If you’re new to parenting, it’s bound to be a bit of a struggle until you get into the swing of things.
Don’t worry; feeling a little out of your depth is normal.
But you’re probably wondering if parenting ever gets more manageable as your child gets a little older.
If you ask experienced parents, they’ll tell you that it doesn’t get easier or harder; the challenges change along the way, so strap in for the ride.
When Does It Get Easier with a Toddler?
Toddlers are never ‘easy.’ But some pressure is removed when your child reaches the 18–24-month stage. This is because this is the age when your child can begin to communicate properly with you.
As your child learns new skills, such as their first words or feeding themselves, it takes a little pressure off you.
At this stage, they can tell you if they need something, rather than you having to guess why they’re crying.
It also means you’ll be given some time back as they learn to do things independently. Giving them something to eat doesn’t necessarily mean you have to feed them now.
However, this age has challenges as they will also start walking and touching everything. So make sure you’ve appropriately childproofed your home.
Tips for Making It Easier at 18 Months
While 18 months is a great age for learning and playing, it can come with its challenges too.
So, here are some helpful tips for dealing with your toddler:
1. Stay Active
Sleeping is sometimes an issue at this age, so you must ensure your toddler is tired out during the day. Get ready to run, dance, and play for the entire day.
That means your toddler will have enjoyed their day, learned a lot, and be tired at the end of the day.
2. Give them Space
You might want to be around your child all the time, but this means they’ll grow up overly dependent on you and struggle to solve their problems.
Step back and let them independently solve jigsaw puzzles or other games.
3. Don’t Dramatize
You might have noticed that when children fall over, they only start to cry when you go to them, looking concerned. They feed off your reaction and get upset because you show there’s something to be upset about.
Try to brush small incidents off. You’ll save yourself the drama later.
What Child Age is the Hardest?
Once you’ve passed sleepless nights, most parents will tell you that the teenage years are the most difficult.
From 12-14, your child will be experiencing issues with puberty, identity, and finding the right path they want to take in life.
They may encounter problems with friends and dating and, in extreme cases, will be faced with choices about alcohol and drugs.
Parents’ main problems with teenagers are disagreements about friendship groups or people they might want to date.
Sometimes school performance dips because the child’s priorities change, and you, as the parent, will be left to figure out what the distraction is.
Children of this age also tend to feel more capable as adults, which sparks arguments about curfews or restrictions on social activities. While you mean well as a parent and you’re only trying to protect them, they’ll rarely see it this way.
Tips for Making It Easier at Ages 12-14
If you’re struggling with your teenager, here are a few quick tips that could help you get on their level.
1. Active Listening
Your teen isn’t likely to talk to you about some things; it’s only natural that they start to close up and be more private as they age.
Try to listen for the subtext and don’t rely on them telling you things to understand what’s troubling them.
2. Muted Reactions
Teenagers tend to react more dramatically than adults to situations. Every broken nail is the end of the world. So, try to keep your reactions to a minimum, even if you’re upset or angry.
This will help to calm them and avoid an argument because you’ll seem less judgemental.
Make sure the limits you set aren’t too harsh. Let them spread their wings a little – but not too much. Internet safety is essential, but you shouldn’t punish internet usage.
You should respect their privacy, but it’s also acceptable to expect quality family time one night a week.
4. Encourage Sleeping
Most people think that teens are lazy. However, because their body is undergoing many changes, they need that little extra sleep.
Letting your teen have a lazy day every so often will help their brain reset and make them feel like you respect them as an adult to make that choice.
What Child Age is the Easiest?
Research has shown that ages 6 and 7 are the easiest for raising a child. They are potty trained, can feed themselves, communicate effectively, and want to learn at this age.
Ages 6 and 7 are great, as there’s no excessive hormone interference. Hormones start to develop to work towards puberty at around 8 years old. Before this, your child is likely to be happy-go-lucky.
No door slamming and no tantrums. Just playing and cuddling.
Tips for Making It Easier for 7-Year-Olds
Your 7-year-old is now a fully-fledged person with their thoughts and emotions. Here are a few tips for dealing with this transition.
You don’t want your child to be Cinderella, but encouraging chores like sweeping or washing dishes can help with discipline and responsibility later.
2. Classroom Behavior
Your child must understand manners at home as well as outside. Make sure they know when to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you.’ This will help you out in public.
3. Encourage Respect
Your child needs to learn that other people can have different opinions. To a child, everything will appear black and white at first.
As they age, discussing the reasons behind different opinions is essential. This will help them respect others and gain confidence in their thoughts and views.
Raising a child of any age is never going to be easy. However, despite your challenges, you’ll never want to change them for anything. It’s one of the most rewarding things you’ll ever do, so enjoy it.