Not only does waiting to have kids mean you’ll have more time to work hard and play hard, it could also mean your kids may be smarter than if you got pregnant in your 20’s.
If your biological clock is feeling more like a gun to the head, new research will make you feel a little better about your decision to wait a little longer before becoming a mother. A new study from the London School of Economics found that children of older mothers tend to be smarter than those born to younger mothers.
Researchers examined data from three studies of children’s development that were conducted in 1958, 1970 and 2001.
The children’s ability to think, remember, pay attention and read were tested when they were 10/11 years old. The findings reveal that the intelligence of the child all has to do with the mom’s lifestyle, accomplishments and the fact that she has likely long outgrown any reckless behaviour.
According to researchers, children born to mothers over the age of 35 are more intelligent thanks to their mother’s education level, career placement and the fact that they’re less likely to smoke during pregnancy.
It’s also telling that children born to women in their mid-thirties also tend to be the first child, or an only child.
As any woman with a tickling biological clock is well aware, delaying childbirth has been associated with increased risk of health risks like Down syndrome, autism and Alzheimer’s and diabetes later in life. Researchers, however, now say that the risks are counterbalanced by the positive changes to the environment that happen in the years spent delaying pregnancy.
“First-time mothers in their 30s are, for example, likely to be more educated, have higher incomes, are more likely to be in stable relationships, have healthier lifestyles, seek prenatal care earlier, and have planned their pregnancies,” said researcher Alice Goisis.
Because they’re more established and stable, it’s easier for older mothers to offer their child sufficient parental attention.
The fact that there are usually fewer siblings in the equation only adds to this amount of attention.
The findings contradict previous research from the 1970s, which found the complete opposite. On the other hand, they support a 2016 study, which found children of older mothers are healthier, taller and smarter than children born to younger moms.
So, you may want to hit “snooze” on that biological clock for the moment and continue doing ‘you.’