Which is better being an older parent or a younger parent?

Sally - posted on 04/09/2010 ( 16 moms have responded )

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I saw the post about young Moms. And started thinking of a converstion I had a while back. Since this is the debate community I thought I would try it here. Is it better to be an older parent? Or is it better to have kids when you are younger? Which makes the better parent?

What do younger Moms think of the older Moms? And the reverse? What do the older Moms have to say about the younger ones. Does one set fit in better at playgroup?

As an older parent myself, I often feel out of place at playgroups, gymnastic class. Even though the actual age difference may not be great, I feel older and like I cannot relate. But parenting wise, sometimes I feel my age helps. I often can see the bigger picture. But the younger ones don't seem as tired as I sometimes feel.

Anyway just thoght I would see what others had to say.

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It depends on the definition of young. I would say that mid 20's to early thirties is good because you have youth and maturity on your side. I don't think moms who fall outside of this range are bad moms at all and I have known 18 yr olds who are great moms. I've also known of older moms who are great too. The down side I can see to being an older mom is the medical issues, but I've known 40 year olds who are in much better health than many young people.

I suppose it really depends on the individual. I'm 30 now and feel waaaay too old for any more kids. I was also very immature in my teens and early 20's, so being older or younger would not have been a good choice for me.

[deleted account]

We have the best of both worlds! I was 24 and my husband was 35 when our son was born. There are pros and cons to both.

My husband was WAY more financially stable than I would have been had I not married him ;) but he often has trouble keeping up at sports and vacations, but overall he has a good bit of energy.

I am usually the youngest mom in the playgroup or on our sports teams, but I get along well with the older moms and I don't feel looked down upon. Most of the moms my age are working moms, while older moms tend to be SAHM's. It also seems that older moms more often have their kids more involved in community activities, sports, and playgroups, while the younger ones do not seem to be very involved in the different children's activities for our area.

Many of the younger moms I know struggle a lot financially just to keep food and shelter and I would say that's a huge con b/c it leave very little time to be with baby.

[deleted account]

my husbands dad was older... he was in his late 40s or early 50's and his mom was in her early 30s... they were too tired to really be a fun parent when he was young and actively participate and the age gap between him and his parents causes lots of problems... mine were in their late 20s when they had me and hell my dad taught me when i was 11 to do a back handspring and they were there to throw baseballs to my older brothers and such.... im glad im young and can play with my kid he has so much energy and i can see my friends who are older with their toddlers get worn out easily... and it sucks for the kid... i love being able to run around with my kid even pregnant and not get winded hell even my parents who just turned 50 can keep up.... but only for a weekend

[deleted account]

I think it's all about personal choice, your financial situation and how mature you are to cope. My husband and I got married in 2008 2 days after I turned 18. We had started trying for a baby several months before our wedding as I have PCOS and had been told that I may have problems concieving or may never concieve at all. We were financially stable - living in our own home, husband working full-time and we felt this was the right time for us to have a family. I was 19 when I finally had my son and it had taken 15 months to concieve him.



I think there is too young an age and too old an age. Too young I'd say under 16 because since the age of consent is 16 someone under 16 shouldn;t be having sex anyways. And I personally think anything over 45 is too old, mainly because your child will be having their first pint when you're a pensioner!!! At the end of the day it's a personal choice and it all depends on where you are in that time of your life. Most people at the age of 18 (when I fell pregnant) aren't financially stable but then again many 30 year olds aren't either. I really think what matters most is that all mums do their best for their children.

Emma - posted on 04/11/2010

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I wish my hubby and i had more just us time before the kids came along, we met and married within 3 months and get pregnant the same week we where married so not much time to ourself s, But we are doing 100's and have been married 4 years and have 2 kids, that first year was a test of commitment as everything that could go wrong did..lol

Charlie - posted on 04/11/2010

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It depedns on each individual's circumstances , personally i always wanted kids at 27 , i had my first at 24 which to me was young but i am so glad i did , i will due to give birth again just before my 26th birthday with my second and probably last child .

For me , i am glad to have my kids now , i will still be relatively young when they are ready for school but i have also had the freedom to enjoy my youth doing all the delightfully selfish things young , responsibility free people can do , ive partied , ive traveled , ive established a career and now to complete everything i have an amazing son and another on the way , the timing was perfect for my fiance and i :)

April - posted on 04/11/2010

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i was 27 when my son was born and now i would like to see what it is like to be a little bit older and wiser! i always thought that i'd have kids close in age, but now i'd like for them to be 4 or 5 years apart!

Stephany - posted on 04/11/2010

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I agree with most of the posters here that age, alone, is not an independently deciphering factor when determining whether someone is a "good" or "bad" parent. I, too, agree that there are pros and cons for each group. I can only attest to my personal experience.
I had my oldest when I was 21, and my youngest 18 months later when I was 22. I will be 40 when my youngest graduates high school. My husband and I had been together for 5 years by the time our oldest was born (living together for 3), so we had a lot of time to ourselves. I have always been mature for my age, and I never felt as though I was missing out on my independent 20's. I have the energy to chase my kids, as well as the flexibility in my lifestyle to accomodate their needs.
Problems I see with 'younger' parents: 1) Few have the financial freedom often associated with older parents who have already established their careers. 2) People really are quite judgmental of younger parents, and few assume that we know what we're doing (I can't tell you how many times I've been told it is sad that I was a teen mom- even though I wasn't). 3) Some young parents resent missing out on their independence early on- getting a chance to sow their wild oats before baby comes along. I never wanted to sow any oats, so this has never been a problem for me.
Problems I see with 'older' parents: 1) They are often kind of stuck in their ways. They have had more time to get into an adult 'groove' in which they feel comfortable, and when the baby throws them out of that groove they have a harder time adjusting than younger people who either haven't had a 'groove' for long, or haven't had one at all. Their lifestyles have been formed around independence. 2) I don't know that people in their mid-50's have the energy to raise teenagers, and I wouldn't want to be in my late 50's when my child graduated from high school. Add 4 years for college, and maybe a few more for them to start a career or whatever, and you're looking at being in your late 60's by the time they have kids. I'm glad I'll be young enough to be active with my grandkids. 3) There are medical problems often associated with late-age pregnancies.
I guess the decision, like everything else parent-related, is a personal one. I like being a younger parent, and I appreciate the pros that come along with that. I'm also looking forward to my 40's and newfound independence.

Lyndsay - posted on 04/10/2010

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I had my son at 18, and I personally think its the perfect age. I was kind of in a bad place then, but after having him I turned things around and I think it's been wonderful to have such an excellent motivator, and someone I can share all the good things with. I'm 21 now and I don't want any more kids (I think babies are boring and don't want to go back to that stage), but I love that I'm still young enough to really enjoy my son. He is a handful, but I can keep up with him.



I don't personally think that age is any indication of a person's parenting skills (or lack thereof). I think it all depends if you're ready... but someone can be really ready at 18 or 35, depending on them personally and their life.

Megan - posted on 04/10/2010

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Honestly i don't think either one is better than the other. I do however feel that older moms do look down on us yournger moms. I am 19 and pregnant with my first child and i get alot of dirty looks and nasty comments about being pregnant at such a young age. There are pros and cons for both age groups i think but in all reality there is some tension between the age groups. Older moms look down on us younger moms not saying all do but i know some that do so. and younger moms sometimes look up to the older parents and other times its hard to look up to them bc they just snarl and roll their eyes at us bc of our age. idk just an opinion of mine i guess

Krista - posted on 04/10/2010

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Sigh...I always used to say that when I was 35, I'd adopt a 15-year old, so that I'd have the best of both worlds: freedom to do what I wanted while in my twenties, but the kids would be out of the house by the time I'm 40.

At the rate I'm going, I'll be in the frigging HOME by the time my kids are out of the house.

LaCi - posted on 04/10/2010

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I think older moms have more of a tendency to coddle because they tend to be past their selfish stage. I think younger moms have a tendency to do the tough love thing, because they're still in their selfish phase. Just from what I've seen, not a rule or anything and I wouldn't hold it to all mothers. I also don't think one is better or worse than another.

Johnny - posted on 04/10/2010

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I'd say they both have pros and cons. I think there is too young to really be a good parent and probably too old to really be a good parent. If you still need "raising", it's probably too soon to be having kids. And if your kid won't be old enough to look after you when you'll be needing diapers, it's probably too late to start. I've met good parents and bad parents of all ages in between.

I had my daughter at 31. It was the perfect age for me. I had plenty of opportunities to party, travel, and get an education. I'd established and explored my career. And I'd had the time to get to know my husband for a few years before our daughter was born. I also feel like I'm young enough that I still have loads of energy, I'm definitely in better shape now than I was when I was 24, and I will still be young enough when she is independent to have a good opportunity to enjoy my later years. And if she has kids, I should still be young enough to know & enjoy my grand-kids. The other benefit, is that most of my friends and the other moms I know are within a few years of my age, either older or younger, so that is nice too.

Keisha - posted on 04/10/2010

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I think that age alone should not determine if a parent is "good" or "bad". I do think being younger would, naturally, make you have more energy... but not necessarily more patience. I see the pros and cons in either one, though I think there comes a certain age where some women don't think of health risks (i.e. down syndrome) that comes with having a baby at their age.

Emma - posted on 04/10/2010

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I think it would of been nice to have the energy of my early 20's but i think 27, 28 when i had my kids was a good fit for me, I would not want to start doing this at 40 say or 18 as i dont think i would have the energy or the patience at those ages.

my hubby's parents had him when they where older and he did not like that his foke's where not as active like his friends parents where due to there age.

I think there are pro's and cons for both but it comes down to what's best for each parent.

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