If you’re in the thick of a newborn sleep regression, or caught in the eye of a toddler tantrum tornado, or are finding yourself cringing in anticipation whenever your temperamental tweenager flounces through the door, you’ll no doubt assert that whatever age your child happens to be at this point in time is the toughest one yet.
Though according to a survey of 2,000 parents, conducted by Soreen, the most difficult set of digits is 10 years – no surprise, really, given the fact that at this age kids are fully equipped with a smart mouth and big ideas, in a world where they’re still too young to do what they want. And will be for a good while longer.
(Enter scapegoats mum and dad.)
On a brighter note, nearly 40 per cent of research participants agreed that children are the ‘most fun’ at age five. The general consensus was that five-year-olds (typically) dig hanging out with their folks, and actually enjoy learning about life from their esteemed parentals. A child’s ability to communicate properly topped the list with 38 per cent of mums and dads claiming this is why five is the most fun.
One-third of those surveyed said that by five their child had ‘started to display a good sense of humour’ and 23 per cent said it was because they ‘can now properly enjoy playing sports and activities’.
So if you’re still in the throes of ages 1-4, there’s hope yet. However, if you’ve already reached the parenthood apotheosis, it’s apparently only downhill from there.
Although; most of the parents in the study did in fact say that raising progeny is a 50/50 split between ‘fun’ and ‘hard work’, regardless of what age and stage their child is at.