Which is harder to parent? According to a new survey, the answer is….it’s a tie.
Many parents who are struggling through the toddler years are warned by parents of older children “You think this is hard?! Just wait until they are teenagers.” As a parent of toddlers myself, I have always found these warnings demoralizing and, honestly, terrifying. So I couldn’t help but wonder, does the research actually back this up? Which is actually more stressful—parenting a toddler or parenting a teenager?
First, research consistently finds no significant differences in stress levels between parents of toddlers and parents of teenagers.
Whatever you do….please never tell another parent that you are in a more difficult stage of parenting, as these types of warnings will likely only make you both feel worse! On the other hand, by talking about the positive aspects of the parenting stage you are in, you are both likely to feel better after the conversation.