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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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”

What Was Your Father Like Pt. 2

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“What Was Your Father Like” Part II

Over the years I’ve observed a lot of parents try to fill voids in their childhood by recreating with their children what they wish their parent’s had created with themselves.

A lot of times parents attempt to help their children by giving them lots of material things, because they felt they missed out, by not having it themselves. This can create a reverse effect of what parents are actually hoping to achieve.

For instance, My father didn’t buy me the sneakers I wanted growing up. Therefore I will buy my children all the latest sneakers to hit market.

There are many ways to evaluate and reflect on this circumstance that leads to a healthy impact on your parenting skills.

Everyone has a different experience with their father. Here is a few things we can reflect on:

  • A. What your father did or didn’t do.
  • B. How your father made you feel.
  • C. How can you recreate that experience in your parenting relationships with your children?
  • D. How you can reverse a negative effect, so your children have a positive and healthy relationship with you.

 

Feel free to like and comment below. We would like to hear your thoughts and views on “How was your father”

Click the link to read “How was your father” pt.1

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.

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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

 

What Was Your Father Like? (part 1 of 2)

Everyone can attest to their own experiences with their father. No two relationships are alike.

How great of an impact would you say your father-son relationship has made on your views of fatherhood?

If I had to describe my father, I would say that he is a pretty cool guy. Many like his style, he’s sharp, articulate, well dressed, and smooth and very likable.

He is definitely the type of guy women marvel, and love to bring home to meet their parents. I could even go as far to say that in the eyes of a log of women, he’d make the perfect guy to marry, have children with and live happily ever after.

Unfortunately the potential that I just described above never fully meet my father. He became lost in the street life of drugs and crime. My father’s struggle has robbed him of living his fullest life that I know and believe he is well capable of.

I can recall my father in and out of prison for most of my life. All the prison stints have robbed me and my father of many father/son moments. I emphasize with my dad, I know that he has a desire to be a better parent, however, the bad decisions he’s made has continually forced us apart.

I can recall countless times being asked growing “when is your father coming home from jail”. Still to this day I am often asked if my father is home yet. It has become the normal conversation revolving around my dad.

We all have different experiences that shake our relationships with our fathers.
I think that as children we have these innocent perceptions of our fathers as supermen, until that innocence encounters some sort of disappointment.

We can’t blame children for this, after all fathers are the first men children encounter. Fathers set the example of what a man is supposed to be.

I honestly believe this has a huge effect on how we look at parenting in life as well.

We choose to see the best qualities in our fathers and we choose to discard the not so good ones. Feel free to leave a comment below and share your relationship with your father and how great of an impact would you say your father-son relationship has made on your views of fatherhood?

Click the link to read  “How was your father” pt. 2

 

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

Remember, it takes a village!

– Derek Bernard

 

As A Father, What Are Your Immediate Needs?

Children are born into this world, they do not request to be here!

We as parents make decisions that allow for children to enter into this world. It is our responsibility to constantly express love and acceptance to our children as their caretakers and guardians.

It’s important that we show our children through our words, and actions that they are wanted. It’s the little things such as hugs and kisses that make a huge difference. Affection is vital for the development of a child, and so is discipline that comes with understanding.

“My immediate need as a father is to constantly be present in the lives of my children. Being involved physically, financially, spiritually, and of course emotionally.”

-Derek Bernard

We asked our brothers from all over, what they believed their immediate needs were as fathers. 

Here is what they said:

You can check out more on our Instagram page @a.villiage.of.fathers

We would like you to comment and tell us  “what are your immediate needs as a father”

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Remember, it takes a village!

– Derek Bernard