Are you considering entering the life of fatherhood at a young age?
To some, this seems a scary proposition. Others see tremendous benefits in early fatherhood.
I was 35 when I had my first child, which is well over the average age for first-time fathers (just over 27).
In fact, since 1988, the average age for first-time fathers has gone up by over two years (from 25.3 to over 27.5)
Why did I wait so long?
There are two main reasons:
- I hadn’t met my wife yet!
- I wasn’t ready for a child until I was 35
I can, however, see several benefits that being a young dad can bring both to you and your kids.
And let’s be clear, becoming a father was the best thing I have done in my life!
Let’s consider some of the benefits of early fatherhood.
8 Benefits of Being a Young Father
1. More Energy
This is a huge benefit! You will know exactly what I mean when your baby moved into the toddler years.
It is no secret that the older you get, the less energy you have.
Assuming they look after themselves, young fathers have a ton more energy than older dads.
When you take your kids to the park, you will be able to run around chasing each other far longer!
2. Younger Parents
Young mothers and fathers are more likely to have younger parents, which means:
- They also have more energy
- They can relate more to you, and your kids
- You won’t mind dumping the kids onto them whilst you enjoy a day off!
Some parents are 18 (even younger) when they have their first child. If their parents were also that young, you could have a couple of 36-year-olds waiting to look after your bundle of joy!
3. Younger Grandparents
With younger parents come younger grandparents.
Not only does this give you another babysitting option, but it also means they will be around long enough to watch your kids grow into adults, and that is a real bonus for you and your kids.
4. Early Parenthood ‘Get’s it out of the way.’
I spoke with a couple of friends of mine last week, and they were in their early twenties when they had their three children.
Now they are in their early 40s, and all the kids have flown the nest!
They are so happy to have (in their own words) ‘got it out of the way early.’ Now they are living as a couple again, enjoying life, having raised three awesome kids.
Sure – it would have been tough raising three young kinds all within years of each other, but they got through it, and now they are reaping the benefits.
I took some time to remind them that they might soon be grandparents!
5. Early Responsibility
Responsibility is a vital life skill.
When I was in my early twenties, I was not a very responsible person at all. Not with myself or with money.
Having kids forces you to become more responsible, which has tremendous benefits when developed early.
6. Good Time to Start For a Larger Family
If a larger family is in your life plans, then starting young is vital.
Not only will you need a tremendous amount of energy, but you will want a break when you get into your early 40s!
7. Easier to Relate
Early fatherhood means there is a much better chance that you will relate to your child as the age difference will not be as big as it would be if you were an older dad.
That’s not to say that older dads can’t relate to their kids, but the closer the age gap, the easier it will be.
8. You Are Still Young Enough To Go Out Partying With Them
This had to be on the list!
Image entering early fatherhood and having your first baby at 20. In 21 years, you will be 41 and will be ready to go out partying with your kids!
Of course, it does depend entirely on whether or not your child wants you to come out partying with them!
Waiting until you are 30 to have your first child means you will be 51 when they are old enough to go out partying, and dragging your 51-year-old dad out will be totally embarrassing.
What is Early Fatherhood?
Young fathers are men who have fathered a child before they hit 24 years old.
There is a distinction between early fatherhood and dads involved in teenage pregnancy.
When you become a father in your teenage years, you will need additional support to decrease the chances of impacting your education and help you through the early part of being a dad. That is why you need a strong support team around you.
Support Each Other
Early parenthood is tough on both mom and dad, so you will need to step up and support each other.
Here are five tips for supporting each other through early parenthood:
- Take regular date nights. Don’t forget that you are a couple as well as parents. You must spend some time together as well as spending time with your kids.
- Listen. I can’t emphasize it enough, one of the best and most supportive things you can do in life is listening. It’s free and super easy to do!
- Open up. If you are feeling low or struggling through early parenthood, make sure you speak with each other and discuss what you are struggling with. Help each other.
- Create a schedule. Being a new parent is tough, physically and mentally. Work with each other to create a schedule for feeding, especially during the night. If mom is breastfeeding, there are opportunities to sleep during the day as long as dad takes care of what is needed during mom’s nap.
- Give each other a break. Similar to the tip above, but this is more relevant when both parents are awake. Take the baby out for a walk on your own to give your partner some time to clear their headspace. We all need time alone to re-group, so ensure you give each other this.
- Watch out for depression! Mom and dad can both succumb to depression after the birth of a child. Read this WebMD article to learn about the signs you should be looking out for.
Ensure that you take time out for yourself, you don’t want to end up regretting fatherhood.
As you can see above, entering early fatherhood has many benefits compared with older dads.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t put off having kids until you are older. I waited until I was 35 and wouldn’t change a thing! Sure, it’s been tough on my ancient bones, and my back really hurts when I step up from building LEGOs, but I get through it!
Enjoy your parenting life, and ensure you spend a lot of time bonding with your baby!