Parenting Is Only Hard For Good Parents

Raising children is an undeniably rewarding yet complex journey. While the statement “parenting is only hard for good parents” carries negative implications, the truth is every parent, regardless of their approach, faces challenges inherent to this incredible experience.

In fact, research consistently highlights the universal difficulties parents encounter. A 2021 study published in the journal “Child Development” found that over 80% of parents reported experiencing significant stress related to childcare and child development.

Additionally, a 2018 Sleep Health study revealed that parents of young children experience sleep disturbances at a significantly higher rate compared to non-parents. These are just a few examples of the numerous challenges parents navigate, regardless of their parenting style or perceived “goodness.”

Let’s delve deeper into the universal difficulties parents encounter and explore practical tips to navigate them, fostering stronger and more positive parenting journeys.

The Realities Of Parenting Challenges

Parenting demands immense emotional energy, time, and commitment. Parents grapple with various challenges, including:

  • Sleep deprivation: Newborns and young children often have irregular sleep patterns, leading to sleep deprivation for parents. A 2018 study in Sleep Health found that parents of young children experience significant sleep disturbances.
  • Behavioral issues: Managing tantrums, meltdowns, and defiance is a common struggle for parents. These behaviors can be emotionally draining and test patience.
  • Juggling responsibilities: Balancing work, childcare, household chores, and personal well-being can be overwhelming, leading to stress and anxiety.
  • Managing societal pressures: External pressures to raise perfect children and societal expectations can create immense stress and feelings of inadequacy.
  • Individual limitations: Every parent has unique strengths and weaknesses. Facing challenges that fall outside one’s comfort zone, such as managing learning difficulties or behavioral disorders, can be particularly demanding.

These challenges transcend parenting styles and highlight the inherent complexities of raising children.

Practical Tips For Navigating The Parenting Journey

Despite the challenges, numerous strategies can help parents navigate difficulties:

  • Prioritize self-care: Taking breaks, engaging in relaxation techniques, and prioritizing physical and mental well-being ensures parents have the energy and resilience to manage challenges.
  • Seek support systems: Building a network of supportive family, friends, or professionals can provide invaluable emotional and practical assistance.
  • Embrace imperfection: Striving for perfection is unrealistic and unhealthy. Accepting that mistakes are inevitable and using them as learning opportunities fosters a more positive mindset.
  • Celebrate small victories: Acknowledging achievements, big or small, helps maintain motivation and reinforces positive parenting behaviors.

Parenting Doesn’t Have To Be So Hard

The perception of Parenting Is Only Hard For Good Parents can be overwhelming. However, adopting a positive reframing can shift this perception.

  • Focus on the joy: Parenthood comes with immense love, laughter, and precious moments of connection with your child. Recognizing and cherishing these moments can significantly enhance the experience.
  • View challenges as opportunities for growth: Every challenge presents an opportunity to learn, adapt, and develop new parenting skills.
  • Embrace the journey: Parenthood is a continuous journey of learning and growth for both parent and child. Embracing this process fosters resilience and adaptability.

Remember, successful parenting is not about being perfect but about being present, supportive, and adaptable.

The Inescapable Challenges of Raising Children

Beyond the universal challenges in parenting, inherent complexities within the parent-child relationship add layers of difficulty:

The Need For Autonomy

Children naturally strive for independence and autonomy as they develop. This can clash with the need for parents to set boundaries and manage expectations, leading to conflicts and power struggles.

A Different Timeline

Children operate on a different developmental timeline than adults. Their communication skills, emotional understanding, and self-regulation abilities develop gradually, creating challenges in communication, understanding their perspectives, and managing their frustrations.

Failure is Hard to Watch

Witnessing children experience setbacks or failures can be emotionally challenging for parents. The desire to protect them from these experiences can conflict with the need to allow them opportunities to learn and grow from their mistakes.

Underdeveloped Brain

Scientific research highlights the developmental limitations of children’s brains. Their prefrontal cortex, responsible for decision-making, impulse control, and emotional regulation, is not fully developed until their early twenties.

This understanding can help parents adjust their expectations and approach challenging behaviors with compassion and patience.

The 4 Mindsets That Can Make Parenting Easier

Cultivating specific mindsets can significantly impact your parenting journey:

  1. Growth mindset: Viewing challenges as opportunities for learning and growth fosters resilience and adaptability.
  2. Empathy: Understanding your child’s perspective and emotions allows for more effective communication and conflict resolution.
  3. Patience: Recognizing that development takes time and accepting individual differences fosters patience and reduces frustration.
  4. Self-compassion: Be kind to yourself as a parent. Acknowledge mistakes as learning opportunities and celebrate your efforts.


While “parenting is only hard for good parents” may be a harmful myth, the truth is that raising children is inherently challenging regardless of parenting style.

By acknowledging the universal difficulties, adopting practical strategies, and embracing the complexities involved, we can foster a more supportive environment for both parents and children.

Remember, the journey of raising children is about connection, growth, and resilience, not about achieving some impossible standard of perfection. So, embrace the challenges, celebrate the victories, and enjoy the incredible experience of nurturing the next generation.


Why being a good parent is hard?

Being a good parent is demanding because it requires a constant balance between nurturing love and providing firm guidance. It involves sacrificing personal time and energy, navigating complex emotions, and adapting to ever-changing situations with patience and understanding. It’s a continuous learning process with inherent challenges, but also immense rewards.

What is the hardest thing about parenting?

While the “hardest” aspect is subjective and varies across individuals, a common challenge for parents is managing the emotional rollercoaster. This includes dealing with your own frustrations and anxieties while also navigating your child’s diverse emotions, including tantrums, meltdowns, and disappointments. It requires a constant juggling act of empathy, patience, and clear communication.

Is strict parenting better?

There’s no definitive answer to whether strict parenting is “better,” as different approaches work for different families and child personalities. Research suggests that authoritative parenting, which combines clear expectations with warmth and responsiveness, is generally associated with positive outcomes. However, individual circumstances and cultural influences also play a significant role in determining the effectiveness of any parenting style.

Will parenting get easier?

The challenges of parenting evolve rather than disappear as children grow. While specific hurdles like sleep deprivation or diaper changes may diminish, new complexities arise with each developmental stage. However, with experience, parents often gain confidence, communication skills, and a deeper understanding of their child, potentially making them feel more equipped to navigate these new challenges.

Why can’t I enjoy parenting?

Feeling like you can’t enjoy parenting doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a bad parent. It’s important to remember that parenting is demanding and can be emotionally draining, leading to feelings of exhaustion, frustration, and even guilt. Acknowledging these feelings is crucial. Seeking support, prioritizing self-care, and talking to a therapist can help you navigate these challenges and rediscover the joy in raising your child.

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