A family is the closest people one can have in their life and rely on. Starting a family is a whole other thing where one beings from the bottom and build it, until it is perfect. Building or starting a family is the phase where couples get married and have their first born. This is something that almost everyone dreams of having one day. However, there are different opinions when it comes to a certain point. Some opponents assume that starting a family in the 20’s is the better choice. However, many proponents believe that the perfect age to start a family is in the 30’s. There are many advantages of starting a family in the 30’s which are experience is passed down, providing a better life for the children, lower divorce rates, in addition to; defined roles.
According to Masarik et al. (2013), a few opponents assume that the age difference between parents and children is one of the disadvantages of getting married in the 30’s. When parents get married later in life and have a child; there is a big gap between their ages. This range creates problems like miscommunication because the mentality of children and their parents and very different. Also, the norms change every year which creates a problem because when the parents are way older than their kids; disputes occurs. The parents usually find it hard to understand or adopt to the new trends that their children take on. For example, my friend’s parents got married in the 30’s and a few years later they gave birth to her. When we want to travel together or have a sleepover; he parents refuse. They always refer to ‘in our time’ these behaviors were unaccepted. Hence, they are unable to adopt the new customs. However, this assumption is not to be taken seriously as it is still undeveloped and false. Starting a family in the thirties does not lead to miscommunication as not all parents are unable to change their mentality. Many proponents have faith that parents care a lot about their children, so they try to come to terms with them. Compromising is usually the solution that happened when opinions differ between both sides. There are no parents that do not change their minds just to see their kids happy, so they try to satisfy them. A great example is when my cousin got married in his 30’s and he had rules that he always abides to. When he had a little girl she would want to go out with her friends and stay out late. She would also want to buy the latest trends in fashion, but he would disagree. By time, he realized that he is keeping his daughter isolated from the rest of her friends. So, he started agreeing about many things until he became used to the new norms.
As suggested by Poppel & Nelissen (1999), spouses whom are 30 go through a common pressure due to their late marriage. This pressure is immediate birth, as they do not have time to wait until they decide to bear a child. Having a child is the dream of many parents as they want to watch their baby grow and raise him/her, but couples also need to live the experience of ‘newlyweds’. When people decide to start a family in the 30’s they are forced to give birth immediately, so they could watch their children grow old and take care of them. They miss out on all the fun of travelling together and going out on dates to experience and explore new places and things. They are obligated to stay home and take care of their child and raise this baby well. Some opponents propose that there was a couple who were interviewed that set an example of this issue. These couples were married in their 30’s and had a child as soon as they got married. They were asked what they would want more than anything and what the things they regret doing. Their answers were that they would love another chance to travel and have a second honeymoon where they can go out on dates every single night and have no responsibilities. They said that they regret having a child as soon as they got married, but that they had to so they would have the chance to raise him. Again, this point is immature and cannot be relied on. Lots of proponents are certain that starting a family in the 30’s doesn’t necessarily mean that all fun is gone. Parents are still able to experience the marital life when they have kids. There are many ways that parents can have a baby and still be able to have fun and do everything they dream to have. For example, when my sister got married in her thirties and had a child she never felt regret. At first, when her baby was still small and unconscious she would leave her with us once every week and go out on a romantic date with her husband. Also, when her baby grew up she would hire a nanny or call us to stay over for a while; and she and her husband would travel for the weekend somewhere new and have the time or their lives.
Lastly, a few opponents presume that different parenting styles is a reason of why starting a family in the 30’s causes problems. Because thirties is the age of independence, each person has a perceptions of how they would want to raise their child. Here is where the problem occurs as perceptions clash and disputes happen. Each parent has a different parenting style that they would want to adopt when having a baby. Usually, a man’s point of view is filled with rules and enforcement when it comes to raising up a child. On the other hand, mothers tend to be more lenient and forgiving with their kid. To illustrate, there was once a couple who have been married and had their first baby in their thirties. At first, the baby was still unconscious, hence; the raising process was still not taking place. When the child grew, they started having fights about the way to set rules and styles of parenting. Unfortunately, they didn’t come to a solution and the consequences were suffered by their child. Because he had mixed emotions sent to him by the most important people in his life; he was mentally confused. A lot of proponents have confidence that this matter is not true and in fact is an advantage. “Independence” in spouses who are in their 30’s positively affects parenting styles. This happens where both parents have excellent ways of raising and because they are mature or independent enough; they mix them together. A little bit of discipline when it is needed and a forgiving way when it is necessary. To exemplify, my parents were married and gave birth to me in their 30’s. My dad’s work is very attentive and requires high level of discipline, so that’s the way he wanted to raise me. On the other hand, my mother is very kind and forgiving when it comes to dealing with people; so she had in mind that she would treat her child just like that. When they had me, they sat down together because they didn’t want me to grow up confused about what is the right way for me to live my life. They created a way of discipline that would suit them both and always make me happy and pleased. (Lehrer, 2006)
Atienzo et al. (2014) pointed out that having a child in the 30’s is actually the best choice as it creates many advantages. Protagonists believe that the first advantage is the experience that is gained when bearing a child happens later in life. Both parents live through many situations and face many problems in their life and from these experiences they learn and gain knowledge. The 30’s is assumed to be the age where one has all the know-hows and capabilities in order to pass them down. The children of these parents are highly successful in life as they receive plenty of advice about all aspects in life. With every situation faced, the child is able to go to his parents and ask what should be done; the parents at that age are able to give a sufficient answer that ensures the well-being of their baby.
The second reason most proponents see as a positive and important point of initiating a family in the thirties is; providing a better life for the children due to the presence of money. When couples wait until they build a career and have enough money to support a family; this makes the lives of their children a lot better. Money is an essential when it comes to starting a family where it provides many essentials. The children’s basic needs like shelter, food, and social life depend on the stability of income that one or both parents have. To become educated properly one has to get into a respectable school, which is not cheap. A high class school provides more than good education for the children, but also the standards of classmates they have their will be high enough. Parents would want their child to have friends that are raised well and have respected family, so by getting them into a good school; they ensure that. Also, as a satisfaction for the kids; their parents will be able to buy them all the things they want in life. Clothes, toys, and even cars when they grow up are some of the basic things that a child ever dreams of having. A well-paid job is usually attained in the 30’s and that’s when a person should have a child. (Mastekaasa, 2006)
Many protagonists believe that lower divorce rates is another encouraging reason for one to initiate a family in the thirties. Divorce rate rises because of immaturity in parents. To stay away from the matter they have to be mentally stable. This is important for their children more than it is for them. A child shouldn’t be put in a position where his/her parents are separated. They have to think about the sake of their child before taking this horrifying solution. Luckily, the thirties provides the right mindset where parents avoid this behavior. For example, there was once a thirty year old couple who had just had their first born child. They started facing many problems due to unrelated factors and the issues got worse. If they were not developed enough to realize that this baby is the reason why they cannot leave each other; they would’ve asked for a divorce. But, they put their child first and had to stay with each other despite their disputes. As the years passed by, the problems went away and they had a normal happy life with their baby; without the need to torment the baby for a mistake that was their fault. (Poppel & Nelissen , 1999)
Masarik (2013) pointed out that defined roles is the last pro when it comes to originating a family in the thirties. Defined roles is when parents know who exactly should do what. When couples have a baby there are many chores added to their list. Fortunately in the 30’s these chores and well-known and distributed among the two spouses. Buying the necessities of the child is obviously the father’s responsibility as he is the main source of providing money in the family. For a mother the roles are different and a bit more bulky, as she has to do lots of things. A mother is expected to feed, change diapers, and always be there for her baby. The father is expected to help too in many other things, as long as there is a balance and both parents know their roles. This is so important where it makes it easier for the parents to live their life and it is very common among married couples when they are in their 30’s. To clarify this point, a story about my teacher is excellent. Because she had to work at school in the morning and she couldn’t leave her work, her husband found a job that suits this timing. Their baby was taken care of where they had a schedule of when each parent should abide to their duties. They both worked and they both had roles, however it worked perfectly. This perfection was a result of defined roles where it is common in the 30’s.
As a conclusion, initiating a family is when spouses decide to have a baby and raise him/her together. Nevertheless, there are altered beliefs when it comes to agreeing on the proper age to start a family. A few antagonists presume that initiation of a family in the 20’s is the ultimate option. On the other hand, various protagonists believe that the right age to start a family is in the 30’s. There are many benefits of initiating a family in the 30’s that are sharing experience with the children, having enough money to ensure a good life for them, making the relationship work for the sake of the child, and also; defining the roles that need to be done.
Atienzo, E. E., Campero, L., Herrera, C., & Lozada, A. L. (2014, October 25). Family Formation Expectations and Early Pregnancy in Mexican Adolescents. J Child Fam Stud, 2509-2520. do:10.1007/10826-014-0053-y
Lehrer, E. L. (2006, September 1). Age at marriage and marital instability: Revisiting the Becker-Landes-Michael hypothesis. J Popul Econ, 21, 463-484. doi: 10. 1007/00148-006-0092- 9
Masarik, A. S., Cogner, R. D., Martin, M. J., Donnellan, M. B., Masyn, K. E., & Lorenz, F. O. (2013). Romantic relationships in early adulthood: Influences of family, personality, and relationship cognitions. Personal Relationships, 20, 356-373. doi: 10.1111/j.1475- 6811.2012.01416.
Mastekaasa, A. (2006). Is Marriage/Cohabitation Beneficial for Young People? Some Evidence on Psychological Distress among Norwegian College Students. Journal of Community & Applied Social Psychology, 16, 149-165. doi: 10.1002/casp.854