When your partner gets pregnant, age is so much more than a number. Advanced maternal age increases a variety of risks during pregnancy, delivery, and the course of a child’s development. But as a study published in the European Journal Of Developmental Psychology points out, it’s not all bad. Researchers found a number of unique advantages associated with pregnancy later in life, and most contribute to raising better kids.
The data, obtained from the Danish Longitudinal Survey Of Children, examined the experiences 4,741 mothers. More specifically, the women were asked to assess their kid’s behavior at ages 7, 11, and 15 via face-to-face interviews or self-reported questionnaires.
Overall, older mothers showed less of a need to verbally and physically punish their children at 7 and 11 years old. When it came to disciplining their 15-year-olds, moms also showed less of a need to use their words, but still felt the need to resort to physical punishments. Research also showed that increased maternal age also led to fewer behavioral, social, and emotional difficulties in kids at ages 7 and 11, but similarly not 15-year-olds. But teens being generally terrible isn’t the only takeaway here.
“We know that people become more mentally flexible with age, are more tolerant of other people and thrive better emotionally themselves,” explained study co-author Professor Dion Sommer in the release. “That’s why psychological maturity may explain why older mothers do not scold and physically discipline their children as much.” Simply put, older moms tend to have more well-adjusted offspring because they are more well-adjusted.
While this study didn’t look at dads, the same logic could apply. The older you are, the more likely you are to handle parenting responsibilities with mental flexibility and maturity. Of course, your advanced age comes with its fair share of risks too. But for both of you, the waiting game could ultimately reduce the chances of raising an asshole, because frankly, you’re too old to put up with that.