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Old 01-25-2011, 04:31 PM
18,856 posts, read 30,447,336 times
Reputation: 25990


I was an older parent, as was my husband. I feel like we had more time, more money, and definitely more patience for children...my experience was the opposite, with a 16 year old mother, I would not wish that on anyone! A parent who always feels like she missed the party, because she had you...even though, she often left you alone to go to the "party"...I got blamed for everything that went wrong in her life...she had no patience, no money, was always angry, or frustrated...I got dumped everywhere, when she wanted to go do something, she would just dump me and leave...once for three years, when she went to California, it was to get a job, and send for me...that never happened...an older parent is better than a younger one, that is for sure...from my point of view.

Old 01-25-2011, 05:16 PM
Location: Outer Space
1,525 posts, read 3,355,084 times
Reputation: 1787
I don't think anyone is arguing a teenager should be a parent.
Old 01-25-2011, 05:36 PM
Location: Bradenton, Florida
27,236 posts, read 40,266,772 times
Reputation: 10915
Originally Posted by Workin_Hard View Post
Sounds more like they're lucky... I'd hope that you don't have any offspring.

Some folks are just all heart.
I don't--but if I did I would not expect them to have to care for me either. If I can't take care of myself, I don't want to be around.
Old 01-25-2011, 05:54 PM
Location: California
1,191 posts, read 1,231,584 times
Reputation: 1742
There are some very good points on both sides. But we have to be careful with personal experiences. It is not the same for everyone. I think the OP sheds light on a very touchy topic. I am in my early thirties with two toddlers. Honestly, I could not image being ten years older and having to chase them around at their current age.

One of the things I have noticed in simply observing people is that aging does not always follow the same constant rate. Just because you feel "energetic" at 40 doesn't mean you will feel the same (or similar) at 50 or even 45. Sometimes I don't think we truly respect the frailty of the human body. We can also underestimate the physical impact of raising children. Unless you have a nanny that raises your kids for you there will be sleep loss, stress, and social challenges even in the best structures homes. You can multiply that by two or three if your home and relational structure is less than ideal. All of this has an impact on our already aging bodies. Having kids TRANSFORMS your life in a permanent way.

This doesn't mean a 45 year old mother or father to be is doomed. However, one of the things I have learned in just a few years of fatherhood is there are things you can never anticipate when it comes to parenting. You will never understand the full impact of it until you get to the other side. I don't believe people need others to dictate to them what they should and shouldn't do regarding the decison of parenthood. I do think those of us who decide to become parents need to remember it is not just about us. It is about our kids as well. It is about what is best for their development and quality of life. Quality of life is not all about money. There are so many other factors.
Old 01-25-2011, 06:12 PM
1,830 posts, read 2,904,172 times
Reputation: 2966
Im the youngest of a huge brood that my parents had. Im in my late forties and my mother is in her late eighties and I thank God every single day for my life. In the neighborhood that I grew up in, women were having babies in their forties, and in some cases, their fifties. Just be glad that you're here, and move on.
Old 01-25-2011, 07:05 PM
2,319 posts, read 3,964,244 times
Reputation: 2056
My father's mother was 41 when he was born, and my parents were 35 when I was born. (I realize that isn't 40's.) My mother and father were married to other people before marrying each other, and they each had a child with their previous spouse when they were 20 (my mom) and 21 (my dad). They have repeatedly told me how difficult it was for them to be young parents. I realize this isn't true for everyone, but this was their reality. By the time they married at 34, they decided if they were going to have a kid, it would need to be fast. I was born a year later. My mom says (any time the subject comes up) that raising me was more fun for her than raising my sister. She had money to buy cute clothes, let me play musical instruments and play sports. She worked one job instead of two. She owned her car and her house outright.

I was raised like an only (my siblings were out on their own by the time I was 4) so there were times that I was lonely, but I loved movies, music and books. I developed quite the imagination.

If and when to have a child is immensely personal and controversial. I am in my early 30's with no children, and I don't know if I will have kids. I certainly won't have them because others think I should before I hit some magic number. I see/saw a lot of my friends jumping to get knocked up before 30 like there is some significance to that age.

OP, thanks for your perspective. I'm sorry your childhood wasn't what you wish it had been. I guarantee you my sister's wasn't what she would have wished for and she had a young mother. Other posters have said it better than I - age may have little to with it.
Old 01-25-2011, 07:15 PM
Location: Canackistan
746 posts, read 1,452,433 times
Reputation: 676
With the way society is headed, good luck getting people to even settle down before they're 35.

Most kids don't grow up until they're at least 30. We're heading into this very individualistic, selfish way of thinking. Even if we get people to have kids earlier, would it be of a net benefit?
A lot of kids graduating from high school today can barely tie their shoelaces, can we expect them to be responsible, intelligent parents within 2 decades? I think not. There are lots of great people becoming awesome parents out there, but you're outnumbered by the millions of losers that will eventually become the majority.

Garbage breeding garbage is how I think of it.

I'm sorry, I know it sounds horribly negative, but unfortunately it's true.
Old 01-25-2011, 07:16 PM
3,750 posts, read 10,203,909 times
Reputation: 6560
Originally Posted by sskkc View Post
I've never met any of those 'energetic' older parents. My experience with folks who had kids at/near 40 has been negative - the negativity stems from the people their children are turning out to be.

My youngest uncle for example. Grandma had him when she was 37. Waste of skin. Lived off his parents until the day they died, kind of. Grandpa died just over 10 years ago. About two years ago, he and his wife managed to scam Grandma out of everything she and Grandpa worked for, then they stuck her in a home where he ignored her until her last few days of life. He was spoiled to death by them and they never could really 'keep up' with him.

My dh's youngest sister is another example. MIL had her in her late 30s too. She's 26 and still acts like she's 15 - still expects (and has) mom to bail her out of every poor decision. MIL's husband is now facing the end of his life and it's taking a huge toll on MIL. Where's the spoiled brat now? Well, when stepdad went into the hospital on Christmas Eve, she posted on FB that her Christmas had been 'ruined', 'borrowed' (but truly will never pay it back) money to fix her car (yep, another accident) but spent the money on a trip to SF because she 'can't deal with all the drama'. Lovely girl.

I've seen a lot of examples but the final one that changed my view on the relevancy of a parent's age was my first born. I was 19 and in no position to take care of a child. I gave her up for adoption to a 40 year old couple. She sought me out last summer. There is not a more entitled, selfish, clueless person on this planet - though her adoptive mother serves as a close runner up. Her parents are 58 - and in poor health. They've spoiled her rotten (think rotting fruit), blame her behavior on genetics and take NO responsibility to the horrible person she is. They believe I owe them - after all, they raised my daughter. They believe I owe them the college tuition for the college she's flunking out of, the private school they had to put her in when she was expelled in high school - after all, she's MY daughter. Though they were quick to point out that I am NOT her mother. It was a whirlwind 2 days. Frantic, hectic, emotional. It ended when dear biological child sent her younger sister (my then 7 year old) a highly inappropriate email and I let her know that any communication with the children would be monitored. There were a few rantings about her 'civil rights' (not just spoiled, but ignorant too!) I guiltily confessed to my dh that I am glad she ended contact so quickly (Her 'mother' kept calling for a couple weeks til dh stepped in, forwarded all the nasty emails to her, and basically told her off). Now, 7 months later, hearing about some of her exploits through the extended family grapevine, I am over the 'guilty' part and flat out glad she stopped calling. I blocked her and them through the social networking sites and email, as well as my cell phone. If they want contact, they won't be able to just spring it on me - it will have to be in person (1000 miles away) or through the regular mail.

I don't know ANYONE whose parents were over 35 when they were born who are what I would consider a 'good' person. I know lots of kids with horrible parents who were under 35 when they were born - but those people seemed more capable of 'overcoming' their childhoods than those with older parents.
Really?? I repped you on this, and while I have nothing against you - the rep was accidental. I'm sorry you don't know anyone with older parents who is a "good" person. Since generally, I don't ask the age of the parents of all the nice people I deal with on a regular basis, I guess I could say the same. In fact - here I'll say it. I DON'T KNOW A SINGLE GOOD PERSON WHO WAS BORN TO YOUNG PARENTS. Oh wait - that's not enough, I have to categorize their faults. The ones on drugs, because their young parents weren't mature enough to be parents but wanted to be their friends?? The one who did soft core movies when she was 15 because her cool young mother knew a guy in the business?? The one who was pretty scarred and neurotic because her mom went to the bar/clubs in college and tried to hit on the college age guys because she was a "cool/hip" mom??

Yep. That must prove it. All children of young parents are doomed due to the immaturity and poor decisions of their YOUNG parents.

Geee... so that's what it feels like to make ridiculous generalizations! Aha! Weird - with as much as people do that on these boards, I thought somehow it would be exciting and make me feel powerful. Maybe you have to ACTUALLY believe the generalization for that to happen... *gak!*

You don't know me - I get that. However, I am not spoiled, support myself and a husband, and my older parents whom I adore. I was neither locked in a room of amish outfits as a child, nor was I taught to act like it was Victorian England reincarnate. I skateboarded, listened to AC/DC, studied hard, got good grades, went to college - where - when I messed up - I was expected to fix my own problems because I was raised that that was what RESPONSIBLE people did. So I did.

I was not spoiled, not coddled, however I was loved - unconditionally. That doesn't mean everything I did was APPROVED of. Love is NOT approval - a fact that many parents of ALL ages screw up time and time again.

I knew what was expected of me, and what consequences (if any) came with choosing not to live up to expectations.

I had PARENTS. Not friends, not buddies, not giggling - bar trolling - cool parents. I had parents. Expectations, support, rules, groundings, Love, opportunities.

Whenever I met kids with very young parents (parents who looked barely older than the babysitter I occasionally had) who tried to act "hip" - I was embarassed both for the kid and the parent. The kid was usually embarassed by their parent as well.

My parents didn't pretend to be of my generation, they didn't need to like AC/DC, J. Geils, Duran Duran or to know how to rollerskate (how horrifying if they had!) to allow me to like it.

They were comfortable in themselves, and my father's career was secure. At the time, their age and success in career allowed my mother to stay home full time with us. I got to go to summer camps if I wanted to, and was able to be in any extra curricular event I was cabable of winning admittance to. I attended plays and symphonies AND Baseball and Football games. My parents hosted European kids on exchange - because they had a home environment stable/financially able to take on that added responsibility.

I understand - in your world, I must be an irresponsible/spoiled brat - because my parents were in their 40's. Weird, because in my world - I was envied because my parents could afford to give me opportunities and they were mature enough and confident enough in me that I was allowed to handle things myself from a relatively young age. They did not micromanage.

I submit that the parents who are overly spoiling their children, would most likely have done that at ANY age. And the parents who are generally good parents raising generally good children - would have done so at any age.

Why did my parents wait? I have no idea. I've never asked.

I do know that they both finished graduate school, and that my father's PhD was put on hold 2x while he went to fight in WWII and then Korea.

Maybe had the war not intervened, they'd have married earlier, and had kids earlier. I don't know. But I know that I was raised better than to make some of the idiotic generalizations that go on in threads like these. So my OLD parents must have done something right.
Old 01-25-2011, 07:33 PM
48,519 posts, read 81,013,914 times
Reputation: 17978
y parents wre i their 40's when I ;last childre;was born. I found that basically I got alot of advanatges i that they admited they were better parents than when younger. As I look back IMO I had many advantages form thier being more gown up and experienced plus in secure positon financially compared to earlier years. It allowed both my mother and especailly my father to do so many things with I and my brother that he was just too busy with career requirements earlier in life.I have to say that my father did not have that too tired attitude but that is very individual I think really.I see so many young father and mother really too much into their own things when younger. So many of my friends from what I observed were partially even raised by their grandparents while their mother and father did their thing.Feel very lucky;but like anything people have different experiences depending on the parents themselves.
Old 01-25-2011, 07:35 PM
Location: FLG/PHX/MKE
7,289 posts, read 12,868,909 times
Reputation: 11529
There are two sides to every story. One of my friends is 32--and has cancer. He may never even get the opportunity to have children. A child may never be born because the would-be father won't make it that far.

In some ways, I see it just the other way from your perspective. Young parents are often good, but often totally unprepared both emotionally and financially. If I had kids at 25, I'd be struggling in every aspect. Now? It would be easy. And the child would be well cared for in every aspect of life, now and in the future. I constantly read stories of grandparents having to raise kids (and doing a great job) in their 60s, because the real parents are too incompetent or unable to do so themselves, while the grandparents are able, patient, and have a lifetime of experience with people of all ages.

Guess the bottom line is, good and bad parents come at all ages. No matter what the age, some children will always harbor resentment against some parents. Others won't.
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