For most men, the prospect of fatherhood jolts them out of their Carefree Romeo days. While some dads may not receive the impact during pregnancy, their world goes topsy-turvy the moment they find themselves holding the newborn. The transformation does not end there. The journey to parenthood after that continues to have a greater impact upon men’s sense of purpose and meaning in life than any other transition that they face. The impact is greater on younger dads because they are still kids themselves. They are faced with this challenge when they still in the process of building their own sense of identity. Fatherhood also comes to them at a time when they are at a crucial stage of building their career and finances.
Fatherhood, therefore, leads younger dads to end up thinking about their lost sense of independence. They now feel fenced in by the responsibility of fatherhood. Secondly, because they may not have yet built a strong financial base, they are faced with the prospect of making ends meet with the increased expenses.
Older dads tend to worry before childbirth, fearing complications like autism, which are more likely for older dads. However, once the child is born and the baby is normal, older dads are better prepared to take on the role of a dad. They are at a stage when they have mastered the skills of interdependence, and therefore have no fear of losing their independence. Older dads also tend to be better off financially, having concentrated on their career in their younger days. Their focus, therefore, is usually on how they can be great dads to their kids.
Researchers have found that older dads are more involved in child rearing compared to younger dads. This provides a great advantage to kids. It has been found that children of involved dads mostly do well in life. Such kids usually have greater self-esteem, more confidence, greater sense of security, better ability to handle stress, and the ability to empathize. Older dads are also more nurturing, warmer, and more generous with affection. Some of their gentleness may be do to a drop in testosterone levels, but regardless, they are mellower, more relaxed, and appear to be much calmer in their parenting. Researchers have also found that older dads are three times more willing and more likely to share in the daily child rearing tasks, including diaper changes, feeding the toddler, and putting the kids to bed.