Seven Signs You Might Be a (Spiritual) Toddler

toddlerMy oldest son is turning three soon, and his official move out of toddlerhood means we get to say forever bye-bye to his fierce tantrums.

Hey, one can always dream, right!?

As I’ve watched my son (who can also be sweeter than cake) struggle to control his impulses and moods, I’ve come to a frightening conclusion.

In many ways, I am also a tantrum-throwing toddler. Spiritually, that is. (and in other ways, too, but let’s not get into that right now…)

With that insight in mind, I thought it would be instructive and fun to list some typical toddler behaviors that can show up in our spiritual attitudes.

You might be a (spiritual) toddler if…

1. You always want MORE! Mostly of things that aren’t good for you. (Candy)

2. You consistently resist what’s in your own best interest. (Sweaters when it’s cold outside. Vegetables. Getting dressed so you can go to the library.)

3. You are oblivious to or disregard (spiritual) danger. (Hey, let’s play with these knives! Or run straight into the street without looking! Or both at the same time!)

4. You have a hard time saying thank you, please, and sorry.

5. You think that everything is yours and/or have a hard time sharing. (MINE!!)

6. You become unhinged if everything isn’t just so. (My plate is the wrong color – I think I’m going to die!)

7a. You bite the hand that feeds you. Literally. (Ouch!)

7b. You have no respect for your (heavenly) parents and have no clue how much grief you’re giving them.

Oh, and if you (symbolically or literally) throw yourself on the floor and scream until you’re blue in the face, you get spiritual toddler bonus points!

If you conclude you are a spiritual toddler, don’t despair. Many (most?) of us are to some degree, and Heavenly Father is acutely aware of that fact. In fact, the scriptures abound with verses that refer to us as children. (See for example D&C 78:17)

I love my son. That said, I can’t wait for him to grow out of some of his less pleasant toddler behaviors.

Heavenly Father loves us.

But maybe it’s time for us to grow up a little spiritually.

Ps. Watch out for the teenage years. I hear they are the worst.

What are some other spiritual toddler behaviors you’ve found yourself exhibiting?


  1. Barbara Park says:

    For me it’s worry. I want to rescue everyone so no one has to hurt. Imagine what Heavenly Father must be thinking about someone like me. To have the audacity to actually think I can fix it all. Where does that leave room for God and HIS miracles. I try so hard to do what I feel is right in being of service to everyone…… I am afraid I will take away opportunities for others to be of service or inhibit whatever Heavenly Father wants that person or people to experience and grow from. So instead of realizing and truly believing God is omnipotent and loves EVERYONE more than I can comprehend I lay awake at night worry about what I haven’t done, or even what I have. Spiritual Toddler is an accurate assessment of me. Thank you for your thoughts and for presenting them in a nonjudgemental format that allows me to like myself while self evaluating at the same time.

    • angelicahagman says:

      Oh, Barb. I so admire your concern for and willingness to help others, but I also get what you’re saying about letting go of control and obsessiveness, trusting God can (and will) perform His miracles.

      That said, I’m sure He’s taken advantage of that worry of yours to perform more than one miracle.

  2. I’m just starting to read all of these posts and I am in awe of your writing. I’m really happy that I found your site.
    I like what Barb said above and your comment back. I’m excited to keep reading – thanks again!

  3. I just laughed out loud reading number 7 a ! LOL

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