Parents of littles, consider yourself warned. Teenagers behave like toddlers. The work you put in when they are little will pay off later on.
Parenting littles is hard.
Discipline is like a game of Chutes and Ladders. Just when you think you have made significant progress, you end up sliding all the way back to the beginning.
Toddler brains never seem to figure things out on the first try. They will repeatedly do the same wrong thing to see if you give them the same results.
And God bless the mother of toddlers who are testers.
They don’t repeat their mistakes a handful of times.
They do the same wrong thing over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over, and over again.
And heaven help you if you slip up just once and give them a different result. Then you are like that one spot on the Chutes and Ladders board. You know the one where you have to slide from the top of the board all the way down to the bottom.
Teenagers Behave Like Toddlers
Parents of littles, consider yourself warned.
Teenagers behave like toddlers.
All those things your kids did as toddlers that drove you nuts come back again in a teenage version.
If your toddler was prone to dramatic temper tantrums, they will be the teen who yells and screams and slams their door.
If your toddler tried to reason their way out of everything, they will sound like they are prepping for the debate team when they are teens.
If your toddler was a tester as a toddler, well I’m very sorry to tell you that they will be testing you when they are teens.
Put in The Work With Your Toddler to Save Your Sanity When They are Teens
BUT, there is something you can do to make your life easier.
To quote Barney Fife, “Nip it in the bud!”
If you are consistent in dealing with the toddler problems, it will be easier to deal with the problems when they crop back up as teens.
All that rinse, lather, repeat that you did when they were little is ingrained somewhere in those crazy teenage brains. They just need some reminders to bring it back out.
You will still hit those slides that send you back a few spaces or even a few rows on the Chutes and Ladder board, but you probably won’t slide all the way back down to the beginning.
BTW – If you haven’t played Chutes & Ladders with your kids, you should give it a try. If you purchase through this link, Amazon will pay me a small commission. Hasbro Chutes and Ladders Board Game
Read all 50 pieces of advice I shared in honor of my 50th birthday.