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Thread: What age is 'too young' to have children?

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    Valden's Avatar Hastatas Posterior
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    Default What age is 'too young' to have children?

    I recently had a discussion with a friend of mine. She felt that the average 21 year old had the maturity to be a good parent and raise a child. As a 21 year old myself, my anecdotal and experiential evidence of our age group compelled me to disagree with her, although I confess to having little to no knowledge of statistical/psychological information regarding this area. My stance is that most people my age (myself included) simply do not have the life experience to be considered mature enough to rise to the responsibility of parenthood.

    So my question is, that does everyone else think? Am I being too harsh on my own age group, or is 21 too young? Personally, I think that although a case by case analysis is essential, on the whole, most 21 year olds would be found wanting as potential parents. I put it to the community, and any statistical/ psychological evidence would be appreciated.
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    Himster's Avatar Centurio Primus Ordine
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    Default Re: What age is 'too young' to have children?

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    Lazarus's Avatar Equites
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    Default Re: What age is 'too young' to have children?

    It's like drinking or driving or doing drugs. You can't paint everyone with the same brush. Some people will do it responsibly when they're 15. Some people will do it responsibly when they're 50. I disagree that on the whole 21 year olds would be found wanting though. I feel from what I know of you for example, that you would be a great parent. The child would learn and be loved and really, what else is there to a young childs life (candy?)

    You may act immature now - doing stupid things at parties or what not. I myself am 19 and my friends have a bet going on what my last words (and epitaph) will be. (The best odds are on "Everybody watch this"). But that's because you aren't a parent. Think about it. Think about any stupid or dangerous thing you've done in the past 9 months and ask yourself if you would do it again if you were expecting a baby soon. I'm sure the answer is no and that's true for most cases. That's the beautiful thing about the long drawn out pregnancy. You've got months to become terrified at what a terrible job you're going to do and pull your hair out (which invariably forces you to get your act together and make you not do a terrible job).

    I would say that is the rule, and the irresponsible or straight up dangerous parents are the exception.
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    Timoleon of Korinthos's Avatar Princeps Posterior
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    Default Re: What age is 'too young' to have children?

    Any age at which you are not being able to provide for them.

    I met some 19-20 year-olds in the army, who were married with kids already. But they had jobs and received help from their families, so it was ok.
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    Adhamh Ashashi's Avatar Auxiliarius
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    Default Re: What age is 'too young' to have children?

    I am of the opinion that having a child depends on two things: a high level of maturity on behalf of both parents and a secure financial situation.

    If a child is born to immature parents, it can have drastic effects on a child and sometimes fatal. If a child is born into a family with poor financial security, this poses a threat as the child could go hungry etc. Though I do believe that what is fundamental is maturity, a child can survive and thrive well in a financially insecure home; it cannot do so with idiot parents.

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    Himster's Avatar Centurio Primus Ordine
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    Default Re: What age is 'too young' to have children?

    In parent teacher meetings I've seen a startling correlation between young parents and struggling children.
    I'd strongly advise against having children before 25, unless you somehow know that you're already a rare exceptional parent.
    You don't really live your own life until your twenties (during and after college), if you give up your twenties and raise a child instead of living your life what kind of life experiences will you have had, how can you know what you need to know about the world to protect and care for another human being?
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    alex man142's Avatar Aquilifer
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    Default Re: What age is 'too young' to have children?

    I don't have a set date in mind. My mum and dad got married at 18 and 19 respectively, and they have done a great job raising (and still raising) 10 kids, including me. I got married 8 months ago at 23 (I'm 24 now) and my wife got married at 22, and is nearly done with pregnancy.

    Some people are mature enough to handle kids at a young, my parents being one such couple. I could have gotten married at 19 and have had kids at that point as well. Everyone is different; there are some people that I wouldn't want being parents even at 50, some I know can handle kids at 20. Everyone is different.

    Quote Originally Posted by Himster View Post
    In parent teacher meetings I've seen a startling correlation between young parents and struggling children.
    I'd strongly advise against having children before 25, unless you somehow know that you're already a rare exceptional parent.
    You don't really live your own life until your twenties (during and after college), if you give up your twenties and raise a child instead of living your life what kind of life experiences will you have had, how can you know what you need to know about the world to protect and care for another human being?
    That's why there are parents, to help you in raising a kid for the first time. My mum had her mum help her, my mum has helped my sisters, and she'll help my wife as well. The older generation knows what they're doing, as they have the experience

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    Default Re: What age is 'too young' to have children?

    I don't care so much about age so much as ability to provide for the kids, which is something anyone in any age group can lack (though I'm sure a 21 yr. old is less likely to be in a position to provide for a child than say a 30 yr. old)
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    Baitai kihei
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    Default Re: What age is 'too young' to have children?

    To echo many others, I don't think that emotional maturity and ability to handle responsibility develops in-line enough across whichever section of community/ies. There is even a high proportion of 30+ year old 'children' living with parents still, due to financial pressures, which no doubt has an effect on the independence required to raise children.
    For others, having children whilst comparatively young, and the child benefits/housing benefits/etc., that can be claimed is also a common 'career' choice for some.

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    Default Re: What age is 'too young' to have children?

    I really think that 25 should be the absolute youngest age to have children. Before that you're just too inexperienced or are still in the middle of growing both mentally and emotionally to bare the burdens children often bring. By 25 at least you can be out of college and have a career goal set, but personally I wouldn't want to have kids until 30. 27 is my "accident" age where I'd still feel confident in raising a child.

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    Aeneas Veneratio's Avatar Equites Cohortales
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    Default Re: What age is 'too young' to have children?

    I have no morale backing to determine this, but I think the person or (hopefully) the couple should be able to financial secure themselves and their child before having one. Should I give a more concrete answer, I would say after your final education is complete and you have a job.
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    Default Re: What age is 'too young' to have children?

    In general, in middle class families, having children before at least getting a degree of some sorts and a stable job is considered "to soon".
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    Blaze86420's Avatar Equites Alares
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    Default Re: What age is 'too young' to have children?

    It depends on the person, assigning a universal arbitrary age is idiotic. There are many in a stable financial condition at an age as early as 19 or 20, why is it not okay for him/her to have children at that age?

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    Biggieboy's Avatar Senshi
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    Default Re: What age is 'too young' to have children?

    Just wondering, is it "illegal" to have children at a young age?

    Anyways, I think it seriously depends individually. I'm pretty sure there are people who are capable of having children at 21, or even younger. I mean, in the past we surely did, and it turned out ok more or less.

    I think nowadays you have to factor in more things, like can i take care of my child financially, is my relationship stable enough,...

    But I don't think there is a "fixed age" where it should be okay.
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    basics's Avatar Auxiliarius
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    Default Re: What age is 'too young' to have children?

    " Personally, I think that although a case by case analysis is essential, on the whole, most 21 year olds would be found wanting as potential parents."

    Valden,

    To be honest I think that all of us who find ourselves the recipients of our first offspring are found wanting in many ways or degrees. It is for all a step into the unknown, a step into handling what you are responsible for as against just having to look after yourself. I don't think that age matters in these circumstances.

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    Habelo's Avatar Equites Cohortales
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    Default Re: What age is 'too young' to have children?

    Before first menstrual cycle.

    But i guess it depends on where and when you live. In todays sweden i would wait till 25 yet if you find a perfect one you will have to bend rules.
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    Default Re: What age is 'too young' to have children?

    I think it should depend both on the Physical and mental maturity of a person. most likely after 26.

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    Valden's Avatar Hastatas Posterior
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    Default Re: What age is 'too young' to have children?

    I did not mean to suggest the mere age in itself determines whether or not someone is capable of raising a child, but that -generally speaking- a 21 year old will not have the necessary maturity, of course there will be those who do, but I feel these are the exception. I don't see this as a negative thing though, just that -to echo the sentiment expressed in some other posts- a lot of psychological and social growth is still occurring in individuals at that age. Perhaps I am being overly conservative, perhaps not. The bottom line is that I would not discount someone from parenthood based on their age, but if a detailed study were to be done, I would expect the results to indicate a connection between parents in their early twenties and children with a wanting upbringing.
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    basics's Avatar Auxiliarius
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    Default Re: What age is 'too young' to have children?

    "....but that -generally speaking- a 21 year old will not have the necessary maturity,....."

    Valden,

    Regardless of age, no-one has the maturity to cope with a baby until it is learned by experience personally. That is why it becomes new parents to rely on any experience that parents, their parents, have to offer. But that does not make the new parents mature in themselves. It may give knowledge but knowledge is not experience in their case. That comes by learning to go sleepless, to wash bums, to feed, to dress and most of all to love that little creature like you've never loved anything else. One can be fifteen and do it just as one can be forty and do it.

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    Default Re: What age is 'too young' to have children?

    Depends on the person.
    Some people are mentally about 47 aged 15.
    Some people are emotionally still in single figures in their 50s.
    I know a 40-year-old who is about to add to the gene pool who I would not trust with the wellbeing of frogspawn.
    I have a personal theory that people should work their way up to children with pets. For example : start with a goldfish, then a rabbit, move onto a dog and then progress to a human Having pets in childhood doesn’t count because other people pick up their .
    Besides, anyone trained by a dog of moderate intelligence ought to become a functional and well-balanced individual within a couple of years.
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