Date TimeAugust 19, 2019
VoiceIf you’re currently battling toddler tantrums, tweenage tears or teenage tempers, don’t panic: the best times are yet to come.
Having Children Does Make You Happier – But Only Once Theyve Moved Out
It might not feel like it when you’re sleep deprived, skint and knee-deep in a messy bedroom, but having kids does make you happier – once they’ve flown the nest. 
Previous studies have linked parenthood with a decline in happiness, but the latest research looks at the impact on individual wellbeing once children have left home. And it’s good news. 
All that hard work pays dividends and parents report higher levels of wellbeing than non-parents once their kids move out, according to the study led by Heidelberg University in Germany.[Read More: Parents speak honestly about why they regret having children]
The researchers measured links between parenthood and wellbeing by analysing data sets collected across Europe, which totalled around 55,000 people. 
The study, published in the journal Plos One, focused on people over 50 and measured parenthood by the number of children alive and the number of resident children [children living at home] – including fostered, adopted and stepchildren. 
“We find that children are positively correlated with wellbeing and lack of depressive symptoms,” the researchers said. “However, our analyses show that this overall positive association is due to children after they left home: we find negative effects for the number of resident children. 
“While there are some differences in specific correlations, the overall picture is very similar for male and female respondents.” We find that children are positively correlated with wellbeing and lack of depressive symptoms.The research also looked at marital status and found that marriage is “consistently positively correlated with wellbeing and lack of depressive symptoms”. The researchers said this, coupled with the findings on children, suggest the importance of social networks for happiness as we age.  
“As stress associated with balancing the competing demands of childcare, work and personal life decreases, once people get older and their children leave house, the importance of children as caregivers and social contacts might prevail,” they said. 
“Taken together, our results suggest that social networks may be important for wellbeing and mental health in old age. Spouses, partners and children are often the basis of long-lasting social networks, which can provide social support to elderly people.”READ MORE: Is The 'Hapless' Dad Stereotype A Self-Fulfilling Prophecy? Since Having Children I Go 'Out Out' More Than Ever Grown-Ups Should Know Better Than To Criticise Greta Thunberg – Or Any Kid With A Passion

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