Is it bet­ter to have kids younger?

Western Leader - - YOUR LOCAL NEWS -

Q: From your ex­pe­ri­ence do you see any ad­van­tage to hav­ing chil­dren at a younger age? Also, do you think that the child is brought up dif­fer­ently with older par­ents?

‘‘If you feel ready to have chil­dren at a younger age, then go for it. ’’

A: It’s a big sub­ject you raise be­cause ‘‘old ver­sus young’’ must be added to the mix of wealthy ver­sus poor, well ver­sus sick, and of course, par­ent­ing alone or with sup­port. There are so many vari­ables to con­sider. It’s true that par­ents today are typ­i­cally older when hav­ing first chil­dren and it’s prob­a­bly a re­ally good thing.

When I was a first-time par­ent, (young at 24), I won­dered if I’d made a big mis­take and whether we should’ve waited to be­come par­ents. It be­came a moot point. The baby was there and hot on his heels was the next one… and the next.

Look­ing back now, we were young and fit and we just got on and par­ented.

There were many ad­van­tages in be­ing young par­ents and one sur­pris­ing ben­e­fit is the stage we’re at now, which is be­ing young enough to en­joy our grand­chil­dren.

But then, a friend of mine, who had her chil­dren at least 10 years later than me has been able to of­fer her chil­dren ex­pe­ri­ences and knowl­edge that I couldn’t have en­vis­aged.

Her chil­dren have trav­elled ex­ten­sively and are worldly as a con­se­quence. And on the flip side? My friend and her hus­band are al­ways tired and they look for­ward to the day their chil­dren are off their hands.

As to the ques­tion of whether a child is raised dif­fer­ently by older par­ents, I be­lieve the dif­fer­ence is more down to ex­pec­ta­tions, cir­cum­stances, be­liefs and back­ground. If you feel ready to have chil­dren at a younger age, then go for it. It doesn’t mat­ter as long as you par­ent as well as you pos­si­bly can.

Mary-anne Scott has raised four boys and writ­ten two nov­els for young adults in­clud­ing

As one of seven sis­ters, there aren’t many par­ent­ing prob­lems she hasn’t talked over. To send her a ques­tion email life.style@stuff.co.nz with Dear Mary-anne in the sub­ject line. Your anonymity is as­sured.

123RF

Young par­ents can make great par­ents if the cir­cum­stances are right, says Mary-anne.

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