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Family 👪 Older parents

Maister

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Junior has expressed frustration on numerous occasions that his "old" parents are out of step with his peers' parents and unfairly require him to do things or abide by certain rules that allegedly no other younger parents do. It is true that we did not become parents until turning 40 and that he's factually correct that we are often peers of his friends grandparents more than their parents. I also expect that because we grew up in a different time we as parents probably do rely on social mores and prevailing attitudes found during our own childhoods as an experiential guide in determining what we think is appropriate.

It occurs to me, though, that this cuts both ways. we may have been reluctant to allow him to join social media platforms when he was younger, but at the same time, I've more or less applied the 'free range kid' paradigm to Junior when I know for a fact that a number of younger parents were aghast at the level of 'permissiveness and indifference' they thought I was allowing.

Any older parents here? Anyone raised by older parents?
 
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luckless pedestrian

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Yes - I had my third at 40 and I am one of the oldest parents in his class but I think it does cut both ways so maybe it's not an age thing, it's more that kids always think some other kid has it better off than they do

some parents think we are too permissive and others think we are more strict than they are so again, that's just the way it goes

the one thing I noticed moving to Maine was how few parents make their kids do chores which seems so bat$%^& crazy to me so I do think that's generational

in my #okaboomer moment, when I was growing up, if I wanted to go anywhere, and I hadn't finished mowing the lawn yet or shoveling the snow, when my friends came over to pick me up and they saw me finishing up, they'd get out of their car and help me finish so we could get going - it wasn't weird because they had chores at home too so we all got it that $%^& needs to get done before you go out with your friends

completely foreign concept to Gen-X parents

#getoffmylawn

adding:

my parents were also in their 40's when they had me, hence why I am in the last year of boomers as my parents were in The Greatest Generation and I thought they were out of touch until I was about 30 and I grew up so there's that lol
 

Maister

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in my #okaboomer moment, when I was growing up, if I wanted to go anywhere, and I hadn't finished mowing the lawn yet or shoveling the snow, when my friends came over to pick me up and they saw me finishing up, they'd get out of their car and help me finish so we could get going - it wasn't weird because they had chores at home too so we all got it that $%^& needs to get done before you go out with your friends
This. I have noticed a LOT of parents don't give their kids chores nowadays. Junior grouses about the unfairness of this All. The. Time. and cites this as an example of how we're 'out of step with the world around us' :rofl:
 

MD Planner

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My parents were like you Maister. They were married for 12 years before I was born and I'm the oldest. I think it had advantages. My folks were better off financially at that point and we were able to do lots of things that probably wouldn't have been possible. I was a typical kid but I definitely had chores and jobs to do around the house and they better be done before I went anywhere. Now kids bitch if they have to empty the dishwasher!
 

mendelman

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I started and finished having children from 29-31 (wife was 28-30), so we're not applicable.

My parents were 35 when they had me, but I'm the youngest of 3 spanning 7 years, so doesn't really count.

Both sets of grandparents were 35 and 39 when they started having children (and both of my parents are the oldest and their siblings are 4 years younger), so they count, but my grandparents were all born between 1900-1910, so I don't think this comes into play.

They were all born into lower income farming or urban working class households, so by the time they had my parents all children were still treated the same (effectively) whether your parents were born in 1908 or 1923, even though my maternal grandparents were better off financially than my other grandparents and many of their familial cohorts.

As a child/teen, I didn't have many chores, but I had enough - vacuuming the carpeted stairs and keep my bedroom clean (as a pre-teen), vacuuming, mowing the lawn, shoveling snow and keeping my room clean (as a teen).

We don't make our boys do alot of chores, but we lead by example with dishes, vacuuming, laundry, yard work, etc. Now that I have effectively three adult size children, we will be implementing more house/yard work chores this year now that they can easily reach most places.
 
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luckless pedestrian

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There's a great book I recommend to people of pre-teens called Our Last Best Chance that talks about why things like chores are necessary for kids -

I am not a super mom by any stretch and my kids as adults are great people but definitely just floating around still so I am not sure any of what we did worked, but having someone else emptying the dishwasher is helpful after working all day
 

Gedunker

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I was 36 when I started a family, 39 when I had my youngest. I was my father's age when I became a dad, he was my age when he finished fathering. He started 11 years earlier than I did - so I was definitely not planned.

My kids have had a blend of parenting styles, with some old school, and some free range. I think, more than anything, the ex and I got lucky with a couple of good kids who have turned into fine young adults. There were times when it was awkward at school functions since the rest of our kids parents were much, much younger than we were for the most part. There wasn't a lot of socializing with other parents, which kind of surprised me. As others have mentioned, we had a bit more solid financial footing than others, so we didn't share some of the struggles younger parents did.

My daughter and I still chuckle that her HS boyfriend's family referred to me as her "grandpa" when I dropped her off for a date one time before she had her DL. My goatee has been light gray for a long while ... [weneedagraybeardemoji]
 

WSU MUP Student

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I was the youngest of 5 and my mom was in her mid 30s when I was born and my dad was a couple days shy of 42. Not exactly "old parents" by today's standard but growing up in rural Michigan in the '80s and early '90s, I always had the oldest parents of any of my friends. They had 4 kids ahead of me though so it wasn't like I was the guinea pig. And while I had plenty of chores (primarily yard work, helping around the farm, and (my personal least favorite) unloading the dishwasher) my parents were pretty lenient in general to all of us. They didn't like grounding us because that just meant they had to spend more time with us!

I too also recall helping friends with their chores or having them help me with mine so that we could be done quicker and go do whatever. FWIW, many of my friends, none of which grew up on farms, absolutely loved doing farmwork with me like putting up hay or straw. I think it made them feel a little less suburban!

My wife and I were 31 when our oldest was born and 37 when our youngest was born. Compared to my friends from high school, we definitely started later but compared to our kids' friends' parents, we're probably right at the median. We've been ramping up the number of chores we give our oldest and she does them all with the amount of attitude you'd expect from a 5th grader. It's going to be interesting as our kids get a little older and into middle and high school to see how their chore load compares to those of their peers. We live in a neighborhood where it's not uncommon for a household to have a cleaning person and a cook and a nanny and somebody to do all the yard work and a separate person who comes and washes the windows and a dog walker and anything else you can think of. I have to imagine there are more than a few kids in the area who do absolutely nothing around the house and the parents are perfectly fine with that.
 

Planit

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I was 41 & Mrs. P was 37 when The Girl came to being so we are the older parents. We have connected with a few other couples, but they tend to be around 5-10 years younger, but we still hang out together.

It was marriage #2 for both of us so that was part of the late start. Agree & similar to much of what is said here.
 

Whose Yur Planner

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I was a honeymoon afterglow baby. My folks where married in December and I was born in the fall of the next year. They were both in their early 20's so that was acceptable back then. I was 35 when I became a parent. There are both upsides and downsides to it.
 

WSU MUP Student

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There are both upsides and downsides to it.

I have a friend who fathered a child when he was a junior in high school. He and the mom never got married and he obtained full custody of their daughter when he was a junior in college (from what I recall, the mom was largely out of the picture early on and he and his parents were raising the daughter).

He struggled early on being a young parent and he was working as a teacher and out on his own with his daughter a couple years after college (his parents were still very helpful though of course) and he didn't have much of a social life if it didn't involve us coming to his place, but once his daughter was older he was pretty much free to do whatever but still had that daughter and that loving familial relationship.

Another friend of mine from high school had a daughter when she was a sophomore in college. These days, my friend is in her early 40s and her daughter is already done with college so she's free to travel or do whatever.

I can definitely see some advantages to having kids so young (not that having them while still in high school is a good idea) as you are young enough to go out and enjoy life once the kids are older... of course your income might not support that, but you don't have that arthritic body that beats you down after a day of sightseeing in London or Madrid or where ever you want to take yourself on vacation.
 

Super Amputee Cat

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I was almost 33.5 when my first child was born. My brother was almost exactly 10 years older, 43 1/2, when his first child was born. That means he will be over 60 when his son graduates from high school (and close to retirement age if he graduates from college in four years) I was 51. I think he will be about 12-15 years above the median age of parents on graduation day.

My son just graduated from college and my daughter is due to graduate later this year, probably when I am still 56. I am just glad I won't have to go to any graduation ceremonies in my 60s and see a bunch of other parents still in their forties.
 

The Terminator

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My mom was 27.5 when I was born and my father was two weeks shy of 30, it was his goal to have his first by 30, and with me, he made it just under the wire!

I am now 30 and the prospect of parenthood is not even something I think of, let alone aspire to. Some friends of mine have begun to have kids, and all of them are part of the lucky few cohort of millennials who moved right in their 20s (or are just rich) and are financially stable. I am not one of them.

When my parents moved out of the City, we settled into a suburban township (although NYS doesnt use that term) that I would classify as not obscenely wealthy like the mansion sections of Williamsville, NY but more well to do and significantly less working class than a town like Cheektowaga.

In my exclusive, high property tax School District during the 1990s, there were ALLOT of parents much older than mine, and it caused some culture shock for them. It was common to have classmates with first wave boomer parents born in 1952, 1949, 1950 etc. I had one friend who's father had her at 51 in 1992, making her dad the same age as my late Grandmother. I would sometimes hear my parents complaining about being treated negatively by older parents for being "so young" i.e. having kids at normal child bearing age because they weren't YUPPIES who put off kids for career.

@Maister: It may be a little awkward now, but when Junior is 21, he will be thankful that he has parents who remember the 80s and a father who taught him Karate, how to hold his liquor like a man, drive stick and to appreciate music on vinyl. They will be like "Junior, where did your dad get his mad skills?" and he will proudly respond "in Okinawa!"
 

Maister

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@Maister: It may be a little awkward now, but when Junior is 21, he will be thankful that he has parents who remember the 80s and a father who taught him Karate, how to hold his liquor like a man, drive stick and to appreciate music on vinyl. They will be like "Junior, where did your dad get his mad skills?" and he will proudly respond "in Okinawa!"
Actually, minus maybe the liquor, that's essentially true now. He bellyaches about doing chores but this spring during the city's spring trash pickup he brought home a box of vinyl LP's and excitedly said "mom, dad, look what I scored!" The box was potluck picks and included records such as Barry Manilow and the Captain and Tenille, but also was chock full of classic albums like Dark Side of the Moon, Frampton Live, and Rocket to Russia. I suppose he has me to thank for that. And yes, of course, at 15 he can drive a stick and do the two-finger death punch.
 

Whose Yur Planner

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Actually, minus maybe the liquor, that's essentially true now. He bellyaches about doing chores but this spring during the city's spring trash pickup he brought home a box of vinyl LP's and excitedly said "mom, dad, look what I scored!" The box was potluck picks and included records such as Barry Manilow and the Captain and Tenille, but also was chock full of classic albums like Dark Side of the Moon, Frampton Live, and Rocket to Russia. I suppose he has me to thank for that. And yes, of course, at 15 he can drive a stick and do the two-finger death punch.
My daughter is all girly-girly and would absolutely freak out.
 

Hawkeye66

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My youngest was born when I was 40 so I will be 58 when he graduates high school in 4 years. I waited until 30 to get married, then we had kids starting 2 years later. First was born when I was 33.

I could hardly care for myself in my 20's.
 

kjel

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I've been on both ends of the parental age spectrum. I was 19 when my now 27 was born and 38 when my 9 year old was born. My husband was 46 when my 9 year old was born. He will retire during her high school years much to her chagrin.

While I don't have as much energy as I once did and am probably a lot more permissive these days, I like being an older parent. I'd say that I average a good 10 years older than most of my 9 year old peers' parents and 10 years younger than my eldest's friends' parents.
 
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