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So what age is the easiest?

(36 Posts)
minipie Wed 13-Apr-16 16:49:41

Just wondering really.

I'm in the middle of small child phase now (1yo and 3yo) and I would say those are pretty hard... especially if like mine they don't sleep and are genetically non compliant types <sigh>.

Teen and tween years sound pretty hard too, at least for most.

Is there a "golden era" in between when they have become fairly self sufficient and well behaved and sleep through, but before they start rebelling? Of course no age is plain sailing... but I mean relatively speaking.

It's not a completely idle question btw as DH and I are considering some fairly big projects/changes for the future but I am trying to work out when the children will be slightly less hard work so we can face it!

fessmess Wed 13-Apr-16 17:05:53

For me 6-9 was golden. Old enough to do loads for themselves and able to keep them up a bit at night for a party etc BUT not out and about on their own much so no stress. Still a delight to be around too.

15-16 however is seriously pushing me to the fucking edge and I don't know how much more I can take. Thought the other day, for the first time, I wish I'd never had kids. My life is a joyless, stressful hell.

Hope that helps. {angry}

minipie Wed 13-Apr-16 21:29:53

Thanks fessmess - that does help me - although I'm now terrified of the teen years... I was a fairly easy teenager and so was DH (challenging as younger kids mind you) so I don't know how we'll cope if we get a hellion. Hope things improve for you soon flowers

Doinmummy Wed 13-Apr-16 21:34:22

I found birth to about 4 the easiest. Every stage after that was /has been very difficult. All the school years (dd is now 18) were a nightmare.

TeaBelle Wed 13-Apr-16 21:38:24

I'm loving dd at 18 months but keep dreading the 2s!

minipie Wed 13-Apr-16 21:46:02

Eeek Doinmummy nooo! Were yours quite easy babies and toddlers? What's made the school years so hard?

TeaBelle yes 18 months is lovely, that's when we decided to TTC DD2...

pearlylum Wed 13-Apr-16 21:52:58

For me the teen years are the easiest yet- 13 to 18 have been a pleasure.

Doinmummy Wed 13-Apr-16 21:55:58

I just have the one DD. School was awful. Friendship problems all the way through , DD refusing on and off to go to school , ended with her being expelled just before GCSE's.

Alls well now though but it has been truly awful. Have a look at some of my threads in teens if you have time .

Shakey15000 Wed 13-Apr-16 21:56:50

My (only) DS is approaching 9 and small pockets of attitude are starting to creep in smile.

Ages 6 and 7 were lovely smile

Ginmakesitallok Wed 13-Apr-16 21:58:41

Just after newborn, still portable, stay where you put them, just eat, wee, poo, cry and sleep.

But every age since then has been the best. Dd2 is 6, and is so funny and loving. Dd1 is 12, hard work emotionally, but turning into a wonderful person.

HildaOgdensMuriel Wed 13-Apr-16 21:58:55

6 to 10.

HildaOgdensMuriel Wed 13-Apr-16 22:00:37

17 has been better than 16 and less said about 15 and 14 the better!

SugarPlumTree Wed 13-Apr-16 22:02:47

6 to 10.

coffeeisnectar Wed 13-Apr-16 22:07:32

Depends on the child really. Oldest was bliss until the age of 10, never gave me a problem at all, absolute angel. Then she went to high school and it all went downhill from there. She's 17 now and still has her moments but it's much better than it's been over the previous few years.

DD2 is a whole other kettle of fish. She is being assessed for ASD so has never slept properly, has always displayed challenging behaviour but she's 10 now and although it's hard it's not too bad. I'm dreading the teen years with her!

Easiest is definitely the first three years.

Ratatattat Wed 13-Apr-16 22:07:58

Totally depends on the child. I have 4.
One was a amazing at 3-5. Another awful at those ages. One easy baby. Others less so. I'm sure in their teens it will be same. Some easy and some hard.

HelenaJustina Wed 13-Apr-16 22:14:21

0-6 months. And agree that 4-6years isn't too bad either!

dietcokeandwine Wed 13-Apr-16 23:03:52

Depends on the child but also how you define 'easiest'.

Arguably the early years are hardest physically. The exhaustion of pregnancy, newborn feeding, sleep deprivation. Hoiking older babies and toddlers around. That back breaking 'just walking' stage. Those screaming toddler rages. That utter lack of common sense or rational thought. Having to have eyes in the back of your head all the time.

When they get older it might get physically easier (less sleep deprivation, no hoiking required, they can communicate with you properly, they can move about independently, they have a degree of common sense etc etc) but emotionally and mentally it all gets much, much harder. School life, the demands that it places on DC, the demands that it places on you as a parent (are they achieving, are they making friends, are they happy?), so many potential stresses around academic and social development, friendship issues, homework, screen time, social media, how much independence and freedom from secondary school onwards etc etc.

I have three DC with quite a spread of ages (youngest is 3, oldest about to turn 12) and without doubt the oldest is the one who causes me the most emotional anxiety. Because it's so much harder to parent him and help him deal with the day to day stresses and challenges in his life. The 3 year old is the most physically exhausting. The 6yo is the easiest, for me, because he's in the 'middle childhood' phase i.e. past the toddler/preschool hell, but not yet under so much pressure in terms of exams and friendships etc.

DramaAlpaca Wed 13-Apr-16 23:12:00

My three are now between 18 & 22.

The baby years were tough. Three under five stretched me to my absolute limit.

The easiest years were when they were between 5 & 11, that was lovely on the whole.

I really enjoyed all of them being teenagers, watching them grow into young adults, and we luckily escaped any real dramas.

What has surprised me is how tough I find it at times now, even though they are young adults. They still need emotional support as they start to make their way in life, and I didn't anticipate just how much I would still worry about them. I probably always will!

minipie Wed 13-Apr-16 23:21:34

Dietcoke I've been worrying a lot about DD1 since she was born, for various medical reasons, so I guess at least I will be used to the worry. Actually it might be a relief to worry about homework rather than medical stuff (assuming the medical stuff is ok by then).

Haudyerwheesht Wed 13-Apr-16 23:27:31

Ds was a delight 100% of the time between 3 and 7. He's 9 now and has attitude.

Dd was a delight until she turned 1 and then has been a bit - demanding ever since. She's always slept well but she just needs / wants attention all of the time and can be really wilfully naughty at times. That said she's also still very innocent and cuddly and funny.

waitingforsomething Wed 13-Apr-16 23:42:38

I have a 3 and a half year old who is amazing. She sleeps, is funny and wants to hang out with us still. When she was 18mo-2 she was a flipping nightmare and I felt not cut out for it. I'm hoping she gets better and better but who knows!!!

corythatwas Thu 14-Apr-16 00:15:47

I am finding the teen years a piece of cake compared to everything that has gone before.

InionEile Thu 14-Apr-16 01:36:48

Totally depends on the child I think. DS was a holy terror at 18 months, he had my nerves shredded and was never still for minute. DD at 18 months is a different story - still active, lively and curious but just not as impulsive or defiant. I was dreading the 1.5-2.5 age again with DD but so far she has been fine, a delight in fact!

She was a harder baby though. Much fussier and harder to settle.

minipie Thu 14-Apr-16 09:51:49

Thanks everyone - interesting reading. It sounds like there is a huge variety (not surprising I guess) but 5/6 to 9/10 seems to be pretty good for many.

I think I am very influenced ground down by the lack of sleep and constant bugs that come with the baby/toddler years. So at the moment any age where they sleep sounds good!

Doin I had a look at some of your threads from a couple of years ago, shock very glad things have settled down for you now.

Cuttheraisins Thu 14-Apr-16 10:57:13

7-11. More independent but still very affectionate and no sign of teenage hormones yet. DSs are 9 and 10 and lovely.

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