“What would you do if your daughter screamed ‘I hate you!’ and stormed out the door?” a mom of a 3-year-old asked me. I thought back to the countless moms of teens who had asked me that same question when I was a youth minister. My answer for the toddler mom was the same as it had been for the moms of teens—I’d let her vent outside, but then bring her in. I’d acknowledge her feelings of frustration and anger, but then remind her of the house rules. The only difference here was that I didn’t need to warn that mom to hide her keys if her kid has a history of taking off in the family car. Luckily for all of us, toddlers don’t drive.
I have been both a youth minister to teens and a mom to toddlers, and I still can’t get over the similarities. Parenting toddlers is tough; so is raising teens. But the good news? The toddler years are a phase that passed, and the teen years will pass, too. Plus, you can use some of the same tactics again now that you used when your children were toddlers. Just consider these 5 things your teens have in common with toddlers.