Many parents (and experts, for that matter) believe the terrible twos are the worst years in a child’s life when it comes to parenting. They’ve likely just learned how to use the word ‘no’ and are taking advantage of it like no other. If they don’t get their way, their immediate reaction is to throw a tantrum. They’re not good at communicating what they’re feeling or want, and what they’re feeling is usually irrational, at best. Let’s just say that no parent believes that handling a toddler is the easiest phase of raising a child.
Then again, as difficult as having a 2-year old can be, these stories prove that raising a child can be a challenge at any age.
These parents all admit that the terrible twos weren’t the only problematic years while raising their kids. Some had a lot of issues when their kids were teenager thanks to the dreaded teen angst and attitudes. Others say that when their kid went to elementary school or even daycare their attitude was the worst.
Raising a kid is no walk in the park, regardless of age!
What’s clear after reading these stories is that all parents deserve a pat on the back, no matter what age their kid is. Each age presents its new set of difficulties and challenges. Just because your kid is no longer a toddler doesn’t mean that it’ll be smooth sailing from here on out!
20 She Dated A Lot Of Frogs
Leanne* says nothing could have prepared her for what a roller coaster ride it would be when her daughter brought her first boyfriend home. She says toddlers are much easier to handle than teenage girls.
“I really thought we’d gotten through the worst part of parenting… until my daughter brought her first boyfriend home. She went through a lot of frogs before she found a guy who treated her right, and it was devastating to watch her go through it. I’d much rather deal with a feisty toddler than a heartbroken teenager.”
What would you rather deal with- a toddler having a tantrum or a teenager who can’t stop crying?
19 Terrible Twos Or Teenagers?
Kaia* says that raising her two daughters was a breeze when they were kiddos, but it’s gotten all the more challenging now that they’re older.
“I have two daughters. They got along great when they were young (they’re a little less than two years apart), which made raising them as a single mom a lot easier. But things between them got rockier as they got older.
I think my eldest resents her sister because she feels like she’s had to partially raise her, since I work so much. The girls will literally be at each other’s necks and about to hurt each other sometimes if I don’t intervene.
It should be ‘Terrible Teenagers’ not ‘Terrible Twos.’”
18 We Got A Noise Complaint
Joanna* says that, in her experience, handling a newborn baby was much more difficult than dealing with a two-year-old. Hey, we might have the same opinion if our baby’s crying landed us with a noise complaint!
“I don’t know why everyone says that twos are the worst. Newborn babies are the actual worst! I never got more than 3 hours of sleep in a row for the first two years of my son’s life.
He was always crying at the top of his lungs, making me feel so guilty for not knowing how to stop it. We even got a noise complaint in our apartment building once since his cries were so bad.”
17 The Bathroom Is Never Free
Caleb, a father of three teenage daughters, says things are worse than ever since there’s always one of the girls using the bathroom (or arguing over who gets to use it next)!
“I have three daughters who are now teens. It’s so much more chaotic than when they were all toddlers. Emotions are much higher, their crying is much louder. But the worst part is that there’s always someone in the bathroom doing their hair or makeup.
I’ve had to brush my teeth in the kitchen sink because I was running late for work and they were fighting amongst each other who’d get to shower next.”
16 Almost Kicked Out Of Kindergarten
Nicole* said her daughter went through the terrible twos when she was five and having to go to school for the first time.
“Our daughter was pretty well behaved when she was a toddler. But it was when she went to kindergarten that she really had behavioral problems.
She’d cry every morning before dropping her off at school, saying she didn’t’ want to go. Even when we got there, she’d be screaming and begging for me to take her home. I’d always had to rush off to get to work, but there were a couple times her teachers had to call me to pick her up since she wouldn’t stop crying.
I don’t know how we survived that.”
15 When Insecurities Run Rampant
Adrienne* admits that her daughter is much more difficult to handle now that she’s a pre-teen, thanks to her insecurities with her looks.
“I would gladly go back to when my daughter was 2 instead of now that she’s 13.
She’s so insecure to the point where she locks herself in the bathroom for 2 hours every morning to do her hair and makeup. If it doesn’t look the way she wants, she’ll have a tantrum until we tell her she doesn’t have to go to school.
It’s scary how much she acts like a toddler, even though she’s closer to being able to drive. I have no clue how to get her through this.”
14 Smells Like Teen Spirit
River* admits her daughter was at her worst when she was a young teenager and had to get used to the fact that her mom was re-marrying.
“My daughter was so rude and rebellious when she was 14. It was right when I announced I was getting re-married, even though she wasn’t over her dad and I splitting up a few years before.
She started doing the opposite of everything I asked. When I’d confront her, she’d say the most awful things about how little she loved me or thought of me. There was a point where I thought she might have to live with her dad full-time because I couldn’t handle her anymore.”
13 Party At My House
Emma* said raising teenagers is far more difficult than toddlers- just listen to this story of how her teens trashed her house! We wouldn’t want to come home to find this mess.
“Nothing prepared me for raising teenagers, not even the terrible twos!
When my kids were toddlers, they may have broken one or two things. But once I went away on a work trip and left the house to them, so they threw a huge house party. When I came home, everything was trashed because things had got so out of hand. I’ve never had to pay more in damages in my life.”
12 Picking Up Colourful Language
Jane* says her son was at his worst when he was six as he started picking up bad words and repeating them at school. Let’s just say his teachers weren’t impressed.
“At least when my son was 2, he couldn’t say too much. When he was 5, he’d already learned a bunch of swear words from our extended family.
It got so bad that he once went to school saying horrible things one day, and we got a call to pick him up! His teachers kept asking how he picked up such vulgar language, implying we were having marital problems. Most embarrassing things I’ve gone through.”
11 She’s Gotten Even Sneakier
Hannah* says she’s never had more trouble parenting her child then now since her daughter is in her teens and is making it a (very, very) bad habit to sneak out at nights.
“My kid was cute when she was 2, even if she was absolutely losing it in public. But what isn’t cute is what she does now that she’s a teen: sneaking out.
I’ve never been so worried or embarrassed by her in my life. Her friends’ parents have dropped her off at home in the early morning because they caught her where she wasn’t supposed to be. At least when your kid is a toddler, you always know where they are.”
10 A Whole Lot Of Attitude And Angst
Melanie* says that her son was much more difficult to handle when he was a teenager rather than a toddler, thanks to his angst and attitude.
She admits it was a struggle to get him to go to counseling, but in the end, it sounds like it was Godsend.
“We had a really hard time with our son when he was a teenager, much more than when he was young. He was very angsty and mad towards us and would try to avoid us for as long as he could. Trying to get him to go to therapy was like pulling teeth, but in the end, I think it’s what helped him overcome the dark time.”
9 At Least He Was Off The Road Then
Jade* says she found things easier when her son was a toddler versus now that he’s a teenager because of his bad driving habits.
“I’m pretty sure I had more anxiety over my son when he started driving than when he was in his twos. He was so reckless at 16, going out at all hours and never knowing who he was hanging with, plus his driving skills weren’t there, I don’t know how he ever passed.
He may have had more tantrums in his toddler years, but I preferred being able to know where he was at all times (and knowing he was off the road).”
8 Dressing Beyond Her Years
Lori* admits it was much easier to manage her daughter when he was younger because nowadays she just doesn’t listen!
“I think our youngest daughter was more behaved as a toddler, actually. By the time she was 14, she wanted to dress and wear makeup like her older sisters, who were already in college. We, of course, told her she had to wait until she was older to dress so mature, but evidently, she didn’t listen to us.
One day we discovered she’d been bringing makeup and a new outfit in her bag to school every day, and would change and get ready in the bathroom before and after school so we wouldn’t know what she’d be walking around in all day.”
7 Never Too Old For A Meltdown
Marla* admits that her daughter was the worst behaved when she was 8 and they brought home her new baby sibling for the first time. After that, it was basically like the terrible twos, except even worse.
“By far, the worst age of our daughter was when she was 8, not 2. She had a really hard time adjusting to being a big sister for the first time.
She was never the time of kid to have public meltdowns before, but this brought out a whole new side of her. She was literally acting like a 2-year old should be acting, even though she was in Grade 3!”
6 The Expansive Vocabulary
Ivana* says that things got worse after her son hit the terrible twos because he was able to talk more. And, believe us, it sounds like he had quite the vocabulary.
“I thought the terrible twos were pretty bad. It felt like our son was having a tantrum in public every other day, and didn’t know any other words other than ‘no.’
But things really got real when he hit 3 and learned more words. The daycare staff would tell us he’d say things like ‘I hate you’ to their faces, and one time got sent home because he bit a kid. Things were pretty rough for the next few years.”
5 The Consequences Of Bullying
Ruth* says that the hardest time she had parenting her son was when he was being bullied in school, as not only was it painful to watch but it made him lash out against his family.
“I think life was so much simpler when the kids were toddlers. Things got more complicated and dramatic the older they got.
The worst time was when my son was being bullied in elementary school. It made him lash out at home towards us and his siblings. He even started getting into fights or throwing tantrums until we realized what was going on. Once we got him away from the mean kids, things started going back to normal.”
4 The Unforgivable Fours
Karina* says she found her daughter to be more difficult when she was 4, not 2, which she says is likely because that’s when she started going to daycare.
“I don’t know why everyone says the twos are the worst for tantrums when it’s actually the fours. My daughter was obsessed with screeching until she got her way, no matter where we were.
She never acted like that when she was younger. I’m guessing putting her in daycare stressed her out, and made her lash out like that for attention.”
Did your kid have a rough time adjusting when you put them in daycare?
3 Being On Time Is Impossible
Harlow* says that her 6-year old is more of a challenge than when she was 2, specifically because getting ready for school in the morning has become such a chore.
“I think I preferred having a 2-year old to my now 6-year old because the mornings were so much less crazy. We didn’t have anywhere to be and just wet by her schedule.
But now getting her to school in the mornings always seems like the impossible. She’s a lot more resistant to taking instructions and always wants to do things on her own time, which isn’t good when she needs to be at school and I have work.”
2 A Runaway On Our Hands
Morgan* says her daughter was worst-behaved at the age of 6 when she started running away from her family. While she may have thought it was a game, her mom clearly didn’t feel that way.
“I was surprised that the twos went so smoothly when my daughter was younger. It wasn’t until she was 6 that she went through a really ill-behaved period.
Her favorite thing was to try and runaway from me in public like it was a game of hide and go seek. She’d do it whether she was mad at me or just wanting to have fun. Almost every time I’d have to get store security to help me find her. She didn’t understand why it worried me so much.”
1 My Spirit Is Broken
Nola* admits that her sons almost broke her spirit with the way they acted when she and her husband announced they were getting divorced. Their boys had some harsh words that were pretty difficult to swallow.
“The hardest time we’ve had raising our kids was when we separated. They were 12 and 13, but both of our boys had a hard time adjusting to the news. They said some pretty harsh things to me and accused me of leaving their dad. Evidently, they said similar things to him.
I’ve never had a harder time with them or felt so broken down by them.”
*Names have been changed.