Study Says This Kid Age Is the Most Stressful for Parents

If you have a new baby at home, you may be convinced these sleep-deprived days are the most stressful you will experience as parents. But according to a new study, your time with your newborn will be a walk in the park compared to later years.

The study researched over 2,000 well-educated moms of children ranging in age from infants to adults, paying close attention to their personal well-being, parenting and perceptions of their children, Working Mother reports. The findings? Moms of middle schoolers aged 12 to 14 have it the worst, while moms of infants have it best.

“From the perspective of mothers, there’s a great deal of truth to the saying, “Little kids— little problems; big kids—big problems,” says study author and professor Suniya Luthar, Ph.D. “Taking care of infants and toddlers is physically exhausting. But as the kids approach puberty, the challenges of parenting are far more complex.”

This may frighten you as the parent of a fussy newborn, but moms of tweens are able to help them through this difficult stage, carefully. “Moms must walk a very fine line in setting limits to ensure their kids are open to sharing what they do with their friends, but not to the point that they seem like they’re condoning any risky behaviors, if disclosed,” said Dr. Luthar. Even if it means rejection when you do draw the line, it’s important that moms are prepared.

For more on this study, visit Working Mother or read this article on Why Your Stubborn Kids Will Make Successful Adults.

What do you think is the most difficult stage of parenting? Tell us below!