Two teenagers and a toddler - recipe for chaos?
April 19, 2010 6:11 AM Subscribe
How difficult is it to raise two teenagers and a toddler at the same time?
posted by anonymous to human relations (18 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I was a toddler when my siblings were teenagers. My memories of early childhood are that everyone was always yelling, at each other or at me. I was punished (yelled at or hit) for doing stuff that toddlers tend to do - grabbing stuff, making minor messes, not wanting to go to bed. I remember being afraid and on edge all the time, because I never knew when the next yelling session would happen.
My mother claims that this chaos was either justified or inevitable, because her children all went through "difficult" stages at the same time. As far as I can tell, none of us were "bad kids". My sisters were ordinary teenagers - yes, occasionally cranky and hormonal, but they did well in school, didn't drink or use drugs, never got into trouble with the law. I suffered from severe anxiety later in my childhood, but I'm pretty sure I was just your average, wilful preschooler, and that I tested the rules because I was three, not because I was a bad human being.
As an adult, I'm beginning to believe that my family was abusive, or at least deeply unhealthy. The emotional drama continues today, and I'm currently trying to decide whether to cut ties with my mother permanently. But I know that parenting is a difficult job, one I have never attempted, and I'm willing to try to see things from my mother's perspective.
Does raising two teenagers and a toddler inevitably lead to chaos and constant screaming? If we were just bad kids, does that make the screaming and hitting justified? If so, should I be apologising to her for being a difficult child to raise?