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Children Who Grow up With Older Parents May Behave Better

When it comes to having kids, the age of the parent is a very personal decision and often dependent on what stage of their life they are in. However, the general consensus seems to be that having children earlier is the best option, not only because a woman will be in her prime fertility years (before the age of 35), but also because the parents will have enough energy to run around after their children. But that may not be true, because new research has suggested that children born to older parents may be better behaved—although there may be some problems with this data!

According to Healthline, research conducted using four different studies from the Netherlands (and taking into account 32,892 Dutch children, between the ages of 10 and 12) found that older parents stated that they experienced fewer “persisting behavioral problems” among their children. Although the research considered socioeconomic status, it also relied on self-reporting from parents, teachers, and their children, which is problematic because parents can be biased. So, what exactly is the problem with the data? According to relationship and parenting expert Wendy Walsh, Ph.D., there are things to consider, and she detailed this in an interview with Healthline.

“First of all, they are pulling data from multiple different studies,” Walsh explained. “That’s not the same as going out, finding a cohort group, giving them a pre-test and a post-test and looking for this one specific thing.” She also commented on how the parents self-reporting can affect the data, saying, “The older a parent is, the smarter they are about knowing to over-report favorable behavior.” Either that or these parents may just be more patient and do not notice the behavioral issues as much.

The data may not be perfect, but there are some benefits (and struggles) to having older parents, and according to VeryWellFamily, this includes financial security because these individuals would have worked hard and waited to have children. They may also have more time to spend with their children and have a greater appreciation for being a parent. But there are also cons to being an older parent, including exhaustion, generational gaps, and older parents may find it hard to deviate from their routines and schedules because they have become so set in their ways.

[Image via Shutterstock]

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