An older man who recently celebrated becoming a father again has sparked anger after making a bizarre demand of his adult son and his family.
In 2017, researchers from Stanford University revealed that the average age of a new father in the US had risen 3.5 years since 1972.
Based on an analysis of close to 170 million birth records, researchers said the average father is now 30.9 years old when their first child is born, with around 9 percent of newborns’ fathers at least 40 years old.
There are, of course, positives and negatives to having an older parent. A mature father may be more settled and financially stable than a younger one, but they may struggle to keep pace with the physical demands of parenthood as their child grows older.
Older dads can sometimes come with baggage too, whether it’s emotional, physical or the presence of a pre-existing family from a previous relationship.
This can prove especially tricky if a man is approaching parenthood at an even later stage in life, like the one that featured in a viral Reddit post shared to the platform by NewBabySister.
According to the social-media post, written by the 34-year-old son of a man who became a father again at the age of 56, problems have arisen around the baby girl’s position in the family.
The father says that his son’s 9-year-old daughter calls the baby her “aunt.”
“She doesn’t like it,” the son wrote. “She’s at that age where she’s starting to want to feel grown-up, and she hates when my dad says stuff like ‘say hi to aunty.'”
The man said he has “repeatedly” asked his father not to do it and spoke to the baby’s mom, who said she “didn’t have a problem” with the child not being referred to as his daughter’s aunt.
“I get along really well with his girlfriend,” the son said. “So this has nothing to do with me not liking his girlfriend or my new baby sister.”
Despite this, his father is refusing to relent, and “insists” that’s how she should be referred to. The pair have been arguing about it ever since and, according to the son posting to Reddit, his dad recently “snapped” at him over his objections and told him he “can’t tell him what to call his own baby.”
Those following along on social media, however, disagree with that assertion.
Sea-Shelter-7298 commented: “I think your daughter understands, that the baby is technically her aunt, but it’s just really weird to try to enforce this in your daily life.”
“It’s a complicated situation that the 9 year old is having trouble with,” AikoG84 wrote. “It wouldn’t kill anyone involved to call the baby something that makes the 9 year old comfortable.”
Zombieepanda commented: “He’s being weird about this and you’d think a grown man would put a 9 year old’s feelings before himself,” while Hadtosignuptofothis wrote: “Your dad’s being very weird here. Why does he feel the need to make a kid call an infant an aunt? That said he’s 56 with a newborn so he has bigger issues.”
Babypanda416 wrote: “She’s literally a newborn. she’s not gonna care about a title. Raising them like cousins is best because they aren’t going to have a typical Aunt/niece relationship.”
Newsweek reached out to NewBabySister for comment. We could not verify the details of the case.
If you have a similar family dilemma, let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org. We can ask experts for advice, and your story could be featured on Newsweek.