What are the parenting hardest stages
Baby & Toddler Parenting

Challenges in parenthood- What are the parenting hardest stages?

The role of parents in life:

Children have their lives anchored by their parents. Hence, from the moment of birth, the child is influenced by their parents. And as they grow older, they start to imitate their actions and behaviours in an effort to learn. 

In addition, the child is reliant on the parent to provide for their safety and general well-being.

While parents are constantly concerned about how their child’s future will play out, some parents lack the knowledge to support their children as best they can. They are blown away by worries about their ability to provide for their children’s emotional, physical, and social development. Indeed, it can be overwhelming! And some might arguably say these are the parenting hardest stages.

Unquestionably, parents play a vital role in helping their kids develop and sharpen skills, knowledge, coping mechanisms, and much more. Moreover, they also encourage children to gain confidence and stand out in public by instilling values and morals in them.

Thus, it is crucial to realize educating children at a young age is necessary; so they can stand on their own two feet, be capable of decision-making, and seize opportunities.

The parenting hardest stages are not clearly defined. It might be the toddler phase for some people and the adolescent phase for others. Parenting is never an easy task in any case! Parents face new challenges with each stage of their child’s development. Hence, the skills they’ve just mastered are put to the test by fresh challenges.

As a result, for some, the difficult age parenting is the one they are currently experiencing. 

Parenting is a lifelong journey and responsibility. As a parent, it is your responsibility; to discipline and nurture the child appropriately based on their developmental stage. 

You develop alongside your child as they age. Sure, you would be more knowledgeable about parenting methods; however, not all kids are the same! Thus, to be a successful parent- one should be aware of the different parenting stages.

6 Stages of Parenting

Preparation stage- (Pregnancy phase)

Preparation stage- (Pregnancy phase)

Also referred to as the “image-making pregnancy,” this is the first phase of understanding the obligations of parenthood. 

Parental involvement has different phases that start before the baby is even born—when you find out you’re expecting!

Instead of stocking up on tangible goods and other things at this stage, focus on mentally preparing yourself for what will happen next. Assemble a task-sharing plan to make the process run more smoothly.

In other words, it is the stage of adapting to the new changes while maintaining the old way of life.


Nurturing stage- (From birth to 18-24 months)

Nurturing stage- parenting stages

Building a trustworthy relationship with your child is a priority at this stage, and you try to understand what they need by gauging their mood. 

You learn how to strike a balance between your personal life and the child during this phase of attachment. In addition, parents also learn how to manage their children’s work along with their personal, social, and professional lives.


Authority Stage (2–5 years)

Authority Stage (2–5 years)- parenting stage

Understanding how your child’s cognitive abilities develop during this stage is critical.  The children have begun to develop a certain level of communicational understanding at this stage. Soon they start interpreting what you say and voicing their opinions during this authoritative phase. 

As a result, parents lay down some clear-cut ground rules to mould and discipline their children. This stage lasts till the age of five.


Interpretive stage- (5 years to adolescence)

Interpretive stage- (5 years to adolescence)- parenting stage

As the child starts preschool and kindergarten, they begin to face challenges from the outside world. 

They are first exposed to the social lifestyle as they begin their academic journey. Apart from their family members, the kids start interacting with other adults; they make new friends, discover new interests, adopt new gestures and behaviours, and much more! 

It is a lot for them, and as time goes on, they start to distance themselves from their parents and become more involved in their extracurricular and academic pursuits. Parents play a crucial role in guiding their children through difficult times and encouraging them to be who they want to be.


Interdependent stage- (Teenage phase)

Interdependent stage- (Teenage phase)-parenting stage

What happened just now? 

Yes, this stage has that feeling! Your child was a baby, and; all of a sudden- they are all grown up after puberty. 

This stage causes you to question your role in their lives as they begin to make independent decisions in college and at work. 

Indeed, perhaps it can be a difficult year parenting- as there can be an intense debate over how much freedom to grant and how much independence to promote. Besides, there are other issues that frequently lead to conflict. 

You will realize that you no longer play an active role in their lives, as they are now all grown up and capable of making their own decisions. 

However, you continue to play a vital role in their lives and should be available to them.

Departure stage- (Adulthood)

parents hugging adult kids

When it comes to parenting hardest stage is this by far! 

Mainly when you must watch your child progress in life, take on new challenges, start their own family, and provide for themselves financially.

Although it can be a pleasant realization, a little heartbreak comes from seeing them go.

Now that they are adults, your relationship with them as a child will be very different, and you will need to handle adult issues with more maturity.

Have you ever heard your kid say to you, “Stop treating me like a baby!”

It comes as no surprise, then. Your parenting methods and styles should develop along with your child’s age and maturity, instilling morals and values. 

Therefore, only then will your parenting be balanced in the right way.


Do any parenting stages click with you?

You might go through the various parenting stages, and it is actually real! Parenting becomes challenging when you don’t follow these stages and provide either too much or too little for the child.

A further challenge arises when you have two or three kids in different stages and need different parenting approaches. Being neutral in your parenting approaches is definitely not easier!

Their age should be your guide if you’re trying to figure out what kind of parenting approach they need. 

Each child, however, is unique. As a result, some kids may mature ahead of time while others may not. In each case, as a parent, you must choose the parenting approach that will work best for your child. As a result, your parenting approach should be in line with your child’s personality and developmental stage.

This narrows down to the question: what is the most difficult stage of parenting?

Anyone who has a child—or does not have a child but has one in the immediate family—knows that parenting is not an easy job! 

As previously stated- the difficult age of parenting varies depending on the child and parent.

Some people struggle during their childhood, while others struggle during their adolescence. Some agree that the age range of six to ten is somewhat relaxed because children are preoccupied with new learnings and environmental exposure. And for others, it is the years of infancy when there is a set routine of duties but no other worries!

However, many people, disagree with that statement, claiming that the first year of parenthood is similar to shock therapy and brings both parents to their knees!  

The terrible two then appear: running around the house chasing the little one, yelling “NO!” – and; defiantly refusing to follow any rules, all while you’re constantly worried they’ll break something or damage your property!

Then comes adolescence, which is a distinct time period in and of itself! 

These are the most dramatic years of parenting, full of disagreements, parental conflicts, freedom restrictions, peer pressure, developing an interest in the opposite sex, and even having a pimple pop up in the wrong place! So, did you happen to notice the parenting hardest stages?


What stage of parenting is hardest?

According to several studies, the most common answer is the adolescence stage.

It’s because your child’s body contains more internal and external factors than just your interaction. There are new and strong hormonal changes occurring during the adolescent phase, and your child will exhibit drastic changes. For example, your child may speak back to you or pass along comments that call into question your entire parenting stage.

It is said; that the most difficult age parenting is when they strike at your vulnerability. Perhaps it is a stage that is not physically demanding but emotionally draining!

Here are some frequently asked questions about parenting stages:

Are there any parenting hardest stages?

According to research, the most challenging stage for parents is when their child is going through puberty, and their independence is still shaky and unbalanced.

What is the most difficult age of parenting?

Keep aside the terrible twos and the hateful teens- according to recent research, age eight is the new disaster.

Why is eight a disaster?

Children reach their first understanding level at this age when they start to become more self-aware. 

As a result, this change sprouts conflicting behaviour, which becomes a little challenging to address because of their immaturity. Basically, this is adolescence in a trailer as the body gets ready for puberty.

At what age does parenting get easy?

In any case, there is no set age for this. While some view the ages of 5-7 as a smoothing phase, others may prefer adulthood, when children are on an equal footing with adults and have more maturity and understanding.

So, there is no specific age. Indeed, parenting is not an easy task; however, it is the best opportunity to show and set examples for your little one. Perhaps, parenting only gets easier when you understand your child, and with their growing personality, you approach the right parenting stage. 


To conclude,

Indeed, parenting styles evolve as children grow older. Yet, the most important thing for parents to understand is that their children grow emotionally, physically, socially, and in several other ways! Hence, a parent should always be optimistic and use the excellent parenting stage that serves the best for their child in that phase. Remember- no child is the same!

The answer to “the most difficult year parenting” or “the most difficult age parenting” is not defined; as each stage comes with its own blessings and challenges. What works for others may not work for you! So being a parent is its own unique rollercoaster ride! And, with the fundamental concept of parenting stages, you must figure out what works best for your child!



Written by: Maryam
BA Early Childhood Education with Psychology

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