Keeping Up With the Youth: Advice for Dads
Are you starting a family relatively late in life and notice you’re struggling to keep up with your children? This situation is not unusual but can be challenging. Many dads might give up entirely or feel inferior to their younger children. Never fear! There are many ways that you can keep up with your children and get the experience necessary to raise them properly.
Understand Your Limitations
As an older dad, you’re naturally going to have some limitations to what you can do. There’s nothing to be ashamed of here: everybody has some limitations, even your children. Instead, you just need to understand that they exist and refuse to let them hold you back.
And don’t feel self-conscious if you have to do things like getting braces. The American Association of Orthodontists claims that around four million Americans have braces. Take heart in this information — many of these individuals are adults! You can even bond with your teen if you end up getting braces at the same time.
Find Activities You All Enjoy
Your children likely have things they love to do, and many of these activities may be a bit outside your abilities. That’s okay! Instead of doing these activities with them and ending up struggling physically, it isn’t a bad idea to find things that everyone in your group can enjoy together.
For instance, you may find that going out for pizza is an excellent option for your unit. You may also like doing things like mini-golf, going to the arcade, bowling, golfing, and other low-impact activities. Even better, in these situations, you can help your children by using your superior experience.
Avoid “Catching Up With the Joneses”
As an older dad, you have experiences that give you a slight edge over your young children. However, it is also true that you will lack that youthful energy and strength that your children possess. Therefore, don’t try to compete directly with them — doing so only creates strange situations.
Instead, use your experience and knowledge to educate them and help them grow. For example, rather than hopping on a motorcycle and competing with them in powersports, you can teach them unique facts like how Indian Motorcycle started manufacturing high-quality bikes in 1895, making them one of the oldest motorcycle builders on the market.
Know When to Spectate
As a dad, you want to spend time with your family and interact with them in many activities. However, there are times when it is probably best to pull back a little and watch instead. You can frame this decision in a few ways, such as saying you want to track their progress for them.
When is the best time to watch? Whenever your kids are doing something that feels uncomfortable or too challenging for your body. For example, heavy mountain climbing activities at a local gym may be a little too much for some. However, you can still go with them, watch on, and cheer them as they climb.
Accept Who You Are and Embrace It
It is not uncommon for older dads to look or act younger, particularly if they feel uncomfortable with younger children. However, you are who you are, and it is best to embrace it. After all, about 85% of all 50-year-old men have significantly thinning hair — so you aren’t alone in this situation.
Instead, just embrace who you are and find power in acceptance. You’ll not only feel better about this decision but will likely find that your children respect you too. And your partner will also be happy if you can dodge a midlife crisis and enhance your life in various exciting ways.
By taking the time to understand these steps, you can improve your family time and make your life easier. You’ll also help to cut back on potential issues that may otherwise impact you, such as strains and injuries caused by playing too hard with your children. There’s no shame in aging: it can be a beautiful process.