How to take away from younger parents,

How Children are Socially Affected by Parent’s Age

            Each child is born into a family
with different characteristics. No family is exactly alike in any certain
aspect. However, one thing that links a source of commonality between families
all throughout the United States of America is how the ages of the parents
affect children in their social habits. The ages of both the mother and the
father have unique effects on their children. As a general consensus, the
children of averaged aged to older parents are better
socially adjusted than the children of younger parents until the children reach
a certain age.

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            The average age
of first-time mothers in the United States is twenty-six years old (“Birth and
Natality”). The average age of first-time fathers is thirty-one (Aubrey). These
ages are significant because it has been proven that parents of average age and
older age produce socially competent children. Social competence, in relation
to parents age, can include behavior and emotions along with social interaction
(Bagger).

Children with average or older aged
parents often feel more wanted because the parents are more likely to have
secured occupations (Milentijevic).
Not only does a stable occupation make the parent more comfortable and
psychologically sound, it also allows for an allotted time to be spent at home.
A fixed schedule allows for parents to be able to spend more time with their
children which ultimately makes children feel more prioritized. Even in
children, “constant disappointment
with a loved one can lead to blame, resentment, and eventually even rage”
(“Psychology of Disappointment”). Feeling wanted is an extremely important
aspect of a child’s social growth, and having average aged parents or older
parents generally leads to the development of this feeling. This is not to take
away from younger parents, as they have the capabilities to ensure their
children feel just as wanted as their older counterparts. However, the children
of average or older parents more clearly demonstrate a sense of belonging.

            Another social advantage for
children from average aged or older parents stems from the family’s economic
background. Younger parents generally have a lower income salary than that of
older parents simply because they have smaller chances of receiving promotions
as they have worked less. An economically sound family can provide
opportunities for children to flourish socially. The children in these families
“are able to travel; attend better, possibly private schools; and be involved
in extracurricular activities” (Milentijevic). These opportunities may seem minor, but the financial
stability of these parents opens a door of social success for their children. While
vacationing, “you are
exercising two genetically ingrained systems deep in the brain’s limbic area”
the Play System and Seeking System (Sunderland). At home and in a regular
routine, these areas of the brain hardly receive exercise. “Once your family
holiday experiences activate these systems in your brain and your children’s
brains, they trigger well-being neurochemicals including opioids, oxytocin and
dopamine” (Sunderland). The impact vacations have on children can refuel them
mentally and allow for precious memories to be made. After school activities
also affect children positively. They allow for social development, improvement
in academics, and an establishment of friendships. All three of these results
are beneficial to the child not just momentarily, but long term. Some younger
parents are also capable of giving these costly opportunities to their
children, but they are significantly more common for average to older aged
parents. The positive outcomes from taking trips and being in extra-curricular
activities allow for improvement in a child’s mental state and social habits.

            A
third way parents age can affect their children is through their own mental
health and stability. No one ever stops growing in terms of maturity and life
lessons. Younger parents often do not have the same wisdom as older parents do.
There is a stronger sense of emotional readiness in older parents when it comes
to having children. In a study that interviewed older parents one man said, “I
know that I’m way more self-aware than I was 20 years ago. I feel like I’m in a
better position to communicate better with my child” (Newman). This gives a
personal acknowledgment of the apparent fact that with age comes wisdom and
this wisdom is beyond helpful in parenting. “People become more mentally
flexible with age, are more tolerant of other people and thrive better
emotionally themselves…older mothers do not scold and physically discipline
their children as much” (Bagger). Older parents are often less harsh with their
children because they have more patience and self-awareness. This causes
children to be more comfortable and express themselves socially. The wisdom
apparent in the lives of older parents is carried on the lives of their
children. When the parents are more emotionally sound it causes their children
to thrive better socially than children of young, less experienced parents.

            In
most cases, there is a certain age when a person becomes independent from their
parents and their social health is no longer reliant upon their parents for
help. However, this age is different for everyone as people mature and become independent
at different times of life. A Thousand Acres,
a novel by Jane Smiley, focuses upon how you can always learn things from
your parents in the beginning, but as time goes on you have to depend upon
yourself to make the best decisions for you. A quote from the novel that
represents this is “He knew he’d
treated me unfairly, but that we really felt love for each other. He made
amends. We got really close in the end.” (A
Thousand Acres 362). Sarah is speaking of her father and how with age comes
maturity and a relationship becomes a two-way street.

            Children are affected socially by
the age of their parents. Parents of young children are less socially adjusted,
while children of average aged or older parents are more adapted. There are various
reasons why this is true. Children of older parents often feel more wanted, the
family’s economic status allows for unique growth opportunities, and the older parents’
wisdom allows for children to be taught well. Ultimately, however, as children grow
most of them reach a certain level of independence and are reliant upon themselves.
The average age of first time parents is continually rising in the United States.
Perhaps now our future generations will become socially, behaviorally, and mentally
stronger. 

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