As a father, when your children grow and develop, you will need to adapt and change. Here are the six stages of the fathering life-cycle that you should be aware of.
Stage 1: Attachment (0-1 year)
At this stage, you begin to bond with child and adapt new routines e.g. lose sleep, gain new purpose, etc.
Stage 2: Idealism (2-6 years)
At this stage, you set ideals and priorities about your fathering commitments.
Stage 3: Understanding (7-12 years)
You begin to introduce your child to the world e.g. grades, sports, etc. However, you may lose the simple ways of relating to your child and lose control over what is influencing him/her.
Stage 4 : Enlightenment (13-18 years)
At this stage, you may undergo mid-life transition as your child goes through puberty (generally the lowest level of fathering satisfaction). Through active listening and staying involved, you can help your child and yourself negotiate this turbulent period.
Stage 5: Reflection (19-30 years)
As your child becomes independent, you will reflect on your efforts. Interestingly, your child is open to advice and help. You must be ready to pitch in as your child gets firmly established.
Stage 6: Generativity (30 years and older)
This final stage focuses on your contribution to next generation. As your child has his/her own children, you will find new ways of relating to your granndchildren.