May 21, 2013
Host Family Poll: What is the most difficult age to parent?

Parenting can be incredibly rewarding and incredibly challenging – sometimes all in the same morning! Our recent Cultural Care Au Pair parent poll asked our panel, “What is the most difficult age to parent?” Twenty one percent of our respondents thought that infants were the most difficult and 24% found teens the most challenging. Only 10% found tweens to be the hardest age. The winners? Toddlers at 41%.

Of course, every age has its challenges. With infants it’s the lack of sleep and the inability to communicate and, therefore, know exactly what their needs are. Toddlers, of course, bring the challenging tantrums. Tweens suffer through the awkward stage and teens test us daily in their quest for freedom.

Fortunately, every stage has its highlights. Babies are awe-inspiring as you watch how fast they develop. They can make up for sleepless nights with a smile and a cuddle. Toddlers are remarkable as they explore and discover the world with excitement.  Tweens are interesting as they start to define themselves and test their independence. And with teens, you watch them become young adults, make independent choices, and engage with you on deeper level.

Each stage prepares you for the challenges ahead. Parenting is not an easy undertaking but is certainly one of life’s most rewarding endeavors.

More From Advice for Host Families
August 8, 2019
What to Know Before You Welcome an Au Pair
Denaye Barahona is a Cultural Care host mom and the voice behind Simple Families.
July 24, 2019
How much room does an au pair need?
The Dos and Don'ts of au pair living
August 24, 2018
Q&A with a Matching Specialist: How to Find an Au Pair
Learn the 5 best practices for families in matching.