10 Ways Tweens Are Just Like Toddlers

In my scientific opinion, tweens and toddlers aren’t so different.

Toddlers are impulsive, emotional, naive, curious, and yes, more than a little bit naughty.

And tweens, well, they’re all those things and more. As walking contradictions of childhood, tweens are both young and old. Smart and naive. Responsible and thoughtless.

Because tweens embody everything that is right and wrong and blissful and frustrating as hell about growing up, I’m not sure whether to laugh or cry (or drink) to cope with this phase of development.

The last time I felt like way I was ready to sell my then 2-year-old to the highest bidder. Little did I know then that my escape from Toddlerville would ultimately lead me to Tweendom, a land just as unforgiving and frightening.

Not quite convinced your tween is a toddler incarnate? Take a look at the 10 ways tweens and toddlers aren’t so different:

  • The more things change… 1 of 11

    ...the more they stay the same. Find out how!

  • They have terrible taste in music 2 of 11

    You once struggled with Dora, Yo Gabba Gabba, and Little Einsteins earworms. Now it's One Direction, Bieber, and Katy Perry.


    If only kids trusted their parents' definition of "good music" the world would be more a better place...or at least a more tolerable one.


    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • They’re moody 3 of 11

    Toddlers think you're an asshole for trying to take good care of them. So does your tween.


    But at the end of the day, just like toddlers, all they want to be is loved.


    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • They’re *ahem* dramatic 4 of 11

    "I'll die if Selena and Justin get back together!"

    "Mom, Can I have this pleeeeeeease! I'll do anything!"

    "Call of Duty is the sickest game everrrrr!"


    Your tween's epic reactions aren't so different from a toddler's. Remember how the fate of the universe hung in the balance for your toddler when they lost their lovey? Or how they lit up like a Christmas tree in the very presence of Elmo?


    Tweens and toddlers save the drama for their mama - and then some.


    Image credit: Shutterstock




  • They’re awkward 5 of 11

    There was a time my toddler couldn't walk on a flat surface without tripping and his body told the tale of every corner of our home. Today it's as if my tween's arms are legs move independently of his body. He turns door knobs way too hard, slams down drinking glasses, and walks with what he likes to call a swagger. Swagger, my graceful ass.


    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • They’re picky about clothes 6 of 11

    Once upon a time your toddler refused to wear anything that wasn't red had a meltdown at the very stub of a clothing tag. Today your preteen daughter wants to dress like she stepped out of the pages of SeventeenĀ and your son refuses to pull up his pants.


    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • They’re hella messy 7 of 11

    Your toddler made messes they didn't know how to clean up. Your tween makes messes they don't want to clean up. Either way you're left with a mess.


    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • They’re all about themselves 8 of 11

    It's all me, me, me, me, ME!


    I want...

    I need...

    I think...

    Can I...

    But I...


    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • They say the wrong things 9 of 11

    You died a little inside every time your toddler called a woman old or a man fat in public.


    As the parent of a tween, you're all too familiar to that sucker punch to the gut that comes from your kid speaking without thinking, using mildly offensive language, or sounding ungrateful.


    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • They’re phone-crazed 10 of 11

    A toddler is to cell phone as a tween is to...well, a cell phone.


    Image credit: Shutterstock

  • They’re just so loud 11 of 11

    You once thought toddlers cornered the market on the auditory nightmares of too-loud toys and tantrum shrills of terror. Today, bad pop music, video game noise, tween whining, and obligatory door slams leave you yearning for the sounds of toddlerhood.


    Image credit: Shutterstock


How else are tweens just like toddlers?

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