Eight-year-olds are the ‘easiest’ kids to parent according to the internet, but what do experts think?

Parents have come to a consensus - do you agree with them?

Mum hugging her 8-year-old son
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Parents across the internet have come to the consensus that children are 'easiest' to parent when they're eight years old - but do the experts agree? 

The difficulties of parenting get to us all from time to time. Rising childcare costs add to the daily stress of family life with many experiencing parenting burnout and we're often left asking an age-old question; "Will it ever get any easier?"

 Well, it might! That's according to parents on the internet who have come to the consensus that the age children are their 'easiest' to parent is eight-years-old. 

For those with newborns, it's a long wait. But for those whose children are reaching the middle years of their development, the fact may offer some hope. 

Starting the conversation over on Reddit's infamous parenting subreddit, a parent of two toddlers asked the group, “At what age, in your opinion, does parenting get easier?"

From the huge number of responses, one age quickly stood out. "Eight is soooo easy, in terms of caring," one said, while another added, “I really think eight is the best age. They’re so cute, fun, and hilarious.”

“I was going to say eight to eleven is the sweet spot," another user shared. "Eight was extremely easy for both of my kids and it was smooth sailing through the end of elementary. Middle school and puberty brings some challenges but I liked that stage as well, though I’d say it is probably the hardest is terms of doing things 'right'."

Another user chimed in, “For me there was a sweet spot from between about six - eight where it was incredibly easy. Now that he's 10, there's all kinds of complicated things he asks, is into, and comes in contact with."

But while parents seem to be in agreement, experts aren't so sure. Dr Rebecca Quinn, a clinical psychologist and mother of three, told us here at GoodTo.com, "I don’t think there is an age that is ‘easy’ or ‘not easy’, I think that a parent’s experience of any particular age varies according to a number of different factors including: the child’s temperament; the parent’s level of well-being at the time; family stressors; school-related stressors and a multitude of other factors that can impact the parent-child relationship at any point during the child’s development."

She also explained that many probably think eight is an 'easy' age as it's a time where children are becoming more independent but that doesn't mean that the age is the perfect one for every child. 

"I think that by the age of eight, a child is typically more independent and more capable of self-care," Dr Quinn shared. "Their language has developed even further and they can engage in conversations with you, as well as engage in some level of reasoning. While they are starting to seek independence they still very much enjoy playing with their parents, allowing us to still feel needed and important. But for me personally, the ‘easiest’ age differs for each of my children. 

"For my eldest, I find that his current age (nine years) has been his easiest so far. For my middle child, I would say age two was her easiest. And for my youngest, the newborn phase was the easiest!! These experiences were all impacted by other factors going on in my life at the time." 

As kids grow up, we only seem to have more and more questions about them and their development. Whether you want to know more about child development stages, or you're looking for tips to protect your child's privacy and identity online, we've got you covered. Plus, as the summer gets underway, you might want to read up on the 15 best sun creams for you and your family that we've tried and tested

News writer

Charlie Elizabeth Culverhouse is a news writer for Goodtoknow, specialising in family content. She began her freelance journalism career after graduating from Nottingham Trent University with an MA in Magazine Journalism, receiving an NCTJ diploma, and earning a First Class BA (Hons) in Journalism at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. She has also worked with BBC Good Food and The Independent.