Thursday, April 11, 2013

Ahhh the Male Baby Boomer and His Testerone - or is it EGO! Or is it the Generation That is Saying 50 is the New 30?

I have had several male Baby Boomer (BB) client who are having children for the first time in their 50's.  It is provocative; powerful; daunting; challenging; exciting.  There are also the apprehensions; concerns; doubts; social pressures, and medical questions that surface in session.  It is nothing new that men and women are facing a paradigm in roles and life circumstances making this a vocal discussion of whit and reflecting psychological parenting.  There is that shock value New Yorker article Is She Just Too Old For This addressing whether a woman at 50 is too old to bear children.  The celebrities with the money and resources can pull it off.  Can we, as everyday HMO customers accomplish pregnancy so late in middle-aged life? Insurance and HMO/PPO's aside, is this new trend a part of the male drive to propagate and if so is there a financial and intellectual discussion that is
tracking along the primal instinctual drive. Are we thinking about the financial and Life Cycle stages of the family?  What is clear is that the numbers of fathers having children after 50 are significantly increasing. Pop culture and art are driving reality.  Evidenced by Steve Martin, Sir Elton John and others.  Or is reality and the audience driving the celebrities?  We know as in any discussion there are negatives and positives to creating (or designing) children later in life.  The former with health risks for the conceived youth, such as autism and mental illness resulting from the aging parents. The biological time clock might have a new meaning.  Now we know men have a time clock as well. The latter is the discussion of begin more present and wiser in your parenting choices as one ages (assuming the parent has a high Axis V, GAF score).  So, the question is really for the Male BB whether it is his Ego at play in having children, or is he at a station in life where he can truly offer something to someone for the next 25 years?

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  1. I believe a more relevant discussion would begin with the reality that the father may well pass away prior to the child's formative years. More likely that his demise will come before he has had the chance to pass on the valuable fathering skill need for the young adult. How likely would it be that a father of 65 or 70 would run the bases with his son or swim laps with his daughter. These bonding moments are ones that all fathers should experience but also, more importantly, ones that are mandatory learning, growing and maturing experiences for the child.

  2. These are excellent discussions ... That is what makes this discussion so provocative. What is the correct answer (or parent) for the child? Each family is unique. Some fathers are the perfect age for swimming laps and running bases but the fathers are not in the emotional space to give quality time. Some parents are able to give quality time but their health prevents them from an active-type bonding. As this is a growing trend the best thing that must happen is more discussion on the subject; showing mindfulness; and building support systems and community support. Not all fathers at 50 are good parents AND not all fathers at any age are good parents. Any thoughts?

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