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Young dad, old dad

 
Marlon Abrahams contemplates a teen dad’s plight.
By Marlon Abrahams

Pic: Robyn Abrahams

Article originally in Parent24
Is it better to have kids when you’re young? Or when you’re old? I guess there are arguments for both scenarios. Personally I’m glad I had my kids in my 30’s. Though, when I do the math now, I realise that by the time my youngest daughter is in her twenties, I will be well into my 60’s. My mom turned 65 on Valentine’s Day and she’s as fit as a horse so I’m hoping that her genes will sustain me in my twilight years. Actually dad was in pretty good shape at around 65 when he accidentally moved on.

Anyway the thing that made me write about this was that incredibly sad story about the 13-year-old boy who became a dad in the UK. I mean bloody hell! Did you see the photo in paper? This kid looks like an 8-year-old and during the interview they asked him how he would provide for the kid financially. His response: “What is financially?”

I’m not one to harp on the negative. Suffice it to say that I put the blame squarely on his parents. And we can debate that all day; however, what I felt was an incredible sense of empathy. This little boy’s life has changed forever. I hope and pray that it will be for the good, and that somehow the little baby will also prosper.

I remember a management course I attended several years ago. One of the questions dealt with morality and judgement. The facilitator told us about a woman who had I think 6 or 7 kids. She was a prostitute and was suffering from syphilis, and she was pregnant again. She was barely able to provide for her kids. The question was, should she abort the child or not?

Whatever your answer to this question is, the identity of the child made you think really hard about judging people. It turns out the woman decided to keep the baby who grew up to be one of the world’s greatest composers, Beethoven. Being a parent means we have to make daily judgement calls to safeguard and raise our kids. The influences out there are immense and often overwhelming. The only thing I find which keeps me sane, is to empathise with others and be very, very grateful that my kids chose me as their father. And that’s what I really believe, kids choose their parents.

I just hope that the little baba in the UK chose wisely. Anyway, good luck to the little Brit dad. So is it better to be young enough to go partying with your kids one day, or does the experience of a well-seasoned adulthood make for better parenting?

When do you think is the best age for becoming a father?

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