8 subtle signs a man is ready to be a father, according to psychology

Deciding whether or not to become a parent is one of the biggest choices you can ever make in your life.

After all, it’s not reversible. Once you have kids, you’re a parent for life.

And raising them to be happy, well-adjusted, responsible members of society is one of the most challenging – but also most rewarding – things you can possibly do.

So how do you know you’re ready? Even if you really want the kids, that doesn’t mean you’re ready to raise them properly.

Fortunately, there are some signs that can indicate a man is ready to be a father – according to psychology.

Maybe you see these signs in a friend, relative, or romantic partner. Or maybe you’ll recognize them in yourself.

Either way, they point toward a man who is ready for the massive responsibility of being a dad.

1) He can handle responsibility

Few things you can possibly do in life involve taking on more responsibility than being a parent.

After all, raising kids means you’re taking on responsibility for the crucial early years of another person’s development. Maybe more than one, if you have more than one kid.

So a man who is ready for fatherhood is a man who can take that awesome responsibility and not buckle under its weight.

“When a father is active in a child’s life, particularly when they have a healthy relationship, that child grows up with a more positive identity and greater self-esteem,” says psychotherapist Nicholas Hardy.

“When a father is very present, this offers consistency and gives a child much-needed stability.”

Absent fathers, on the other hand, can do enormous damage to a child’s development.

That’s why responsibility is one of the key indicators of a man who is ready to be a father.

Is he responsible in his regular life? Does he seek out new responsibility at work and, even more importantly, take responsibility for his own actions day to day?

If so, he may be ready to take on the even greater responsibility of raising a child.

2) He’s emotionally mature

Having children opens you up to an entire emotional world that you really can’t access any other way.

So you’re going to need to know exactly how to deal with some very powerful emotions if you want to successfully raise children.

That’s why no man is ready to be a father until he is emotionally mature.

“Emotionally mature people are self-aware, attuned to their emotions, and know how to manage them,” says licensed counselor Eri Nakagami.

“Emotionally mature individuals continually work on various emotional and cognitive skills to help them cope with stressful or adverse situations and reach successful resolutions to life’s challenges.”

Signs of emotional maturity include:

  •       Empathy;
  •       Being able to recognize and share your feelings;
  •       Being flexible and open-minded;
  •       The ability to form secure relationships;
  •       Taking responsibility for your actions;
  •       Setting strong boundaries for yourself and respecting the boundaries of others.

These behaviors are what allow a person to get beyond their own emotions and interact with the world as it really is, not as they might wish it to be.

That’s an ability that is crucial for anyone who wants to be a good father.

3) He isn’t afraid of commitment

He isnt afraid of commitment 8 subtle signs a man is ready to be a father, according to psychology

This one might sound obvious. But it’s important not to overlook the obvious when you’re asking yourself if someone is ready to be a father.

Becoming a parent changes your relationships.

For one thing, it introduces a new relationship in the form of your bond with your child, a relationship that ideally will last the rest of your life.

For another, it makes your existing relationships even more important.

The relationship you have with anyone you intend to have children with is going to be put under lot more strain, and even if the relationship doesn’t work out, having kids with someone means you are tied to them more or less forever.

That’s why a man who is scared of commitment is not ready to be a father.

“Over the years as a clinical psychologist and researcher, I’ve found that guys have eight common fears of commitment, all of which have their roots in childhood and adolescence,” writes psychologist Diana Kirschner.

These fears are:

  •       Fear of rejection
  •       Fear of being controlled
  •       Fear of not being lovable
  •       Fear of not measuring up
  •       Fear of being found out
  •       Fear of trust
  •       Fear of growing up
  •       Fear he can’t make the right decision

These eight fears can shape a man’s life, and if he can’t deal with them and overcome them, he is in no position to become a father.

4) He invests in his relationships

It can often seem unromantic to think of a relationship in the same way you would think of a business opportunity. But the truth is, both need investment if you want them to grow.

When it comes to a relationship, it’s not money you need to invest.

Instead, you need to invest time and effort in any relationship if you want it to be everything it can be.

Mature men know this and will take the time to invest in their relationships.

Psychologist Carol E Rusbult developed what is now known as the investment model of relationships.

This model states that part of what determines your satisfaction with a relationship is how much you invest in it.

The size of the investment you make demonstrates your commitment to a given relationship.

The theory points to both extrinsic and intrinsic investments.

Extrinsic investments include material things such as buying a house with someone, while intrinsic investments are less tangible things like spending quality time with a partner.

If a man understands that any relationship needs investment, he may be ready to be a father.

5) He thinks of the future

Virtually nothing makes you think about the future as much as having children. After all, children are in some ways an investment in the future themselves.

Therefore, any man who is ready to be a father needs to be capable of thinking about and planning for the future.

You can see signs of this long before a guy makes the decision to have kids.

Does he think about how his career will progress in the future?

Does he think about where he might want to live, and who he might want to be in a relationship with in years to come?

If he does, it’s a good sign that he has the stability and planning to be a good dad.

6) He has excellent communication skills

Raising a family requires, among many other things, the ability to communicate. Not only with any children you might have, but also with anyone who is helping you to raise them.

That’s why a man’s communication skills can be a good predictor of his readiness to be a father.

In their study “Positive communication in health and wellness,” researchers Margaret Pitts and TJ Socha point out that positive communication “is not defined as the absence of negative verbal and nonverbal communication, but rather the presence of positive, enhancing, and facilitative talk and gestures.”

In other words, communicating well with others requires thinking not just about the words you use, but also about your tone, your gestures, and everything else that goes into communication.

A man who knows how to get his point across in a way that others will understand, without getting overly emotional or upset, is a man who is on his way to becoming ready to be a father.

7) He is secure in his career

More and more people these days are putting off having children until they are financially secure.

One result of that is that people are having kids later and later in life.

But although kids can be extremely expensive, you don’t need to be rich to start a family.

However, you do need to at least have some job security.

Supporting children will require about every penny you can put your hands on.

But what’s more important than how much you make is how reliable your income stream is.

If a man can hold down a job over the long term, it’s a good sign he is ready for the responsibility of supporting a family.

8) He’s willing to sacrifice

Finally, as any parent will gladly tell you, having kids means sacrificing.

“As anyone who has stayed up through the night with an ill child knows, parenthood is all about self-sacrifice,” writes psychology professor Steve Taylor. But also, “parenthood can help us to develop higher qualities that we retain for the rest of our lives.”

If a man is willing to put his own desires aside for some greater good, it’s one of the most important signs that he may be ready to be a father.

Ready for fatherhood

The responsibility of being a parent isn’t for the fainthearted.

There are several signs that can tell you a man is ready for the challenge.

Keep an eye out for these signs that can tell you he’s ready to be a dad.

Picture of Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase

Isabella Chase, a New York City native, writes about the complexities of modern life and relationships. Her articles draw from her experiences navigating the vibrant and diverse social landscape of the city. Isabella’s insights are about finding harmony in the chaos and building strong, authentic connections in a fast-paced world.

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