• Learning for LifeandWork

Being an older parent: The opportunities and challenges

Updated: May 30, 2020

There are many opportunities when being an older parent, such as:

  • An older parent will be more mature, accept responsibility and have more life experience which could be passed on to the child/children.

  • An older parent usually have the ability to communicate and compromise which is a healthy environment to bring up and support a child/children.

  • Sometimes, the child has been planned and the parent(s) are financially stable, being able to give the child/children a better quality of life.

  • It may have taken longer for the parents longer to have had a child/children and when they do have children, this can make their lives and family fully complete which will give them a sense of achievement and fulfilment.

However there are also challenges when being an older parent, such as:

  • An older parent may have health and energy issues to contend with when raising a child/children

  • A child/children of older parent could be embarrassed about their older parent when picking them up at school, youth centre or club and could be teased or bullied by other people due to the age difference and appearance of the older parents.

  • Sometimes the old parent/parents could place a burden on their child/children in terms of caring for them when they are old due to the cost of residential care or going to live with the son/daughter which may impact on their family dynamics.

  • An older parent may become isolated from their community, friends and family as they have concentrated on furthering and developing their education and careers. This may result in having little or no support network when the baby arrives causing a great deal of pressure and stress on the parent/parents and on the relationship.

  • An older parent may find it more difficult to identify with their child as they are older and grew up in a different era and may not understand the current youth culture such as technology, music, entertainment, rules imposed, expected behaviours. This may cause friction, conflict or bonding issues between the child/children and the parents.

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