21 Funny Ways Toddlers and Teenagers Are Pretty Much the Same

21 Ways Toddlers and Teenagers Are Just the Same

High school teachers might think they have little in common with those in early childhood education settings and vice versa. But you’d be surprised! I’ve taught both toddlers and teenagers. They have a lot in common. 

Ways toddlers and teenagers are the same:

1. They love Cheerios

Even the pickiest toddler will usually eat Cheerios. Most teenagers could also live on an all cereal diet. 

2. These daredevils are covered in bandaids. 

“Get down from there!” “Slow down!” “Don’t throw that!” “That’s not safe.” Teens and toddlers are daredevils and lack fear. Both groups prefer the fun character bandaids. 

3. Boundary pushing is their jam. 

Give an inch and they’ll try to take a mile! Pushing the boundaries is part of exploring the world. 


4. They’re exploring the world

The world has just gotten a lot bigger for both age groups. They understand more, have new skills and see things in different ways than they did when they were younger. This is exciting and fun, but can also be scary and overwhelming.

5. They’re stinky. 

And sweaty and sticky. Baby wipes and hand sanitizer are classroom essentials.

Also Read: School Bus Literally Evacuated From Middle School Boy With Too Much Axe Body Spray

6. Relationships are being explored. 

Figuring out to interact with others is challenging when you’re trying to find your own place in the world. This can make for some complicated and challenging interactions. 

7. They say “Mom” a million times a day – even to their teachers. 

Parents know toddlers and teenagers never stop calling “MOM!” In fact, they say it so much both groups often accidentally call their teachers “mom.”

8. Oh, the emotions! 


Toddlers and teens are constant emotional rollercoasters. Something as simple as a blue cup could bring cheers or tears from either group.

9. Filters are off. 

Toddlers and teenagers will both tell you exactly what they think. Don’t take it personally and embrace their refreshing honesty. They’ll also repeat info, so be careful what you say or the rest of the school will know.

10. They have security blankets. 

Toddlers have stuffed animals or blankies. Teens have hoodies.

11. Milestones are being met. 

First steps. Potty training. First dates. Learning to drive. And so much more. These are all big life changes. 

12. They have unique fashion. 

Mismatched socks (maybe even two different shoes!), skirts over pants, multiple patterns, lots of bright colors – all in one outfit? Hey, fashion is art!

13. They are disorganized and messy. 

They seem to leave behind a trail of chaos. 

14. They desperately want to be independent, but still need help.

 They think they can do it all themselves, but they really can’t and this frustrates them big time.

15. Music makes them happier. 

Do you have a classroom full of cranky, uncooperative kids? Put on some music and encourage them to sing and move. The sillier the better. Works for both toddlers and teens, though teens will be less likely to admit it.

16. Naps make everything better.

Teens and toddlers both have wacky sleep schedules. Unfortunately, teens don’t have a nap built into their day to reset like toddlers, but a few minutes of guided meditation might help.

17. Bodies are changing. 

It’s weird when your limbs are suddenly longer and you’re finding yourself to be faster and stronger. Growing pains are a real thing, so toddlers and teens might be tired and achy. And uncomfortable teething might be occurring for both age groups!

18. They need lots of snacks. 

All that growing and exploring works up an appetite! 

19. They’re so loud. 

Tantrums, sobbing, excited shrieks, howling laughter, singing, reenacting YouTube videos.  It’s just all so loud.

20. They’ll make you laugh.

Navigating a new phase means there will be mishaps – and they are often hysterical for onlookers!

21. We love them even though they drive us crazy. 

Toddlers and teens are both endearing, even though they’re exhausting. 

Dr. Kathleen Van Antwerp, an expert in child development, says teens and toddlers are at the same basic developmental stage with both struggling to enter the next phase of life without yet having all the proper tools. She also says just as toddlers have tantrums because they don’t have the language to express their emotions, teens also meltdown because the part of their brain responsible for controlling emotions has been “hijacked” during this stage of development. 

So rather you’re teaching early childhood education or in a high school classroom, it’s basically the same. Teenagers and toddlers both require huge amounts of patience, flexibility, and humor, so fuel up. Maybe one of your students will share some of the cheerios stashed in their pockets. 

Also Read:

21 Ways Toddlers and Teenagers Are Just the Same

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Rachael Moshman
Rachael Moshman, M.Ed. is a mom, educator, writer, and advocate for self-confidence. She’s been a teacher in classrooms of infants through adult college students. She loves pizza, Netflix and yoga.
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