Both of my girls are teenagers. I write from the perspective of having been through the infant, toddler, child, and tween years. Here's what I know.
First of all, my girls were very different babies. The Oldest child was probably pretty close to perfect. She was tiny, pink, and beautiful. She never fussed a whole lot. She was never sick. When she was done using a pacifier, she threw it out of the car window. True story. When she was done with her bottle, she threw it out of her crib and refused to drink out of one ever again. She was not even a year and a half old at this point. Then, when I was close to giving birth to her younger sister, I decided that I didn't want two kids in diapers so I pushed her through speed potty training. I put a dress on her, a cloth diaper without a plastic outer pant thing and set her on the floor. She peed herself ONE time and that was all it took for her to use the potty consistently. Her sister, on the other hand, is a whole other story.
She had cholic, thrush, and baby acne when she was born. Do you know what it's like to breast feed a baby with thrush?? It's like white hot fire on a very delicate part of your anatomy that causes you to clench your fists and curl your toes in agony. 14 years later, and I still remember. There were nights when she and I would be downstairs on the couch in the middle of the night crying our heads off because she wouldn't stop crying and go to sleep and I was exhausted and at my wits end. Potty training was a freaking nightmare. The only thing she had going for her was that she was never sick.
Now as teens, they are the complete opposite again. The Youngest child is the easy one and the Oldest is causing me to lose sleep at night. The Youngest comes home from school, immediately sits down, and does her homework without being told. The Oldest, well, she consistently lies about doing her homework and that's when she's not up until 11 pm or later trying to get it finished. Why? She comes home from school and goes to sleep. Or she's on her phone. Or she's on her iPad. Or she's supposedly staying after school for extra help. Who knows. Sometimes she does her homework and then doesn't bother turning it in. Can someone please explain to my why someone would go through the trouble of doing the work and then taking a zero on it???
The Youngest child is going to look back on her teen years as endless days spent outside playing with her friends. The Oldest is going to look back at endless days of being grounded. She's currently grounded until next month, lol. I'm hoping that when we move, starting at a new school next year will help her turn a new leaf.
So, my first teenager truism: Teens are not always capable of making good decisions. I read somewhere that this is a physiological thing at their age. Anyway, despite making bonehead decisions, this doesn't mean that they are bad kids.