Will science show that children of older moms are more creative?

Will science show that children of older moms are more creative?

I’m a “older mom”. I got preggers for the first time when I was 42, and delivered my beautiful child when I was 43. My pregnancy was generously labeled “AMA”, which for all you youngsters or men or generally not-in-the-know-about-child-bearing people out there means “Advanced Maternal Age”. Nice huh? (Don’t even get me started that a year later I was called Pre-Menopausal…I had an infant at home!) But really, all AMA means is that I was older than usual and could have some complications such as an old, worn-out uterus or … oh! TMI? Ok. Gotch’ya. Changing subject….

You might not be aware that American children have been declining in creativity since the 1990’s according to the “Creativity Crisis” described by Kyung Hee Kim (here and here among others).

Well, surprise, surprise.  For several decades we as a society have been suppressing children’s freedom to ever-greater extents, and now we find that their creativity is declining. – Psychology Today 

The theory is that helicopter parenting limits the ability of children to try different things and experiment.  Creativity starts with a problem and it’s up to us to see what works to fix it. If mommy and daddy say “no” all the time, or always show their child how to do things the “right way” then the child never gets a chance to play, experiment, and “see what happens”. Experimentation is a toddler’s life, let’s face it. Gravity? You mean I tip my cup and juice pours out all over the floor — cool! I don’t like juice all over the floor either but if toddlers can’t try things, eventually the ideation process gets interrupted. (No wonder light-colored apple juice is so popular, LOL).

In addition, the evaluation process of creativity is interrupted too because if the parents’ idea is to be perfect the first time, or they only seem to accept some sort of perfection as the outcome then what hope do children have to ever really meet that requirement. Boom: None! So eventually, children learn to shut themselves down because they learn to harshly evaluate the outcomes of their ideas and activities.

Enter the older mom. Research shows that AMA Moms stress less, are more positive, and more flexible (Hells yea)!

“We know that people become more mentally flexible with age, are more tolerant of other people and thrive better emotionally themselves. That’s why psychological maturity may explain why older mothers do not scold and physically discipline their children as much,” says Professor Dion Sommer.

“This style of parenting can thereby contribute to a positive psychosocial environment which affects the children’s upbringing,” he concludes.

And one woman agrees , writing that she would have felt resentful and impatient if she was a mother when she was younger, which could translate into helicopter parenting (“just do it right the first time!”) or shutting her child down (“don’t do it at all!”) both of which could decrease creativity. So I wonder if, over time, the parenting style of AMA Moms would lead to great creativity in their children.

At the end of the day, it’s not your age that matters here — it’s really parenting style. Any parent can have a flexible, patient, positive style – at any age. On the other hand, I don’t mind if you give us AMA Moms a little extra love on this one. 🙂

Oops gotta go. I hear the LO waking up!

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