Older Fathers and Birth Defects
Men are physically able to father a child much later than women can normally conceive. But, the risks increase with the age of the father.
It has long been known that older women have a higher chance of giving birth to a baby with Down Syndrome. This occurs in less than 1 in 1,000 women under 30, 1 in 400 at 35, and 1 in 6 by age 50.
Researchers now say that the same can be said for older fathers. Compared to fathers between 20 and 29, the incidence of Down Syndrome increased by 15 percent in men over 35, 30 to 40 percent in men over 40, and 300 percent higher in men over 50.
Older men also have a higher risk of fathering children with Achondroplastic Dwarfism, Marfan Syndrome, or Myositis Ossificans.
New studies also show that older fathers are far more likely to have children with schizophrenia than men under 25. This increase is 200 percent higher in men between 45 and 49, and 300 percent higher in men over 50. The age of the mother appears to have no influence.
The risk of autism also increases with the father’s age but not with the mother’s age. Autism is 5.75 times more likely among children born to men ages 40 to 49, compared with those born to men under 30.
In the old days, it was natural for men to marry before the age of 20, and women were even younger. Both sexes are most fertile at around 24. Taking into account the fact that most teenage pregnancies occur on the first “try,” it is probably more accurate to say that both are most fertile from puberty until the age of 24. Physically, it does make sense to marry before or during the period of peak fertility instead of 5 to 15 years after.
When to Hug Your Child
When your child does something wonderful or looks adorable is when you usually give them a big hug. You might also give them a big hug just for waking up in the morning.
The time that too few parents think to hug their child is after punishing them. But, that is when a hug does the most good.
Little kids are much smaller than parents. We loom over them. Just imagine how strong words, a harsh tone, or yelling would feel to you if it came from someone taller than the ceiling. There is usually not a need to be as loud or as harsh, and we can usually get the point across with nicer words. Either way, a hug goes a long way toward reassuring a child after a reprimand of any sort. It says that you still love them, even though you didn’t love what they did.
Hugging does not take away from punishment or discipline. Instead, it lets the child know that they can come to you after they make a mistake or do something wrong. What a great life lesson. Older kids don’t make bigger mistakes, but they often add to the problem by trying to hide what they did or trying to fix it themselves.
Anyone can love a child that never does anything wrong and always looks so cute. They need to know that you also love them all the other times.