Unique positives of being an older parent

Naomi Campbell has just announced that she’s become a mother for the first time at 50.

The British supermodel and activist recently shared a sweet snap of her baby’s feet resting in her hands alongside a heartfelt caption.

Ms Campbell wrote: “A beautiful little blessing has chosen me to be her mother. So honoured to have this gentle soul in my life, there are no words to describe the lifelong bond that I now share with you, my angel. There is no greater love.”

The news has come as a bit of a surprise, since Ms Campbell – who has talked in the past about how important protecting her privacy is – hasn’t previously revealed much, if anything, about starting a family.

Either way, the ins and outs of Ms Campbell’s private life are her business, and she’s free to share as much or as little as she chooses.

We can’t help smiling at the news though – especially as parenthood at an older age isn’t something that’s often celebrated.

Read more: Adult kids cost parents thousands

It’s one of those topics that really highlights how people think they have a right to judge other women’s lives and choices. But parenthood – for endless reasons – sometimes just doesn’t happen until a bit later down the line.

Here are some unique benefits to becoming parents at an older age.

You might create a smarty pants
Turns out, if you’re an older dad, odds are your child will be intelligent. A study published in Translational Psychiatry provided evidence that older fathers tend to sire “geekier” progeny. Researchers from both the UK and the US examined data of 15,000 sets of twins collected from tests to measure their intelligence traits (including IQ, science, technology, engineering and math grades, interests and social skills) at the age of 12. Researchers compiled that information, as well as input from their parents, to craft a ‘geek index score’ to run up against their parent’s ages. They learned that kids born to older dads are more likely to have a high IQ, and a stronger ability to focus on their interests.

You’re more likely to give your kids a healthier start
A large 2012 study published in the British Medical Journal found that children with older mums were healthier than those with younger ones. Researchers took an overall snapshot of the health and wellbeing of a select group of children up to the age of five. They learned the children with older parents had fewer accidental injuries, fewer social and emotional difficulties and were further along in language development.

Read more: Babysitting grandparents live longer

You’re likely more emotionally prepared
San Francisco researchers conducted a small study that set out to establish an optimal age for parenting. Most respondents believed being an older parent was more advantageous than being a younger parent, mostly because they were more emotionally prepared. Parents of both genders in the study overwhelmingly said their 30s would’ve been the ideal parenting era.

You’ll likely be more financially stable
It seems like common sense that older parents are more likely to have established financial stability but a Danish study has established a link between a woman’s age with when she first became a parent and her lifetime earning ability. Apparently, for mothers both with and without degrees, those who first gave birth when they were younger than 25 suffered the most lifetime labour income loss, whereas women who started having kids after 31 went on to experience financial gains.

Read more: Lessons from parents that never get old

You’ll probably have more patience
Being an older mum also has its benefits when it comes to patience. A 2016 Danish study found that older mothers were more adept at setting boundaries with their kids, and were less likely to yell at and harshly punish them, leading to fewer behavioural, social and emotional difficulties down the road. They also had less anxiety during pregnancy, had more stable relationships, and were in better shape financially – all factors that can contribute to a more relaxed parenting experience.

How old were you when you first became a parent? Do you agree with these benefits? Why not share any more you can think of in the comments section below?

– With PA

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