Science Tells Us That Children of Older Parents Have a Set of Unique Advantages
The oldest known woman to become a new mother gave birth at the age of 74, while the oldest new father was 96 years old. While these 2 people have definitely shattered the status quo, studies have found that the average age for first-time parents has been increasing significantly over recent years. While the childbirth delay has been attributed to financial preparedness and the desire for career growth, experts discovered that a child’s IQ can be affected if the mom or dad is more mature in age.
We at Bright Side have found some interesting pieces of research that tell us how children born to older parents can actually be mentally and emotionally affected by age differences.
Parents play a big role in the intelligence of their children.
Part of one’s intellect is actually hereditary. Even though 20%-40% of a child’s intelligence is inherited, it’s highly likely that 2 intelligent parents will raise an intelligent child. However, recent studies revealed that a parent’s age has a significant effect on the cognitive intelligence of their children.
In a couple where the father is significantly older (beyond the age of 50), it has been found that there are increased risks of failing grades and lower educational attainment. On the other hand, a child born to an older mom has a higher likelihood of good intellectual development and better school performance. A high IQ can be attributed to the chance of having a more life-experienced and career-successful mother who can help intellectually stimulate the child in a positive way; while a poor IQ was found to be a possible result of genetic mutations that occur in older men.
The parents’ ages can have an effect on the physical well-being of a child.
Multiple studies have shown that older parents can be the cause of health risks and genetic mutations in their children, such as premature births and developmental disorders. While this research may seem alarming, similar results were also present in young mothers under the age of 25.
In contrast, medical experts have found that the older the mother is, the less likely the child will suffer from injuries or hospitalizations. Another study has mentioned that children born to older parents are more likely to live a longer and healthier life because they have mutations that protect the DNA, which can get passed on to future generations as well.
Parents have a big impact on the mental health of their children.
A big fear for children of older parents and perhaps even the parents themselves is having to deal with one’s demise. A study revealed that when parents conceive at older ages, especially in the late forties and early fifties, there’s more of a chance that the child will have to deal with parental loss at an early age, which can affect his or her mental health and well-being.
Despite this looming overthought, experts explain that because older parents are more likely to have more stability in their lives, their children will grow up in this same stability and, therefore, will have fewer mental health issues.
On the flip side, being a parent at an extremely young age can also have a negative impact on a child’s mental health. Younger parents were discovered to spend less quality time with their children due to work, which was linked to negative effects on the family relationship and the child’s emotions. In addition, children born to teen parents were found to have an increased difficulty in dealing with their emotions and behaviors due to the fact that the parents themselves were not yet settled in life.
A parent’s age can be a factor in a child’s social life.
One might assume that having a more senior parent makes the child’s life more socially awkward. However, studies say otherwise and report that children of older parents are better behaved and present fewer problems in comparison to their peers. Research also suggests that children born to more mature parents are “less likely to be defiant rule-breakers or physically aggressive.”
Additionally, there are some positive benefits for older parents too. Establishing your family at a later age means:
- You’ll be more mature and will have more life experience that you can help your kids with.
- You’ll age slower and can even live longer.
- You’ll get to learn new things and relearn the old stuff.
- You’ll probably be more financially stable.
- You’ll have better chances of being more prepared, both physically and emotionally.
While these studies present both the risks and benefits, it’s important to note that these findings aren’t always applicable or 100% true for everyone. The best time to become a parent is when you feel that you’re ready and have the desire to start a family.
How old were you when you had your first child? Do you think it was the ideal age for you to become a parent?