The first time you laid eyes on your precious little one, you were most likely overwhelmed with feelings of love, awe and joy. Fast forward a few years and you might be wondering which demon has possessed your once-angelic being. After all, toddler behaviour is never fun. Perhaps now your baby seems to have more in common with a moody, hormonal teenager than the picture perfect, sweet, loving baby they once were. If this is true for your toddler, then rest assured you’re not alone. So, get a cup of tea, and read about how toddlers and teenagers are basically the same.
Having little impulse control is something that both teens and toddlers have in common. In a teen, this could result in them jumping off a roof because they thought it seemed fun. In a toddler, it might show up when they spill coffee all over the kitchen floor and then begin playing in it like it’s a playground sandbox.
Teens began pulling away from mum and dad in an effort to become an independent adult. Consequently, some of this behaviour is healthy during this stage of life, when not taken to an extreme. It can also be healthy when a toddler wants to do something for himself or herself, such as dressing themselves. This is the toddler showing that they are their own person, with their own likes and dislikes. Of course, giving up control to a pint-sized person can be extremely frustrating for parents. After all, their children’ s little toddler-sized bodies simply cannot do everything their minds want to try.
Need Structure But Fight It
It’s typical teenager and toddler behaviour to push back on their limitations, just to see how far they can go. Parents must remain strong and hold their ground, because in both cases, although they might “seem” like they don’t want rules, they desperately need them.
So. Many. Mood. Swings.
The only thing that can rival teenage drama is a toddler meltdown. They are in essence the same thing. A toddler might rage at mum because he is not allowed to buy a toy at a store, and oh the drama that ensues. Similarly, a teenager goes from one emotional outburst to the next with short stops at normal every now and then.
As you can see from the four points above, there are a lot of similarities between teen and toddler behaviour. So, the next time you look at your precious little one and think, “What happened to you?” You’ll know the answer; they just became a small teenager.
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