We often talk about generations of “babies raising babies” in the context of a young mother raising a baby, who later becomes a teenage mom herself. However, what about “junior raising junior”, as in a young father raising a son, who becomes a teenage-father?
An article published at the Yale Office of Public Affairs & Communications (http://opac.yale.edu/news/article.aspx?id=7208) reports that the Yale School of Public Health found sons of adolescent fathers are nearly twice as likely to perpetuate the cycle of young parenthood and become teenage dads themselves. While the deleterious effects of teenage motherhood are well studied, often talked about and greatly feared, teenage-fatherhood if often viewed from a much different perspective. However, like teenage-motherhood, the decision to become a father unleashes challenges for both the father and the child.
Those on the outside looking in often ask, “How could this happen? Did the child not learn the lesson watching the struggles of the parent?”
The article gives some indication as to why the cycle continues. ““The mechanism of this intergenerational cycle remains unclear. However, research suggests that parents are a major factor in shaping adolescent attitudes and often communicate their values and expectations through their behavior,” Sipsma said.”
In other words young dad, your actions speak louder than your words.
In upcoming posts we will explore how to be a Teenage CornerstoneDad. It can be done, it is possible and I am a testimony to this fact. I became a father at 19 years old, while working a “deadend” job and still living with my parents. Suffice to say, it cost me far more than I would have ever imagined.
It will cost you far more than what you or any around you can imagine as well. Understand that I am not just talking about money. But, financially you will pay an enormous price as well.
We will also focus on the possibility of a tremendous payoff. This could be the opportunity of a lifetime for you to step up and be the man that you needed to learn how to be, albeit a bit early and before marriage.
If you are a teenage or even a single-father in your early 20’s, I would like to hear from you. Feel free to post your story in the comments section.