Ruben spoke to us about his experience of being a young dad and how people react to young dads.
Here are the highlights from Ruben’s vlog about how people react to young dads:
‘I quickly recognised that I don’t think there was much expected of me other than just being an absent father…’
Read Ruben’s story:
My name is Ruben. I became a dad when I was 22 and the mother of my child at the time was 18. I think she was 19 years old when she gave birth.
Being a young dad, people treat you differently simply because you’re a young dad.
People are not used to or familiar with seeing young people who have babies together. I feel like that’s why people treat you differently. You’re expected to be a dad who just makes a baby and disappear.
When I first became a dad, I quickly recognised that I don’t think there was much expected of me other than just being an absent father.
Compared to if you were in your mid-30s, you might see someone of that age walking down the street with their partner more frequently than you would see a young person. So I think some discrimination of being a young parent comes from that element. So you’ve got the aspect of this being a young male. And then you’ve got the aspect of your age as well playing a part.
So my experience when I became a dad I think, I believe, a typical one is lack of engagement from services and anyone. So I found that I wasn’t able to engage with services. Because I believe they had that perception that being a young dad you might not be so interested. Which then made me then I guess, put up my own barrier in terms of engaging with services. So having that barrier just limited my engagement and support I could have had from any of the services available.
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