Fatherhood: Do you have what it takes?

Fatherhood: Do you have what it takes?

So, what is the health value in this?  Well, psychologically, fathers do experience stress, of a different sort.  Being a father requires much more than just giving birth to a child. Babies Having Babies Fatherhood is often a significant milestone for a man. It means that he can pass on his legacy to his own flesh and blood; it also means that he has to train the child morally, and emotionally.  Unfortunately, we find that there are a lot of babies raising babies. 

In many cases, there are teen-age boys who are curious about the opposite sex, or tempted by girls and their natural urges get ahead of their thoughts, and they end up as young fathers.  In one report by Jasmine Siba, March 21, 2012, for the Tanzanian News, she reported that boys who were teen fathers lost the chance to finish school. Because some dropped out of school to get work to care for their new “family.” 

The cost to boys does not end with the loss of an education. After the baby is born the boys suddenly find themselves victims of unwanted fatherhood and having to feed an extra hungry mouth.A question of tradition and culture In the same article, Ms.  Siba is quoting Dr. Kyuala a sociologist who says that is it a matter of culture.  

“As a society we teach boys that their only value is in being married and becoming fathers. Therefore from an early age they feel the pressure to conform to these societal demands and the girls provide an easy route to that conformity.”  Yet for many, this is not the only cultural path. Some of the most noted traditions include: the sense of unity, national pride and kinship, which includes extended family. 

Therefore, family, not just one person’s individual family, but also the unification of family members is key.  These are just one or so traditions.  What do you think? Are there any traditions and cultural practices for men/boys that you practice?   Stress of Fatherhood  Many men, who are under the strain of working, and trying to provide for their families, endure stress, often silently. Some self-medicate with alcohol or drugs.  Let’s discuss this a bit. 

It is not harmful to indulge in some libations; in fact, in many cultures, it is very normal.  Research has also lauded the values of a little wine for the stomach; however, too much of anything is not good.  Moreover, with the stress of having a family some fathers become depressed, or feel overwhelmed and may tend to drink too much or even to run away from their families.  Here are some tips  from an everyday health.com website to help fathers cope with fatherhood in a healthier way.

Tips for Dealing with Stress
Exercise regularly.  Exercise has been proven to reduce stress levels, helping you burn off pent-up energy and tension. It also improves overall health. Eat and sleep well. Good nutrition and 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night can help your body recover from past stress and be better prepared to deal with new stress.  Meditate. Spend at least 15 to 20 minutes a day in quiet contemplation.

You might like to devote the time to meditation or prayer, Breathe deeply and clear your mind. Solve the cause of your stress. Dealing with the problems that cause tension can relieve you of that stress. Inaction just allows it to build. If your neighbor's dog barks constantly, talk with him about it. Talk to your boss to figure out solutions for problems at work. Ask for help if you can’t meet all the demands placed on you.

Avoid stressful situations. Recent research suggests that men’s stress levels soar 60 percent in traffic jams — seven times higher than women’s. If possible, time your driving to avoid rush hour. If possible, cut down on the time you spend with people who get on your nerves. Accept things you can't change. There are going to be things in your life that you can't control, for example, there's no use allowing rain to bother you — how would you change the weather? Instead, look for ways to enjoy uncontrollable circumstances. 

Don’t take on more than you can handle.  Stress can occur by over-scheduling ourselves and failing to say no. Don't overpromise, and give yourself time to finish the things you do agree to tackle. Try a “glass half full” attitude. Looking on the sunny side can make a world of difference. Having a negative outlook can turn even the most minor annoyances into huge problems in your mind. Tackle first things first.

Determine the most important of the tasks you’re trying to handle and methodically completing those first, then moving on to less critical jobs. Resist trying to do multiple projects at once. Savor your victories. When you accomplish a personal goal or finish a major project, do something nice for yourself. It can help reduce stress and increase men’s health and men’s health matters!

Author: Dr Robin Kelley Mjasiri

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