Well as you know if you read my blog we have had Uncle L come live with us. Uncle L is my oldest brother. Now if you had of told me 4 months ago that I would be bringing up a toddler and a teen I probably would have told you that you are crazy. Even though last summer to christmas we had another teen staying with us. The difference? She was staying with us and was 16 which meant I wasn’t really her guardian, she was. That was only a temporary stay to help her get up on her own in the world. Uncle L is here for at least the next 2 years but probably for the next 4+ years and that is permanent for us all. Here we are a family of 4 and I must say having Uncle L with us can be challenging but it is worth it and he is mostly behaving and listening to us. However I have seen a very big pattern with Uncle L that I had never noticed before.
The main thing I have noticed and learnt in the last 3 months is that a teenager is basically just an overgrown toddler that can walk, talk, feed themselves and are potty trained. My conclusion to this is that we spend 13 years bringing up our children, teaching them about most things they need to know in life and suddenly they hit teenage years and it all goes out the window! Turning into a teen seems to wipe out most of their knowledge
A few of the things that lead me to a this conclusion are;
A teenager throws ALOT of tantrums, just because we call it rebelling doesn’t change the fact that they basically are only a teenage tantrum can end up worse than a toddlers. Mostly a teenage tantrum consists of arguing with you before stomping up the stairs to their room where they probably blast some music (thankfully Uncle L does this in a form of headphones.) Their favourite line during this period is “Your ruining my life!” and although we have not heard this from Uncle L we all know that we have as a teenager said it!
A teenager loves to have a massive huff or a better word for it would be hibernate when something doesn’t go right. This usually happens after the tantrum is over. This again happens mostly in their room or better yet right in front of you with a hood pulled over their face like it makes them invisible! I mean at least this is cute with a toddler, it is utterly ridiculous when a teenage does it! I do have to check I am not laughing out loud when this happens as this then causes another tantrum! Be warned.
Teenagers seem to have lost the ability to listen to you. Have you ever tried to tell a wall to take out the rubbish? Well I haven’t but I bet I would get better results than asking a teenager. A common problem here is that when they do listen it seems to be to certain parts of the conversation and end up doing something completely different or even the opposite to what you have asked! Stick to Clear precise instructions in preferably 3-4 word sentences. (This seems to be working for us.)
Telling a teen no? That will just result in stomping, a tantrum or sulking/ hibernation or possibly if it is really bad then all three! So be prepared for this from the offset of any conversation.
Much like a toddler a teen will test the ‘boundaries’ of what they can and cannot do or what happens when they don’t listen. I have guessed that the main reason for this is because they clearly didn’t learn the first time around?!
A teenager cannot sit still. No I am serious they constantly have to move a part of their body, tapping things with hands or feet, fingers, moving arms, legs or their head. Uncle L even moves around most of the night in his sleep! This drives me insane when I am trying to relax and watch TV as I can always see him moving at the edge of my vision.
With everything I have learnt about bring up a teen in the last few months I still know there are bigger and harder things to come. These I am not prepared for but I will get there and hopefully I can cope with them. I now know how my mother felt 6-7 years ago when I was a teenager. I know that is crazy right? I also know my mother is reading this and I just have to say I am sorry I was a teenager who did all of the above! Thank you for putting up with my teenage ways though!
We do have a lot of time where none of the above happens but I just wanted to share my thoughts and give you an insight into what happens in our house and how I relate a teen to a toddler.
Do you have a Teenage toddler? Let us know all about their antics by leaving us a comment.