06-06-2016 12:39 PM - last edited on 02-28-2017 12:23 PM by Ngaio-RO
Did anyone see this article in the paper about Dads and how they talk to their sons about mental health?
Shane Cross, clinical leader at headspace Campbelltown and Camperdown, said dads were crucial in helping sons with emotional troubles. He said:
“What dads are realising, however, is that they do not need to have all the answers, they just need to be there.
A lot of dads struggle as they have not grown up with that type of emotional communication in their family.
It is about giving dads the support to start a conversation that they could have benefited from themselves when they were younger.”
Can you relate? Dads, what have you learned about having conversations with your sons (or daughters)...
06-09-2016 10:23 PM
"they just need to be there"
It sounds simple, but I think that is such an important part of being dad to a teenager. Just being around, and being available as much as possible.
06-10-2016 08:21 AM - edited 06-10-2016 10:52 AM
Great article. But it makes me sad. I've raised my 16-y-o son as his father lives in the US and suffered severe disability after a brain tumour in 2008. I'm resourceful and capable and I can teach my son pretty much everything -- except how to be a man. I can teach him from a woman's perspective but it's not the same. I've tried to find and nurture relationships between him and my brothers-in-law, his older male cousins, teachers etc. I hope it is enough.
06-12-2016 01:05 PM - edited 06-12-2016 01:34 PM
This is a really great initiative! I like how it is not just a panel of "experts", paticularly the inclusion of the "NRL State of Mind" program and other dads. It is really hard to talk about mental health with boys because they want to be like their peers and their role models... tough and in control. Which we know is total BS! To see tough footy players say that it is ok to talk about these things and that you're not alone helps dads and sons, and can teach us the tools we need to be there when we're really needed.
It is still really difficult to get around the stigma of mental health issues, paticularly with males (dads & sons). My experience from having two teen boys; working in a trade environment (overwhelmingly male); and now teaching apprentices is that there is acknowledgement that males do have have mental health issues (derr) but the language we use to discuss it is still very biased towards stigmatising. For example if you display an emotional response that is not seen as tough (as in being a hard c#*t) you are then seen as being soft, a pussy, a 'sooky-la-la', a girl... and to remedy such a turn of events it is suggested that you stop your whinging; or take a tablespoon of concrete and 'harden the f#*k up'. When we can get around the notions that it is laudable for males to be seen as "strong and silent" or "aggressive and in control" the better off we'll be.
Hopefully programs like this will help. I would have liked to have seen it a bit more widespread... Tamworth and Orange!? That should have been just to start!
06-12-2016 01:29 PM
Hey @Mitzi I think you're doing a fantastic job as a single parent. The fact that your son has at least one parent cognizant of the issues surrounding gender roles is a win. And you are wrong that you cannot teach him how to be a man. From my perspective (male of the species!) the most important "man lesson" you can give, and only as a mum, is how women should be treated. All the rest of his "man-lessons" are only about work, sport, food, sex, etc... in the scheme of things if they know how to treat women and by extension their fellow man all the rest will fall into place. Don't be sad! Be happy that your son will be a better man because of you!