When Does Parenting Get Less Exhausting

Parents playing with kids

Parenting is filled with both immense challenges and rewards. The responsibilities of caring for children can be physically and emotionally demanding, yet the joys of watching them grow and develop are profoundly fulfilling. While parenting may seem overwhelming, especially for new parents, the difficulties become more manageable over the years. However, parenting is a continuous journey that is always evolving.

The early years of parenting are often the hardest. Infants and toddlers require constant care and supervision. Meeting the basic needs of young children, dealing with sleepless nights, and adapting to lifestyle changes can push parents to their limits. New parents frequently feel unprepared to handle the adjustments that come with a baby. But with time, they develop greater competence and confidence in their parenting abilities.

Understanding Parenting Challenges

As children get older, the challenges change forms. The “terrible twos” and tantrums give way to struggles with potty training, separation anxiety, and discipline issues. Helping kids through developmental milestones, setting boundaries, and instilling values are ongoing challenges parents face at every age.

The grade school years bring difficulties in helping with homework, managing schedules packed with activities, and ensuring kids have opportunities to play freely. Navigating the trials of adolescence, like mood changes, risky behaviors, and more serious issues around identity and self-esteem, can rattle even the most seasoned parents. While the teen years are often portrayed as tumultuous, maintaining open communication and providing a supportive environment eases the difficulties.

The Magical Age When Parenting Gets Easier

While there may not be an exact age when parenting gets dramatically easier, many parents report a turning point around when their children turn 7 to 10. At this age, kids start to gain more independence and responsibility. They can get themselves ready for school, participate in extracurricular activities, and play with friends without constant supervision. Parents gain back more freedom and flexibility in their schedules and routines. The constant demands on parents’ attention and time lessen, and the physical and emotional exhaustion starts to lift.

However, every child is different so parenting challenges will evolve at varying paces based on a child’s unique development, environment, experiences, and temperament. Some kids may reach key milestones for independence and self-sufficiency earlier or later. Physical and learning disabilities or other special needs can also impact the timeframe when parenting feels less intensive. There is no “right” age when parenting becomes easier. Parents ultimately know their children best and can determine when they have reached a turning point based on their situations.

While kids gain more autonomy and self-sufficiency around ages 7 to 10, they still require guidance and nurturing. Parenting responsibilities change rather than diminish during this period. Monitoring homework, encouraging interests, instilling values, and staying connected with kids’ lives become focuses for parents. Setting reasonable rules and boundaries continues to be important for development. Parenting may feel “easier” relative to the early years, but it remains an active and involved role in a child’s life through adolescence and beyond.

Factors Influencing Parenting Becoming Easier

Several factors influence why and when parenting starts to feel less difficult for many parents:

Child’s development: As a child’s independence, self-sufficiency, and competence grow, their needs for constant care and supervision decrease. They can do more for themselves and resolve problems on their own. This frees up parents’ time and energy.

Emotional maturity: With age, a child gains a greater capacity to self-soothe, handle frustrations, and control emotional outbursts. Their moods and behaviors become more stable, even-tempered, and predictable. This makes parenting less stressful, exhausting, and reactionary.

Responsibility: When a child can be counted on to get up and ready for school on their own, do chores, finish homework, participate in activities, and follow the rules with fewer reminders, parenting requires less intensive monitoring and management. Parents can start to shift into more of a guiding role.

Communication: As language, cognitive, and social skills improve, a child finds it easier to express their needs, explain situations, resolve conflicts, and share experiences. This open and meaningful communication with a child makes handling issues and staying connected with their lives less challenging.

Lifestyle changes: Families establish predictable schedules and routines that suit their unique needs and circumstances over time. They adapt to lifestyle adjustments that come with milestones, like a child transitioning to elementary school or becoming involved in extracurricular activities. Developing a workable routine and balance reduces stress on the family dynamic.

Parenting skills: Through experience, parents gain invaluable knowledge and competence to handle difficulties. What seemed overwhelming as a new parent became more familiar and manageable. Confidence in making important decisions, setting house rules, dealing with misbehavior, and supporting a child’s development grows over the years. Skilled, seasoned parents tend to find parenting less taxing than novice parents.

Overcoming Parenting Difficulties

There are several strategies parents can apply to handle challenges and make parenting an easier role:

  • Focus on positive discipline techniques such as behavior modeling, natural and logical consequences, positive reinforcement of good choices, and redirection of bad ones. Avoid harsh physical punishment and criticism. Stay calm and consistent while following through with set rules.
  • Maintain open communication with your child. Express interest in their lives, thoughts, and feelings. Set aside time each day to talk about their day and any issues they want to share. Make it safe for them to come to you if they need help or advice. Open communication and trust make challenges easier to work through together.
  • Seek parenting support from family, friends, counselors or parenting experts. Getting input, advice, and encouragement from those who share your experiences can help put difficulties in perspective. Professionals can also guide serious issues. No parent needs to handle struggles alone.
  • Practice self-care such as exercising, limiting screen time, engaging in hobbies, spending time with other adults, sticking to a sleep schedule, and eating healthy meals. Taking good care of yourself helps ensure you have the mental and emotional ability to care for your child. Reducing stress levels through self-care also makes parenting feel more manageable.
  • Be flexible and willing to try different approaches. What works for one family or child may not work for another. Research various parenting styles and strategies and pick what aligns with your values. Make adjustments as needed to suit your changing needs and circumstances. Rigid or “one-size-fits-all” philosophies tend to intensify difficulties.
  • Learn to balance work or personal responsibilities with the demands of parenting. Setting boundaries and managing time wisely helps you feel safe in both roles. Make sure to still spend quality one-on-one time with your child each day. A balance of activities together and apart leads to a healthier, happier family dynamic.
  • Build resilience and coping skills in your child from an early age. Help them learn to face and work through difficulties, control reactions, solve their problems and break out of bad moods. The emotional intelligence and independence they gain will serve them well for life, making parenting less difficult. Resilient kids tend to become well-adjusted teens and self-sufficient adults.

The Role of Parenting Support and Self-Care

Raising children is challenging, and parents require support to prevent feeling depleted, discouraged or disheartened. Unfortunately, many parents fail to seek help when needed due to the stigma around parenting struggles or the belief they should handle difficulties alone. However, taking advantage of resources can make a difference in easing the stresses of parenting and allowing you to enjoy a rewarding experience raising your child.

Types of parenting support include:

  • Family and friends: Turning to people who know and love you well for advice, childcare help, an ear to listen or a shoulder to cry on. Let those close to you support you in ways they are able.
  • Parenting groups: Connecting with local community groups, online forums or social media parenting communities. Getting input and sharing experiences with those in similar stages of parenting and circumstances. Reduces isolation and normalizes challenges.
  • Parenting hotlines: Call free helplines to speak with trained specialists for guidance on specific issues or crises. Helps gain perspective and strategies for moving forward. Many hotlines also offer text or chat support.
  • Parenting classes: Taking courses on general parenting strategies or skills for handling certain behaviors and ages. Opportunity to learn practical tools and connect with other parents. It may be available online or in person.
  • Counseling: Speak with a child and family therapist or counselor for advice and coping strategies tailored to your unique situation. Especially helpful for serious challenges, trauma or co-parenting difficulties. Counseling provides professional support in a non-judgmental space.
  • Self-care: Exercising self-care such as limiting stress, engaging in hobbies, spending time with other adults, sticking to a routine, eating healthy and getting enough sleep. Self-care helps parents recharge and renew their ability to handle parenting responsibilities. Make self-care a priority for overall well-being and happiness.

Parenting is a lifelong journey, but its challenges can be overcome with the right mindset and support system. No parent needs to struggle alone; help is out there if you have the courage to ask for it.

Parenting Joys and Rewards

While parenting certainly has its difficulties, the rewards of raising children are unparalleled. Seeing your baby smile for the first time, hearing a child say “I love you”, and watching them achieve milestones and develop into unique personalities make all the struggles worthwhile.

The joys of parenting increase as kids get older and more independent. Having interesting conversations with them about their thoughts, opinions and experiences. Gaining glimpses into their blossoming personalities and talents. Witnessing them treat others with kindness and compassion. Establishing a friendship-like bond of mutual understanding, trust, and respect. These bring parents a profound sense of pride, gratitude, and bliss.

The rewards of parenting may come in small, everyday moments shared or in major accomplishments and life events celebrated together. Simple pleasures like reading stories at bedtime, spontaneous hugs, hearing about their day at school or sharing insider jokes create joyful memories to last a lifetime. Each stage of a child’s development, from first steps to graduation, offers parents rewarding moments signifying how far they’ve come in their journey together.

While the sleepless nights, tantrums, and power struggle parents endure may fade from memory, the unconditional love they gave and the moments they shared will endure. Parenting provides an unbreakable lifelong connection and a wellspring of purpose and meaning. The challenges pale compared to the rewards reaped from this vital yet demanding role. With time and age comes an appreciation for the immense joy and sacrifice parenting entails.


Parenting is an evolving journey marked by both difficulties and rewards. Though the challenges of parenting change over the years, as children gain more independence and responsibility, they never completely disappear. Yet, managing these challenges becomes second nature for parents with the right mindset, skills and support.

When and how parenting gets easier depends entirely on a family’s unique circumstances. There is no one formula. But children do tend to require less intensive care and monitoring around ages 7 to 10, allowing parents to shift into more of a guiding role. This transition point allows parents to reclaim freedom as kids start coming into their own. However, parenting remains active in a child’s life through adolescence and beyond.

The parenting journey is filled with ups and downs, but focusing on maintaining a healthy connection with your child, learning positive discipline strategies, practicing self-care and seeking help when needed can help you better enjoy the rewards. And seeing your child grow into a responsible, caring, independent person, knowing you had a hand in shaping them, makes all the difficulties worthwhile. With patience and persistence, parenting struggles lessen, and joy becomes more abundant. The challenges may evolve, but your impact on your child’s life will endure.


When is parenting the hardest?

Parenting is often the hardest in the early years, especially the first few months. Lack of sleep, adjusting to a new routine and fussy infants can make the beginning stages exhausting. The teen years can also be challenging as children enter puberty and establish independence.

Does parenting get easier as kids get older?

Parenting does get easier in some ways as children get older and more independent, but it also brings new challenges. While the constant demands of little ones taper off, the challenges of guiding and supporting teenagers emerge. However, older kids can be rewarded as they grow into young adults.

At what age does parenting get easier?

Parenting often gets easier once children reach school age, around 6 years old. At this point, they gain more independence and self-sufficiency. You don’t have to watch them constantly; they can start doing more tasks independently. While challenging in their own ways, the teen years can also signal an easing of the intensive parenting required for young children.

What are the most stressful years of parenting?

The early years from infancy to around age 5 and the teenage years from 13 to 19 are typically the most stressful stages of parenting. Infants and toddlers require constant attention and care. Meanwhile, the teen years bring challenges like peer pressure, problems at school, and risky behaviors. However, every child and family is different, so the most stressful years can vary.

How can I make parenting easier?

Some tips to make parenting easier include:

  • Ask for help from family and friends. Raising children is hard work and takes a village.
  • Take time for yourself. Make sure to recharge by exercising, pursuing hobbies, and connecting with other adults.
  • Set clear rules and boundaries. Be consistent with reasonable limits and expectations.
  • Don’t be afraid to say no. It’s okay not to give your kids everything they want.
  • Foster your child’s independence. Give them opportunities to self-soothe, problem-solve and manage tasks on their own.
  • Model positive self-talk. Your children learn from the way you speak to yourself. Be kind and encouraging.
  • Make time to connect with your kids. Play with them, have meaningful conversations, express your affection, and listen when they want to talk.

What can I expect as a parent?

As a parent, you can expect both challenges and rewards:

  • Losing sleep, especially with a new baby. Caring for young children is demanding and tiring.
  • Constant worrying about your child’s well-being, development, and safety.
  • Making sacrifices and putting your child’s needs first. Your life will revolve around your schedule and priorities.
  • Witnessing exciting milestones and watching your child grow into their potential.
  • Building a lifelong bond with another person. The parent-child relationship can be profoundly meaningful.
  • Gaining a new appreciation for your own parents and upbringing. Parenting is difficult work.
  • Finding deeper wells of patience, love and nurturing instincts, you never knew you had.
  • Moments of joy, laughter, silliness and play. Children remind us not to take ourselves too seriously.

How do I cope with parenting stress?

Some effective ways to cope with parenting stress include:

  • Practice self-care. Exercise, eat healthy, engage in hobbies and make time for yourself. You can’t pour from an empty cup.
  • Ask others for help. Call on family and friends, and don’t try to do everything yourself.
  • Get enough sleep. Aim for 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night to feel rested and better equipped to handle challenges.
  • Set limits. Refrain from attending every event or giving in to every demand. Set reasonable limits for yourself and your kids.
  • Take a timeout when overwhelmed. Step away for a few minutes to breathe and gain a calmer perspective.
  • Address relationship stress. Work on your connection with your spouse or partner. A strong parental partnership will make parenting easier.
  • Talk to a therapist or parenting coach. Speaking with a professional counselor can help reduce stress and give you strategies for coping.
  • Make time for fun and play. Engage in recreational activities together as a family and individually. Make sure to schedule in leisure time.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *