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Counsel for Young Fathers: What Every Young Father Must Know

Tips on how to be a young father

Here's one you may not have expected: for better or for worse, it never ends.

Barring tragic circumstances, you will never not be a father again. Your children may be in their 20's (as mine are), 40's or 60's they are always your children and if they need help you will be summoned. If there is not enough love in their lives, you will be summoned. If something goes horribly wrong, you will be summoned. This is not necessarily reciprocal - they have their lives to lead.

If this sounds gloomy, it isn't. My grown-ups (I still think of them as my babies, but I'm not allowed to say that) give me pride, joy, a sense of achievement and yes, sometimes, sorrow, though not despair to date.

Other things to remember:
  • your children owe you nothing, they may choose to help/respect/love you, but they are under no obligation to do so. You are.
  • Your children are not your property. You are privileged to look after them for a period and that will change you into a better person. But they belong to themselves.
  • A girl is every bit as good as a boy, who, in turn, is every bit as good as a girl. Don't try and choose, don't think you'd rather have one rather than the other.
  • You are as necessary to them as their mother. This is not to belittle the fabulous and difficult role of the mother, but you must remember this if things get difficult in your lives together.

Gloom over... they're also great fun at times and I certainly wouldn't go back.

Opinion of Bruce Bracken

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