous: There are adventures galore in both the phases, albeit in different ways. Toddlers climb on chairs and tables, run around everywhere (in the shops, park etc.) because they are not aware of the dangers that these can bring about. Adventure for teenagers includes indulging in forbidden practices (smoking, drinking, taking drugs and speed driving) away from the prying eyes of the parents. Sometimes these reach dangerous limits. The similarity between the two in this case is, both don’t like or listen when their parents caution them repeatedlyteenager and toddler
  7. Sleep patterns: Both toddlers and teenagers need long hours of sleep and get cranky if they are sleep-deprived. Sleep is essential for the development of their physical and neurological development. Unlike toddlers, teenagers are hugely distracted and don’t get their fair share of sleep hours
  8. Giving parents a tough time: Parents of toddlers and teenagers have an equally tough time. It may sound weird, but it’s actually true. Both don’t eat well, don’t seem to hear/understand what you say, test your limits, are fussy, rebellious and impulsive. Most of the time, you as parents will be left wondering how to handle and keep wishing for this to pass off as quickly as possible
  9. Need for parents and their attention: There is no doubt that toddlers’ need their parents and they make it known in more ways than one. Teenagers seem to constantly rebel parents and strive to prove their need for independence all the time. Do they also feel the need for parents? Yes, they do. They want you to listen to their problems, not to offer advice, but to empathize. They need physical attention (a pat on the back at times, appreciation, hugs) and a place where they can be completely themselves. And where else can they get it but in their homes where they get unconditional love and acceptance
  10. Feel that the world revolves around them: Toddlers can always think only about themselves, about what they want. That’s because their brain is still in the development stage. Teenagers also think about themselves, though for different reasons. They become aware of their surroundings and think that everyone is watching them and talking about them. Hence their behavior and dressing up is keeping this in mind
  11. Problems with the minutest things: Both toddlers and teenagers can have problems with the minutest things and this can drive parents completely crazy. They feel the need to keep changing their clothes many times in a day for the silliest of reasons. They scatter stuff everywhere, they don’t seem to hear you even if you shout at the highest decibel and they always seem to lose things and not be able to find it back
  12. Weird sense of dressing: This is really funny. When toddlers like a certain dress, they want to wear it everyday, literally. It may be shirt and a pant that don’t go together at all or may be completely worn out, but not to their little eyes. They are very fussy and choosy about the clothes they wear. Most often their choice never matches that of the parent. Teenagers on the other hand also have a weird sense of dressing. Sometimes, the clothes they wear look completely out of place and not fit for the occasion. But one thing common to both is, no matter how much you try to convince them about changing from their favorite outfit, they will just not budge

In a nutshell, both stages are weird and dramatic and quite difficult to put up with. But the good news is, both stages are developmental phases and will pass. Parents need to be patient and understanding and offer support and acceptance so that both can glide through these difficult phases smoothly.

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