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9 Reasons Teens Are Better Than Toddlers

Teens get such a bad rap, especially from people with young kids. I keep hearing friends say, "Ugh, I'm dreading the teen years," and they're usually saying this as they're wiping gobs of baby spit-up off of their arms.

Well, I'm here to tell you that teens are actually better than toddlers, and here are a few reasons why.

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1. They can go to the bathroom on their own

Just think, no diapers, no pull-ups, no having to run out of the dressing room at Macy's just to take your child to go wee-wee. In fact, no more having to call it 'wee-wee.'

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2. They can go into Starbucks all by themselves

I guess I should rephrase this to read, "They can go into Starbucks all by themselves, and then bring you a coffee while you wait in the car." If you're not into Starbucks, just replace that with the smoothie stand, or the froyo shop or anywhere else you need your fix bought for you while you're still in your pajamas.

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3. They eat anything

You'll never have to mash up another pea, puree another sweet potato or cut up another piece of chicken into tiny pieces. Bonus: They can make their own food and feed themselves! Well, mine don't cook per se, but they've become experts at unwrapping things and placing them in the microwave.

4. You can take them to see movies that aren't G-rated

We once had to go see "Garfield: The Movie" because it was the only age-appropriate flick out at the time. That should be enough convincing for you right there.

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5. They can put themselves to bed

While they still might require a kiss and a hug, you're free from crying fits, negotiating and multiple readings of "Goodnight Moon." Downside: They don't always wake themselves up, though.

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6. When they go grocery shopping with you, it's actually helpful and not soul-crushing

No one is fighting over who gets to sit in the cart, or knocking over canned food displays, or having a tantrum in aisle 4. Now grocery shopping is a team effort as they spread out across the store and help me check things off my list. There's a lot more gum, makeup, shampoo, Hot Cheetos and coffee drinks in my cart now, but it's totally worth it.

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7. Their birthday parties don't take 10 years off your life

Looking back at how hysterical I was when the Little Mermaid showed up 45 minutes late for my kid's 4th birthday party, it's a wonder I didn't just drop dead from stress at those twice-a-year shindigs. The games! The entertainment! The cake! The meltdowns! Now when my girls have parties, I only have to stress out from cooking pasta, cleaning the bathrooms, turning down the music and checking out who's in all the dark corners.

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8. They fight their own battles

After years of intervening with friends and teachers, for the most part I'm glad to let my kids take the reigns when it comes to problem-solving. Unless they specifically ask for help, my kids would much rather handle situations on their own. That's not to say I don't keep an eye on things and offer suggestions, but I really don't miss having to make sure everyone is taking turns on the swings.

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RELATED: Teens vs. Toddlers: Which Stage Is Harder?

9. They're really awesome human beings who are fun to hang out with

And I'm betting so is your toddler. See? There's nothing to dread; it just keeps getting better. But those little tiny faces sure are pretty cute. Oh wait—now I'm starting to miss those early years. I'd better have one of my teens go get me a coffee before I start getting too sentimental.

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Feature image by Marsha Takeda-Morrison

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