4 Things Toddlers and Parents Have in Common

Toddlers are awesome– in some ways. But if someone tells you you’re acting like a toddler– it’s unlikely you will take that as a complement.

Toddlers are mostly known for their melt-downs and inability to be reasonable. These qualities make them close to impossible to live with some days!

Sometimes, when my daughter is having a “toddler day,” I catch myself thinking: “What is her problem? She’s fed and loved. Why can’t she just chill?” But the truth is, if I look hard enough, I’m honestly not that different from her!

Here are 4 Things Toddlers and Parents Have in Common:

1.We are both impatient.

Toddlers lack perspective, because they can’t see past the moment they are in. In many ways, we as parents share this gene. Although we have more capacity for seeing past the moment, we often forget to use this skill when faced with the whining and the slowness of our kids.

2.We both overreact.

Toddlers can melt down at any second– for any reason: a lost goldfish cracker, a desire for cake or a tiny change in plans. It seems so unreasonable when a toddler breaks down over something like this. But if I’m being honest, I get upset over some pretty tiny things in life. Don’t you?

3. We both melt down.

Toddlers are emotionally explosive when under any kind of stress. There’s nothing more embarrassing than being “that mom” in Target with the child who is acting like they are undergoing torture because you said ‘no’ to a cookie. It’s really hard to relate to this on a surface level, but when you really look at it, grown-ups really aren’t that different. (If you don’t believe me, think about the last time someone stole the last french fry off your plate). Our “parent melt-downs” might be more sophisticated and private than that of our kids’, but we basically do the same things.

4. We are unrealistic about our time.

Toddlers have no sense of timing or pacing. While we as parents have a clearer concept of time, we often are unrealistic about what we can accomplish in a particular time frame. I’ve mentioned this before, but sometimes I still gauge my time frames based on what they were “pre-kid.” I still think it takes one minute to get in the car, twenty minutes to get ready in the morning and ten minutes to go to the drugstore— which is entirely inaccurate, now that I have a child.


“So What?”

The reason I point these things out is to help us, as parents, to gain perspective.

In many ways, kids are just less-developed versions of ourselves.

Other than marriage, parenting is probably the best test of our true selves. After all, our “virtues” can’t be proven, unless they are put under pressure. And what better way to evaluate our true selves than living with tiny people who take our house apart, interrupt our every thought and complain when we try to help them?

The good thing is, once we recognize their weaknesses as similar to our own, our compassion– and by extension– our patience for our kid(s) can grow.

Have you ever had a “toddler moment”? Do share.

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