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Are teenagers the new toddlers?

I survived the terrible twos, but thanks to a recent survey, I’m now dreading my daughters’ 14th birthday.

The survey of 2,000 mothers and fathers of children over 18 concluded that 14-year-old girls are the toughest to parent. The results showed that 63% of girls’ parents found them most moody, sullen, and temperamental at age 14, while 78% of the boys said the same was true of them at 15.

Why? At 14, the girls are in a hurry to grow up, are worried about their weight, are experimenting with alcohol and want more freedom. Add peer pressure, acne, and struggles for independence to the equation and it’s no wonder why teenage girls act surly. Parents also felt that girls were more focused on dating and friends than school work at 14 compared to boys.

Nine out of ten parents surveyed believed that girls matured faster than boys and more than half of the parents said they had a hard time coping with their little girl growing up.

The parents said that more than half of 14-year-old girls threw temper tantrums. Oh joy!

“We have to remember that as well as being the worst age for the parents, the teenage years are also the most difficult age for the children themselves,” said Kathryn Crawford of TheBabyWebsite.com, which conducted the survey. “Teenagers genuinely can’t help being surly and moody. They are often confused and scared by their hormone-driven mood swings.”

One bright side for parents of girls: While girls were voted the hardest to deal with during adolescence, boys were more challenging during the early years, the survey concluded.

The report doesn’t come as huge news to me since I can attest to being a moody, difficult 14-year-old (and my brother was not so chipper at 15). But the survey has made me appreciate my relatively cheerful 5 and 8-year-old girls. If this data is any indication of what’s to come, at least I’ve got six more years to brace myself for the big 14.

Photo: Boutique Cafe

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