Alec Baldwin to Be Old Dad, Perhaps a Better Parent

PHOTO: Hilaria Thomas, Alec Baldwin, and Ireland Baldwin attend the Group For The East Ends 40th Anniversary Benefit And Auction at Wolffer Estate Vineyard, June 23, 2012, Sagaponack, N.Y.
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At 60, Arthur Schwartz sees many of his college friends talking about retirement and grandchildren, but he is energetically immersed in the busy lives of his two young daughters, aged 9 and 7.

"I hang out at school with parents in their 30s," he said. "It changes your perspective on life.

This is round two for Schwartz, a New York City lawyer who has adult children from a first marriage and two more with a much younger wife.

However, becoming a father in his 50s, he now enjoys the patience and perspective of maturity.

See Photos of the Oldest Celebrity Dads

"It was different, for sure," Schwartz said about raising his first family, a 25-year-old son and a 22-year-old daughter, when he was in his 30s.

"I didn't spend enough time with the older ones," he said. "I worked until 8 or 9 at night. ... I worked one day a weekend and sometimes two."

It's also take two for comic actor Alec Baldwin. Just this week, at 54, the same age as Schwartz when he started a family anew, Baldwin announced to the TV show "Extra" that his 28-year-old wife, Hilaria Baldwin, is expecting their first child.

Schwartz said his reaction to Baldwin's news was, "Good for him, but he better slow down and make time for [the baby] -- and don't run for [New York City] mayor."

Baldwin has a 17-year-old daughter, Ireland, with his first wife, Kim Basinger.

He once had a strained relationship with his daughter. In a 2007 voicemail, he famously called Ireland "a rude, thoughtless, little pig."

"Alec Baldwin is getting second chance in life to do it right this time," said Fran Walfish, a Beverly Hills psychotherapist and author of "The Self-Aware Parent."

Other celebrities, like 68-year-old Michael Douglas, have publicly said they made better fathers later in life. His 34-year-old son, Cameron, from a first marriage, has struggled with drug abuse. But today, Douglas reportedly enjoys a close relationship with his children with Catherine Zeta-Jones -- Dylan, 12, and Carys, 9.

Men with younger children say it keeps them "feeling young, alive, and mortal," said Walfish. "It is a distorted belief that, unconsciously, is an antidote to fear of dying. Having a younger woman and kids keeps the lid on their anxiety about their demise."

But on the positive side, older men in second marriages often make better parents.

"Many are more available, having developed successful careers, and also wish to make up for being too unavailable the first time around," said Michael J. Diamond, a professor in psychiatry at UCLA and the author of "My Father Before Me."

New York City lawyer Arthur Schwartz with his children from a second marriage, Jordyn 9, and Devin 7, at Disneyland.

Schwartz said he looks back and sees himself in the Harry Chapin song, "Cat's in the Cradle," with its searing lyrics about an absent father: "But there were planes to catch and bills to pay. He learned to walk while I was away."

"I wonder if I did the same thing and it echoed in my head," said Schwartz.

In a truth-telling moment, when his second wife gave birth to their youngest, his then-14-year-old daughter screamed at Schwartz: "You had so little time for me when I was a kid, and Jordyn [her half-sister] came along and there was less time, and now there's no time for me."

Today, the older children love the younger ones, but it had its "rocky moments," said Schwartz.

The science on older fathers is mixed. A 2012 study published in Nature magazine, found that advanced age can cause mutations in sperm, increasing chances for a child to develop autism, schizophrenia and other diseases.

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