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Family Man is the latest project from men’s health charity Movember – the team behind the annual moustache growing initiative
The Movember men’s mental health charity has unveiled a new scheme just for dads.
The Family Man programme aims to ‘make family your new favourite F-word’. It is entirely free and available online.
Men are only entitled to two weeks of statutory paternity leave. Many are not even able to take that either for financial reasons or because they are self employed. Inevitably that leaves many short of practice and confidence when it comes to parenting. And that can lead to anxiety around parenting that can undermine mental health.
Movember is the organisation behind the annual drive to get men to grow moustaches and think about male mental health.
The aim of The Family Man programme is to improve the confidence and mental health of dads by providing parenting strategies to improve child behaviour and reduce stress.
The scheme is backed up by evidence based and backed up by research. 42% of dads feel anxious about being a ‘good father’ according to the organisation’s polling. Yet only 20% of dads have taken parenting courses.
Family Man is a free, interactive online program which dads can complete at their own pace. It’s meant to be fun and accessible. Each animated episode features a father as the main character who has to deal with a challenging situation, like a full-on meltdown in public. You can select a range of responses and have some of the likely outcomes explained. It’s engaging and informative for dads with kids of all ages. Though much of the content is aimed at fathers with kids under eight.
Each episode should take about 13 minutes to complete. Movember claim they’ve tested the scenarios on many families already and that you should see results in your children’s behaviour and your own confidence around parenting within a fortnight.
Jane Endacott, director of digital health, mental health and suicide prevention at Movember says that getting dads more involved in parenting decisions can help to build a stronger and more connected family.“Being a parent can be a very rewarding experience, but it certainly isn’t always easy. Dealing with meltdowns in the supermarket or a child who repeatedly ignores instructions can be incredibly stressful,” she said.. “It causes friction at home and over time that can impact the whole family’s mental wellbeing. There is a huge amount of research that shows parenting is more effective when it’s done as a team. We know that when dads are fully engaged in parenting decisions, it benefits the whole family.”
You can access the course here