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Parents Panel: What age did you find most challenging with your kids?

Terrible twos, threenagers or moody teens? Our panel share the ages that tested them the most.

parents-panel-banner-final1.1 Source: TheJournal.ie

AS PART OF TheJournal.ie’s weekly Family Magazine, we wanted to create a space for parents to share their views. A place where mums and dads could share their experiences, lessons learned, and even mistakes along the way. 

From the early newborn months right up to teenage mood swings, every year of parenting brings its challenges. But is there one age that parents found tougher than others?

This week, we’re asking our panel…

What age did you find most challenging with your kids?

Here’s what they had to say…

Parents Panel All 7 - Copy - Copy - Copy Top L-R: Olly Keegan, Alan Dooley, Denise, Ken Hyland. Middle L-R: Ríona Flood, Ross Boxshall, Marta Lisiecka, Denise Cumiskey. Bottom L-R: Kait Quinn, Susannah O’Brien, Derek McInerney, Suzie Kelly Source: TheJournal.ie

The first year, before he could tell us what was wrong: Definitely the first year was the toughest (so far, he is only four). There’s a whole life readjustment and you’re lacking in sleep. Before he could articulate, there was a lot of frustration from him when we didn’t understand what was wrong, or what he wanted and, naturally, that boiled over into meltdowns. That happens less and less now.

- Olly Keegan 

Two is a stressful age: The terrible two are not easy. For Tymek (2.5) there are no huge hysterias or meltdowns, but lots of saying “no” and pushing boundaries. It’s very hard to keep calm – especially as I am not a very patient person.

- Marta Lisiecka

alexander-dummer-493583-unsplash Source: Unsplash

She’s 17 and I’m walking on eggshells with her: My eldest daughter is 17 and I am finding it her most challenging age yet. She is in her Leaving Cert year, so school is a struggle. She is stressing over picking colleges, her pre-exams are after Christmas and she’s trying to get both study and homework done. Every little thing is stressing her out. You need to walk on eggshells around her sometimes. I have another six months of this ahead of me to look forward to… but we will get her there.

- Denise Cumiskey 

The twins’ first year was really hard: Year one with the twins was very physically and mentally draining for me and my wife. Lots of disturbed and sleepless nights, an endless feeding routine, nappy changes, hospital visits, plus long daily walks to try to get them to sleep. Now we have four kids, and had nearly five years of interrupted sleep. Let’s hope those days are gone…

- Ross Boxshall

The early teens: My two are 12 and 14. In some ways, it’s less stressful than ever before, as they are very independent, at least compared to their younger years. But having a 12 and 14-year-old also brings challenges, particularly when they try to assert their independence in the wrong ways. There are a lot of arguments sparked from this general theme.

- Ken Hyland 

She’s one and a half now and it’s tough: Clíodhna is 20 months, and I am finding managing her need for independence challenging. For example, she won’t hold my hand if we’re or will sometimes throw a big tantrum if there is something that she doesn’t want to do. I am hoping that this is just the terrible twos having arrived early…

- Ríona Flood 

download (1) Source: Shutterstock

His first eight months: We’ve been really lucky with Charlie (2) overall, but for any first-time parent the first six or eight months are tricky enough. You aren’t sleeping and you don’t know when the sleepless nights will end… it’s a real struggle!

- Kait Quinn

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More Parents Panel: Readers share their tips for weaning kids off the dummy>

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