Teenage Fatherhood

It’s normal to have a lot of thoughts and feelings when becoming a father, especially if you experience teenage fatherhood.


Finding out you are going to become a father can be a confusing but exciting time in a young father’s life.


While all these feelings are normal, it can be overwhelming trying to understand what to expect, finding resources available in your community, and learning ways to be engaged with fatherhood.


Here at Tribe of Dads, we’ve put together a guide for adolescent fathers and ways they can step into the role of teenage fatherhood. 


Quick Links

Understanding Teenage Fatherhood
How Teenage Pregnancy Affects The Fathers
Resources For Teenage Fathers
How Can a Teenage Father Provide For His Child Financially?
Ways a Teenage Father Can Engage With Their Child
A Teenage Father’s Role in Parenting


teenage father holding child

Understanding Teenage Fatherhood

Any potential worries or concerns about becoming a father, especially during your teenage years, are completely normal.


If the pregnancy wasn’t planned — and statistically only 15% of teenage pregnancies are planned— you may be feeling these emotions even more intensely.


Like any big change, this will require a major adjustment period whether the pregnancy was planned or not.


Your situation is likely unique when becoming a new dad.


You may or may not have a romantic relationship with the mother of the child.


The good news is that you aren’t alone in this experience. There are resources available that can aid efforts to engage and serve young fathers in your community.


These resources can help you get ready to become a great father regardless of age or experience. 

pregnant teen mother and teen father

How Teenage Pregnancy Affects The Fathers

Teen fatherhood is difficult. It may be completely different for teen fathers as it is for teenage mothers, but they both have difficulties.


Young males who become fathers during adolescence and young adulthood are simultaneously navigating the complex realities of parenthood and their own personal growth and development.


These demands and responsibilities can frequently heighten stress and undermine their ability to solidify their own sense of identity while nurturing their child. This becomes even more stressful when attempting to maintain an effective co-parenting relationship with their child’s teen mother. 


There is strong evidence that fathers’ involvement with their children is associated with positive cognitive, social, academic, and emotional outcomes for children from infancy to adolescence.


While young parents should try to not focus on feeling inadequate because of their potential lack of knowledge, it’s okay to understand that you have things to learn.


Parenting education has often been cited as one of the most important needs of young men by professionals.

Teen Mother and Teen Father with Their Baby

Resources For Teenage Fathers 

Parents are one of the most important influences in a child’s life. However, many parents face significant challenges that affect their ability to provide a stable, nurturing environment that children need to thrive.


Those who find themselves becoming a young parent face even more additional challenges.


Interventions to support young fathers’ engagement with their children are more likely to achieve the desired outcomes they are striving for when there is a focus addressing multiple risk factors for teenage fathers.


If you’re looking for a program for teenage fatherhood, look for programs that can equip you with these skills:

  • Sex Education
    • It may seem obvious, but learning more about sex education after your first child is still crucial to self-development
  • Self-sufficiency
    • Helps promote independent and stable living by teaching young fathers to develop basic self-sufficiency skills and life skills
  • Physical and mental health
    • Day-to-day functioning and long-term health can be helped with physical and mental health care
  • Social integration
    • Get a father’s full participation in their child’s life by helping address unhealthy and antisocial behaviors
  • Housing stability
    • Independent living can be helped by finding affordable housing in a safe neighborhood, continued housing stability
  • Financial stability
    • Financial literacy can be attained with practical information to help young fathers work toward financial stability by facilitating educational avenues and employment at a livable wage
  • Parenting skills
    • To facilitate effective parenting skills and positive engagement between a father and a child, they will give accessible and relevant resources
  • Healthy relationships
    • Invest time to develop a greater sense of self-worth and value healthy relationships with partners, children, peers, family, and the community 
  • Awareness of legal issues
    • Get young fathers to participate and engage in parenting by equipping them with accurate information about policies and laws that may impact their lives

Young Father Playing With Child

How Can a Teenage Father Provide For His Child Financially?

Having a child can be expensive and a teenage father may be trying to figure out how to provide the essential basics.


Younger parents may struggle to make ends meet as they may still be in school.


Typically, the better your education, the more likely you are to get a better paying job that will help you to support the baby. Although this isn’t always the case, focusing on a minimum of finishing high school, or an equivalent, is crucial for keeping your career potential more open.


Making the choice to care for yourself such as achieving good education will help you care for your child in the long run. Ways to help yourself include:


  • Finishing high school or completing your GED
  • Getting vocational training (or even an apprenticeship for a skilled trade)
  • Going to college if possible


Outside of a good education for yourself, you’ve got options to start earning more money for the financial support of your new baby. Some jobs require less experience upfront in exchange for earning higher pay as you become more experienced.


One of the best jobs (short-term or as a career) to provide financially for yourself and your new addition is a career in sales. Why is a career in sales ideal?

  • An entry-level sales position requires little to no experience
  • You are paid based off of effort (sales is a numbers game; you will get better the harder you work)
  • Income is usually uncapped
  • Most of the time you can have flexibility in your schedule to care for your child
  • Can be part time
  • Most only require 18 years of age


If a career in sales isn’t for you, look into a trade. Trades such as plumbers, electricians, HVAC technicians, roofing, remodeling, and other trades will often hire people with no experience as an apprentice or another entry-level position.

They can make that hire because they can train you to perform the job duties their way and you’re not bringing bad habits along with you. Another great benefit of working for a trade is they typically provide great health care for yourself and the baby.


Additionally, as you gain experience in that trade, you can advance in that company or start your own company.


young father caring for child

Ways a Teenage Father Can Engage With Their Child

Earning money is not the only way to help provide for your child. However, if you are working long hours for a lower pay it may affect the amount of time you are able to spend with your child.


You can provide for your child with love and support by spending time with them, helping with childcare, and being a good role model.


Even if you are no longer with your partner or the mother of your child, it is still possible to take an active role in your child’s life. It’s easiest to do this if you both can get along and agree on how you will be involved.

A Teenage Father’s Role in Parenting

There are many roles a teenager can fulfill during fatherhood.


Providing opportunities for the child and teaching values and morals such as right from wrong can build a strong foundation for a younger father to bond with their child. 


Now that you have been able to learn more about teenage fatherhood, make sure to check out our article on a father’s role in parenting!

Additionally, make sure to join our Facebook Group to connect with other dads from all over the world.


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