- Family and Parenting»
Avoid Early Fatherhood: A successful Marriage Needs Maturity
Most young men hope to marry when they become matured. But the real bone of contention is; when is the right time to marry? And after marrying most couple would want to have children. When is the right time to have children? Entering fatherhood at an early age can be detrimental, if the young man is not truly ready, willing and able. Taking care of child, needs money for feeding, clothing, and health requirements. Becoming a father is a lifelong job. Having a family means accepting emotional responsibility, showing compassion when resources are dry, and thinking of your family before yourself. The consequences of early fatherhood are numerous, and can be discussed under the following subheadings: financial implications, security, lack of experience, loss of independence, loss of youth, social consequences, and emotional immaturity.
An adage in my village says that the only the only thing that should not happen early is death. So it is good to start whatever you want to do early in life including marriage; but a young man who wants to become a father must realize that the family’s financial responsibilities will fall more heavily on him than his wife. In this hub I am assuming that before a man dreams to become a father, he must be married. It has been said times without number that marriage and bearing of children are not easy task, the husband and wife contribute to its responsibilities and joys. The struggle many young men undergo trying to make their income fit their expenditures is a common knowledge.
Many men, who cannot feed their families, rarely have any respect at home. Therefore before a young man decides to marry and to bear a child or children, he must consider his financial strength if he is to save himself from embarrassment. “Are you going to be sitting there all day reading the newspapers, studying what kind of job would suit your swollen ego?” an wife asked her jobless husband, glaring at him angrily. Another shouted down her jobless husband, “When you’re bringing home some of the money to feed your family, then you can talk.” I don’t see how these men will be happy in their home.
The child will suffer terribly if a young and unprepared father is not up to the challenges of being a father; because due to inexperience, the young father may be unaware of the financial implications of fatherhood. Taking care of a pregnant woman and a child when he/she is eventually delivered require a lot of money. Immediately a child is born he/she requires clothing, shelter, health care and food; be it breast milk or formula food. If the child is to be fed with breast milk, his/her mother must be adequately fed and this requires money. If he/she is to be fed with formula food, it equally requires money for the purchase of the food. As the child grows, he/she will need education. Without adequate resources, the child is put at great disadvantage. While commonsense and/or culture may dictate that the young father does the right thing and support the mother and the baby, the realism of being a father may be beyond the scope of understanding of the young father. Things can only work out smoothly if his parents are financially stable and are willing to come to his aid with financial assistance.
A child needs to be brought in a congenial environment that provides adequate security. Psychologists have said that two things contribute to how a child behaves: hereditary and environment. Therefore it is the duty of the fathers to provide shelter in a good environment for their wives and children, but young fathers who have no experience may be ignorant the amount of security they need to offer their children. Potential consequences of early fatherhood may involve detrimental hazards, such as the father leaving when the responsibilities become overwhelming. The provision of a good shelter for the mother and child may beyond his financial capability.
Caring is sometimes a hard thing to do especially when one is too young. Newly born baby cries a lot in the night and the child needs the undivided attention of his parents which is not complicated by the teenage parents who don’t even know what to do with their own lives. I hear you say I will employ a nanny. Fine! But do you have the resources to do so? In most cases, older parents are more financially stable and have planned for their children.
Lack of Experience
Young men often make mistakes because of inexperience. In the throes of infatuation some of them believe that their young girlfriends are the love of their lives due to infatuation and if they not marry the girls they will never find their other half again. The implication here is that as some of them grow wiser, they discover that their feelings have changed but they cannot withdraw from the relationship because the responsibility for the child will continue regardless whether the relationship continues or not.
It is natural that as a young man matures his priorities changes. His ambitions in life change, and certainly his taste in women also. The danger here is that these changes may jeopardize the security of the child if the young man decides to break up with his/her mother. Children can form a sort of bond between their parents but not in all cases. A broken relationship creates resentment and an atmosphere which is not conducive to raise a child. This doesn’t always happen, and some young men stay in love with their partners eternally.
Loss of Independence and Opportunities.
In order to meet up with his responsibilities, a young man without adequate funds who becomes a father, will inevitably loss his independence. This could lead to the development of feeling of resentment against the child by the young father who feels trapped. Parenthood requires sacrifice and those who are young may feel that the sacrifice of their independence is too great a sacrifice and start to react negatively.
Even though early fatherhood may enhance a young man’s social status in some societies, boys who become fathers early, also may loss opportunities for education and future economic advancement that could have been possible due to higher academic attainment. Inevitably, those of them who leave school to support their new families have mortgaged their future.
Loss of Youth
Young father may find it difficult to do things his mates do because of the responsibility of taking care of his young family. When he sees other young men their age enjoying themselves, he feels jealous that he can no longer have the luxury of going out and enjoying his life as he used to. There are certain economic realities to face. Of course, the mounting needs of his child are there to consider coupled with that of his wife. One of the consequences of early fatherhood is that it can threaten the well-being of the relationship in which the child is raised. Another consequence of early fatherhood is that at a time when he should be going out and discovering who he is and what he wants out of life, he has to put his own wants and needs away for the benefits of his child and wife.
Parenting is not an easy thing. It requires a lot of patience and perseverance which some restless young minds are not ready for. Marriage is forever. You don't want to be jumping into it without adequate preparation. Young people tend to confuse love with lust. Lust comes quickly and eventually burns itself out. Love has to be built slowly.That is why marriage failures among young couples are frequent.
The psychological requirement of a child may be beyond the capacity of the young father who has not yet matured sufficiently to deal with the day to day problems of having a child. The children of teenage fathers are in most cases adversely affected by the level of support provided by these young men. Many possible social consequences of teenage childbearing include its impact on criminal activities in order to meet up.
Where the family fails to provide economic sustenance for the young parents and their child, early childbearing imposes a cost on society. The costs, rarely quantified, include the cost opportunity of under-educated and impoverished young people who become parents too soon.
It takes a lot of skill and patience to help a child through the learning process and all the elements of growing up. Even adults make mistakes let alone young men. Being a young father complicates matters since the father has little experience of life or practical background to fall back on.
One of the worst consequences for a young father is the constant disagreement with his equally young wife which could lead to domestic violence due to emotional immaturity. The relationship of relatively young and two young people with different backgrounds and beliefs without reasonable bleeding of personalities add up to a recipe for disaster. This is why young people who get into relationships too quickly often break up or feel forced to stay together for the sake of their child. This causes the child to feel unloved, unwanted and unsettled; and the young parents feel resentment toward the child they are too young to have and to care for.
Being a young father is not an easy experience. Many of them succeed, though many fail due to lack of experience or knowledge and financial wherewithal-
+. With parental support and assistance, it is possible to give a child a solid foundation to build their lives upon, though it needs some work, devotion and learning to become a responsible and loving father. The consequences of early fatherhood do not end with the young man, but go beyond to impacts on the life of the young wife, the child himself and the extended family who contribute their quota in making the child’s life as secure as it can be.