The Most Difficult Age for Children According to Mothers?

Parenting is difficult from the beginning, but what's the most difficult age according to mothers? Keep reading to find out.
The Most Difficult Age for Children According to Mothers?

Last update: 25 February, 2022

Parenting is difficult from the start, however, there are times when it gets more complicated. Most mothers agree that the early stage between the ages of one to three can be the most complex. This is the stage at which toddlers begin to show their first signs of independence. With that in mind, we want to take a closer look at the most difficult age according to mothers.

Children who are just learning to walk are called infants. The word infant is used when a child is 1 to 2 years old. Infancy is a very important stage of life because it’s here that a child learns and grows in different ways. In each moment, something can happen that’s of great significance for everyone.

At each stage, the child will learn to master different skills. For them, it will mean the beginning of a different life, in terms of perspective and sensations. Particularly, each child has a very different growing style from the others.

In this case, we’ll talk about the stage where the child learns to walk, talk, and solve some problems. This is where they develop the ability to relate to others in their environment.

A mother feeling frustrated with her preschool-aged daughter.

Why is there a more difficult age?

When independence begins, children do whatever they want. This results in them exploring more and trying things on their own. From now on, mothers will spend the day keeping a close eye on them, running after them, and taking things out of their hands.

This stage is characterized by changes in a child’s growth. Moods can be very variable and you’ll note some negativity. These children are characterized by being persistent, but with few skills, so they may feel frustrated. For this reason, some children misbehave.

Infants have a lot of energy that needs to be taken advantage of in their environment. They need a space that’s safe so they can try to be independent.

They’re concerned with their own needs, so parents can’t expect them to share their things. They’re not yet skilled enough in communication to be able to express their feelings.

After the age of 2, they become interested in being taught. At 3 years of age, they’re recognized as preschoolers. At this age, they’re toilet trained, have more developed communication skills, and are still awakening that sense of independence. Their desire to learn about their environment and interact with it is still growing.

A baby being spoon fed.

Main characteristics according to the child’s age

One year of age

  • Socially, it’s common for children to be rebellious and have difficulty in sharing their toys with others. They’re possessive, want to do things independently, and easily forget the rules that are established.
  • Emotionally, fears increase. Mood swings are frequent and come on suddenly. Emotions are very intense but short. For these little ones, practicing routine is very important.

They enjoy their own way of playing, alone, without another child by their side. It’s common for them to feel that they’re the center of the world. They ask for their parents and express new emotions such as jealousy, pride, affection, or embarrassment.

  • Intellectually, they can already name familiar things such as dad, mom, grandpa, grandma. These children have a short attention span, they’re very curious, they point to objects, they can identify their body parts, etc. If they’ve been taught, they make onomatopoeias, that is, imitations of sounds of animals or things. They can already use pronouns such as I, me, you. What’s more, they can hold a pencil and try to scribble.

Two years old

  • Socially they can try to fend for themselves and make decisions. They may already find it fun to imitate adult behavior. They want to help their parents do household chores such as sweeping, cleaning, mopping.
  • On an emotional level, it’s very common for them to react contrary to what they’re asked to do because they can be somewhat self-centered. At this age, children feel more self-confident, although they may still need security.
  • Intellectually they can follow simple instructions, although they have short attention spans. They can memorize, sing short songs, and even think before they act.

Have you already gone through this stage with your own children? In your own opinion, what’s the most difficult age for children? Let us know in the comments!

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • De Piaget, T. D. D. C. (2007). Desarrollo Cognitivo: Las Teorías de Piaget y de Vygotsky.
  • Etxebarria, I. (2003). Las emociones autoconscientes: culpa, vergüenza y orgullo. EG Fernández-Abascal, MP Jiménez y MD Martín (Coor.). Motivación y emoción. La adaptación humana, 369-393.
  • García-Méndez, M., Rivera Aragón, S., & Reyes-Lagunes, I. (2014). La percepción de los padres sobre la crianza de los hijos. Acta colombiana de psicología, 17(2), 133-141.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.