Friday, October 7, 2011

31 Days {Day 7}: The Hardest Age


Since becoming a mother, I've often wondered what age I would find to be the hardest.  Each year seems to carry its own struggles and challenges, and since my oldest has yet to reach the age of ten,  I can't say I'm an expert on the subject. 

However, I do have a theory. 

I've never put much stock in the terrible twos thing.  I'm not naive.  My Benjamin is currently in full toddler mode.  He whines.  He wants his own way.  He doesn't like to share. He resists bedtime. He doesn't want to hold my hand to cross the street. Yet, through ups and downs, I'm still the mom, and in the end, he knows he is required to obey or face the consequences.   

I'm also not in the camp that deems it normal and okay for a teenager to go through a period of rebellion.  If a child has been raised to know right and wrong and has their own relationship with their Maker, why would it be normal for them to throw that aside just because they turn thirteen?  I'm not saying a teenager can't be moody or desire independence or have a stinking bad day, but I am saying that I don't expect my future teenagers to fit into the stereotypes of a fallen world.

...which brings me to my theory...

I think the hardest age is that period between twelve and eighteen months.  It is a period of intense training and teaching.  I have to be gentle, yet firm.  I have to be alert and ready to spring into action.  (I have a 13-month-old climber so I do a lot of springing!)  I have to scold and correct while wondering if the child even understands the words leaving my mouth.  I have to be willing to say "no" over and over and over again, yet still allow for curiosity and wonder. 

The twos and threes are an undeniable challenge.  The teenage years may be emotional.  Yet, I hold that if the groundwork is laid early, the hardest part is done.

What age is the hardest for you?


  1. I think the hardest age is however old they are when we have a newborn in the house. It seems like everyone begins to disobey as soon as I sit down to nurse :)

  2. For me, I feel that age 2 1/2 to 3 has been the hardest. I feel like that's just when they're really coming into their own and wanting to disobey and it requires so much training and discipline on our part as parents. I feel that around 5 things tend to get a bit easier, not to say that they are WITHout the need to train or discipline but it's so much different. My girls tend to nit pick and squabble though at the 4, 5, and 7 years of age. Each age comes with its own set of challenges for sure but for me 2 1/2 - 3 had been the toughest ages for me.

  3. We love to take small day trips on the weekends, and I have to say that this age has been the hardest (11, 9 and 7). They complain about the car ride, complain about who is sitting in which seat, etc. The drive used to be half of my fave part about our trip - now not as much. Any tips? I ignore most of it, and it won't prevent us from going and having a great time (which we do), but it is harder than when they seemed happy and content in their car and booster seats....

    xoxo michele

  4. I agree completely. That in-between stage when they're not quite babies anymore and not quite toddlers yet is the hardest. We are just coming out of that with my son who turned 18 months old last week. That age is especially difficult for church. I believe that kids need to sit quietly during church with maybe a few small toys or books to occupy them when they are very young, but when they hit that baby/toddler stage, church becomes a circus for us. The last 6 months have been spent mostly downstairs disciplining and he's finally getting it and is learning to play quietly in our pew. But in the meantime, it's SO hard, especially when not everyone agrees with your choice to train your child to sit quietly upstairs instead of in the nursery or children's church.


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