The State of Dad’s Mental Health

The State of Dad’s Mental Health

Historically, when we hear the term “Post-Natal Depression”, our children’s mothers will come to mind. On the contrary, “Postnatal depression is a type of depression that many parents experience after having a baby. It’s a common problem, affecting more than 1 in every 10 women within a year of giving birth. It can also affect fathers in the same matter” (NHS, 2018). When a woman gives birth to a child, her mind and body goes through many changes such as, physical, mental and psychological changes which are mostly associated with postpartum depression. Postpartum Depression is defined as follows; “postpartum depression is moderate to severe depression in a woman after she has given birth. It may occur soon after delivery or up to a year later. Most of the time, it occurs within the first 3 months after delivery” (Ryan James Kimmel, 2018). Treatment for both parents are a major priority. Both mother and father need a support system to help them through these trying obstacles during the beginning stages of parenthood.

When a child enters the world, it can be challenging for both parents to maintain their sanity.  Fathers are susceptible to the same depressions and challenges that mothers face. However, the father’s struggles because our society historically has frown upon a man being too sensitive or a man assimilated nature to hide his feelings and emotions. In Society, a man is taught to be strong, to be the protectors; and showing emotions can be considered a sign of weakness. On the other hand, women are more likely to express her feelings and emotions. These trivial ideas need to change because the practice of unproven idealism can be devastating to our community particularly in our homes.

                                     How Depression Affects Fathers

According to a 2010 data from 1993 to 2007, approximately 4% of fathers experience depression in the first year after their child’s birth. By a child’s 12th birthday, about 1 out of 5 (21%) fathers will have experienced one or more episodes of depression. Younger fathers, those with a history of depression, and those experiencing difficulties affording items such as a home or car were most likely to experience depression (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20819960).

       What are the signs that mom or dad is dealing postpartum or post-natal depression?

  • Feeling Helpless or Discouraged
  • Feeling Anxious or Distressed
  • Feeling Tired or Burned Out
  • Having Sleep Problems
  • Lack of Interest In Sleep
  • Lack of Confidence
  • Feeling Irritable or Annoyed/Easily Offended
  • Feeling detached or unconnected to others

 

Dear Fathers,

There are many dads that feel the same way as you are feeling right now – You are not alone! Be open and honest about your feelings and do not hide behind the famous sayings “I’m fine” or “I’m okay”. It is important that you as a man do not let your pride make you feel ashamed about you feelings – We are all human! Talk to someone you trust and avoid holding in feelings.

It is safe to say that our children are the most important human beings in our world. Keep in mind, your children need you in their lives; taking care of our children is a necessity, quality time is most important factor. The way to be the best father you can be is taking care of yourself, eat healthy and exercising daily. If we take care of ourselves, the mother and children will follow suit.

As A Village (Community), What Can We Do To Help

  • Raise awareness:

Let fathers know that they are not alone. Remember, it takes a village.

  • Make sure to ask the dads, are they doing OK (Dads be Honest!):

Let’s not assume dad is doing well because he is saying otherwise.

If a close friend or family member has children, ensure that they are aware that dad may need help!

  • Join a community group for Fathers and children:

At www.AVILLAGEOFFATHERS.com , we strive to create conversation for fathers by fathers to help invoke better men and families.

 

What A.V.O.F. has to offer:

  • BLOG
  • Weekly Father 2 Father Instagram Live Chat)
  • Events & workshops

 

Thank you and as always: It takes a Village!

Article was written by Derek Bernard (founder, AVOF) and Troy Hughey (AVOF Editor and Law & Political

Edited by Troy Hughey (AVOF Editor and Law and Law & Political Correspondent)

 

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The Delicacies of The Blended Family

The Delicacies of the Blended Family

Our feature article this week will focus on the Blended Family. A Blended Family, according to dictionary.com is “a family composed of a couple and their children from previous marriages” (Dictionary.com, 2019). In situations like this, the father is no longer with the mother and the children are forced to move on with your wife. For the first time as a father, you’re living apart from your children and must learn to deal with the challenges of co-parenting.

As previously mentioned, the Blended Family (also called a step family) is a family unit where one or both parents have children from a previous relationship, but they combined to a family. For example, the most popular blended family is from the 1970’s hit T.V. show “The Brady Bunch”, where the series revolves around a family that combined six children:

blended family pew research center

According to the Pew Research Center “Many, but not all, remarriages involve blended families. According to data from the National Center for Health Statistics, six in ten (63%) women in remarriages are in blended families, and about half of these remarriages involve stepchildren who live with the remarried couple” (Kim Parker, 2015). Furthermore, “Hispanic, black and white children are equally likely to live in a blended family. About 17% of Hispanic and black kids are living with a stepparent, stepsibling or a half sibling, as are 15% of white kids. Among Asian children, however, 7% a far smaller share are living in blended families. This low share is consistent with the finding that Asian children are more likely than others to be living with two married parents, both of whom are in their first marriage” (Kim Parker, 2015).

 

The Delicacies of Structuring a Blended Family

Stepfamily Success:

Every family is unique and so is its success rate. However, studies suggest about 60 to 70 percent of marriages involving children from a previous marriage fail. This is about twice the percentage of overall marriages ending in divorce, which sits around 30 or 35 percent (Meleen, 2018). Another key to stepfamily success is part of what helps some stepfamilies be more successful rests on the children’s perceived bonds with both parents inside the home. Adolescents who believe they have strong bonds with both their own mother and their stepfather in this type of family feel a greater sense of family belonging than kids who don’t view both of these household relationships in a positive light (Meleen, 2018).

  • The role of the Step-parent: Should he or she be a disciplinarian or supporter of biological parent).
    • Tip: The two parents must acknowledge the challenge!
    • Note: the older the child gets, the harder for a step-parent to play disciplinarian (they may saying the deadly sin that no step-parent wants to hear “You are not Mother” or “You are not Father”
  • Conflict of discipline between parent & step parent. The parents should not hash out problems in front of the children. This can lead the children using that as an opportunity to divide and conquer.
    • Tip: Always speak to the other parent with respect
    • Tip: The parents must have a united front
  • Supporting children during their transition. Living between two household can tough. The transition days can tough. The children may feel resentment towards the step-parent. They feel lost in the new family structure.
    • Tip: Allow the children time to adjust to new setting

 

  • Building individual relationships are important. The step-parent should set aside with the step children. This is a chance to find common interest and create a bond with each other. This can lead to a strong foundation for a strong and loving relationship a step parent and stepchild.
    • Tip: Find activities that unify the step parent and step children can enjoy together with the rest of the family

 

A final thought from Derek Bernard:

There are many challenges that blended families face in today’s world. It takes times to blend everything together to make all the ingredients work. I can speak from my experience being part of a blended family. I have two children, one of which is from a previous relationship. In the beginning of our new family, we had our ups and downs, things were not all smooth in the beginning but with time our family is getting better. Every day is new day and new challenges await for our blended family. We will meet these challenges with great success and I wish all blended families success!

Please Note:

Since this topic is very important to many families, we will cover more articles on this very topic.

Please subscribe to our Email List, comment below, like, and share!

Remember, it takes a village!

– Derek Bernard

 

Article was written by Derek Bernard (founder, AVOF) and Troy Hughey (AVOF Editor and Law & Political

Edited by Troy Hughey (AVOF Editor and Law and Law & Political Correspondent)

 

References

Dictionary.com. (2019). Blended Family. Retrieved from Dictionary.com: https://www.dictionary.com/browse/blended-family

Kim Parker, M. R. (2015, December 17). http://www.pewresearch.org. Retrieved from Parenting in America: Outlook, worries, aspirations are strongly linked to financial situation: http://www.pewresearch.org/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2015/12/2015-12-17_parenting-in-america_FINAL.pdf

Meleen, M. (2018). Blended Family Statistics. Retrieved from family.lovetoknow.com: https://family.lovetoknow.com/co-parenting/blended-family-statistics

 

 

 

Incarceration Impacts Multiple Generations: Families Affected By Prison

Today, urban communities across the nation continue to deal with the epidemic of children of color raised in fatherless homes. Many factors contribute to single-parent households but one factor, in particular, has had a damaging effect on families of color, Mass Incarceration, and parenting from prison! The focus of this article will explain why and how urban communities arrived at this period in time and seek to find solutions to this longstanding problem.

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, “An estimated 809,800 prisoners of the 1,518,535 held in the nation’s prisons at mid-year 2007 were parents of minor children or children under age 18. Parents held in the nation’s prisons—52% of state inmates and 63% of federal inmates—reported having an estimated 1,706,600 minor children, accounting for 2.3% of the U.S. resident population under age 18” (Lauren E. Glaze, 2008). Additionally, “Of the estimated 74 million children in the U.S. resident population who were under age 18 on July 1, 2007, 2.3% had a parent in prison (table 2). Black children (6.7%) were seven and a half times more likely than white children (0.9%) to have a parent in prison. Hispanic children (2.4%) were more than two and a half times more likely than white children to have a parent in prison” (Lauren E. Glaze, 2008).  Additional information from the Bureau of Justice Statistics can be found in the article: “Parents in Prison and Their minor children

The following statistics were taken from The Sentencing Project: Number of Parents in Prison, 1991-2007 (Project, 2007).

  • The number of children with parents in prison increased by 80% between 1991 and 2007.
  • 1 in 15 black children, 1 in 42 Latino children, and 1 in 111 white children had a parent in prison in 2007.
  • Black children are 7.5 times more likely and Hispanic children are 2.6 times more likely than are white children to have a parent in prison.

Here is a listing of some of the opportunities missed as a direct result of Mass Incarceration (Project, 2007).

  • Compared with the general population, parents in prison are more likely to have problems that may place children at risk for social and emotional problems
  • 9% of parents in prison were homeless in the year before the arrest leading to their current imprisonment.
  • 20% were physically or sexually abused prior to their imprisonment.
  • 38% do not have a high school diploma or GED.
  • 41% have infectious medical problems (including tuberculosis, hepatitis, HIV, and sexually transmitted diseases).2 o 57% have current mental health problems.

How we got to this point

In 1971, former U.S. President Richard Nixon declared a war on drugs. The connection between crime, drugs, and race are very significant. In the 1970s, African-American was arrested 2x times as much as Caucasian Americans. Since the inception of the War of Drugs, African-Americans have been arrested 5x more than their Caucasian counterparts. Ironically, on average, Caucasian people commit more crimes than their African American counterpart. This revelation comes from the unfair drug sentencing laws target African Americans.  In 1986, the Anti-Drug Abuse Act was signed into law by U.S. President Ronald Reagan. “This act mandated a minimum sentence of 5 years without parole for possession of 5 grams of crack cocaine while it mandated the same for possession of 500 grams of powder cocaine. This 100:1 disparity was reduced to 18:1, when crack was increased to 28 grams” (Wikipedia, 2017).

In 1994, former U.S. President Bill Clinton signed the 1994 Crime Bill in the law which, expanded the death penalty, encouraged states to lengthen prison sentences, and eliminated federal funding for inmate education. The Crime Bill also created longer mandatory sentences for nonviolent drug crimes, unjustly targeted to Blacks and Hispanics offenders. African-Americans and Hispanics were more likely than white people to be stopped by police.  In addition, the 1996 Welfare to Work Program, forcing mothers to work for their government benefits. Due to the increase of more fathers in prison and mothers having being forced to work, children were left with no alternative to parenting other than to raise themselves which them to be more susceptible gang activity and street violence. Conclusively, the anti-drug and crime laws created a revolving door between poverty and prison.

I am convinced the “War on Drugs” in 1971, “Anti-Drug Abuse Act” in 1986 and the “1994 Crime Act” all played a symbolic role in the mass incarceration of American citizens; particularly in the African-American and Hispanic communities. Our homes are broken and in desperate need of repair due to the absence of the male figure in our homes. Our mothers are forced to play both roles but every boy and girl needs to be in a two-parent household. I encourage fathers to play a bigger role in their children’s lives in the community surrounding them. The better our fathers become, the better the communities will be.

Article was written by Derek Bernard (founder, AVOF) and Troy Hughey (AVOF Editor and  Law & Political Correspondent)

 

Please subscribe to our Email List, comment below, like, and share!

Remember, it takes a village!

– Derek Bernard

 

 

References

Lauren E. Glaze, L. M. (2008). Parents in Prison and Their Minor Children. U.S. Department of Justice: Office of Justice Programs.

The project, T. S. (2007). Parents in Prison. Washington D.C.: The Sentencing Project.

Wikipedia. (2017). Anti-Drug Abuse Act of 1986. Retrieved from wikipedia.org: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Drug_Abuse_Act_of_1986

Listen The AVOF Father 2 Father Conference Calls via YouTube

The topics discussed during this call by the fathers were:

Note: 2 mothers joined our conference call

  • What was you father like? (how did the relationship you have with your father, influence how you view parenthood)
  • Investing in your children’s future (life insurance, banking/investments, college plan and more)
  • Time vs Money (Whats more important to you….more time with children and less money OR more money and less time with you??????????????

Continue reading “Listen The AVOF Father 2 Father Conference Calls via YouTube”

4 Reasons and Other Factors Why Dads Are Important (Too)!!!!!

Moms are nurtures and create the foundation, with love and care. They are also the backbone of the family. However, DADS are important too, and here is a few fun facts

1 – New fathers involvement and caring for their child in the first days of child’s life can have a positive long-term benefits

2 – Higher quality father-daughter relationships is a positive factor against engagement in risky sexual behaviors.

3 – Fathers are critical to the emotional welfare of their children; they are caretakers and disciplinarians.

imagejpeg_05861020802388614042.jpg

4 – An active father provides an important foundation for his children and their ongoing security, stability and development

 

Here are more factors about fatherhood: 

Source: https://www.fatherhood.org/fatherhood-data-statistics

Mothers are no more important than fathers in a child’s life. There are numerous of reasons for men to be absent in their children lives, however, a father’s presence can have a major positive impact on his children. We are taking road to encourage men to be involved more in their children lives.

We would like to hear more reasons from why fathers are important too. Feel free to hit the like button and comment below….

 

Please subscribe to our Email List, comment below, like, and share!

Remember, it takes a village!

– Derek Bernard