Youth interrupted…by teenage pregnancy
You are barely a man, you are still trying to navigate your thoughts and emotions…and the least of your concerns happen. You are in your school uniform and part of your academic report is that you are expecting a child. Of all the mistakes you’ve ever made this one is a non-negotiable. You can’t say sorry and it is all forgotten. You now have full time responsibility.
As a young boy, barely a man yet, you have to grow up, and bring up another person. Despite the stereotypes, there is increasing evidence that teen fathers want to be (and are) involved with their children, though this involvement may not always include financial support.
The chances of employment for teen dads versus adult dads…you can guess…very slim. Even when they do, Teen fathers earn less over time than men who have children at an older age.
It’s funny that when teenage girls get pregnant the first thing parents say is that “YOU’RE going to finish school and then get a job to take care of the baby. The first thing teen fathers hear after revealing they got a girl pregnant, is that YOU WILL GET A JOB AND TAKE CARE OF YOUR RESPONSIBLITY.
Let alone the responsibility, there is now the burden of an interrupted youth and life. This could be the reason why boys run when they hear they are about to be fathers. When they don’t run, is there support for the teen father?
Things Young Fathers ought to know:
- Guilt is going to be a constant friend: You always imagined yourself as being a certain kind of parent, but when a child comes when you are least expecting it; you learn to make do with what you have. As a result, you may feel guilty for not being able to provide for your child the way you have always wanted to. It’s only natural for you to want to overcompensate for the lost time and opportunities in the child’s later years.
- Responsibility is not an option: Whether it was a mistake or not, you have to step up to the plate the minute you find out that you are an expecting father. The financial responsibility is small compared to the emotional and psychological support needed. Presence as a parent extends way beyond the pocket.
- The influenced becomes the influencer: Yes you may not have it all together yet, but you need to have enough of it in check to set a good example for your child. Children do as they see rather than as they are told – you have no option but to be exemplary.
What are those things you wish you knew about fatherhood as a young father?