My name is Lisa Scott Hayes. I am the founder and CEO of LoveSchoolCounselingCafe. I am a wife and mother of two kids. The passion behind school counseling comes from my heart for all children to have a fair chance at becoming all they could imagine and maybe even more. I have been blessed with the opportunities concerning my education, which has allowed me to hold a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and a Master’s Degree in School Counseling. I have worked in the school system for about 26 years, minus the few years I took off to have my children and pursue a few of my passions. I was told from a young age that the way I look, talk, act, or even was just born would hinder my abilities in “real” life. I have proven every doctor, teacher, and “friend” wrong. Though I was born with a physical limitation, and it can be noticed through my speech, I am blessed to say my education has not suffered. Labels are, in fact, not limitations but rather a chance to show that nothing is truly impossible. I was born with Cerebral Palsy. Though it tends to limit my hands, it has nothing to do with my heart or mind. I have the pleasure of working with excellent assistants who do most of my typing. I was born with a speech impediment, making people think that I don’t understand a concept to which I say. I hear and receive every word. This has made me a very conscientious person. I wish never to instill doubt in my abilities or allow someone to believe that limitations of any kind will stop you from having a fantastic career and future.
Though things have been off to a slow start, we are getting somewhere. I am blessed to have been gifted with helpful friends, a supportive family, and an army of encouragers. I have started to feel more and more confident in the work I am doing. I get this chance to impact so many lives. Through this journey, I hope I make friendships that last a lifetime, empower and inspire every student and friend to reach their fullest potential.
Today marks my second blog post but get ready; the good stuff is coming. I will be posting weekly blogs on tips and tricks that make all homeschool and virtual online learning so much easier. Something that has been on my heart to share is GRACE.
We all are overwhelmed. Starting this business can be crazy, especially because my favorite part (the students) hasn’t started just yet. As I have watched, my children and other people’s kids do virtual online learning because of Covid-19. I see the struggle this has placed on them. This is probably the hardest season for those who have social kids or children who need hands-on learning. This again just empowers me to work hard and encourage those that feel they’re falling short. Those kids that need the extra support that busy working parents might not just be able to give. Not to mention the due dates and constant reminders, “did you do school?” “due at 11:59,” “Assignment missing,” eventually piling up to where they too are disappointed and overwhelmed.
My advice to those students, take a moment, a deep breath, and one assignment at a time. To those parents, remember that all though you want the work done in a timely fashion, you don’t want to push them to the point they lose motivation to even try. Your child has lost a lot of their free space and is probably learning how to deal with the mental side effects. I’ve watched my own child be affected in this way and lose hope in themselves because of it. Grace is important when it comes to keeping a healthy relationship with your child. Mental health is important too, check in on your virtual student today, ask them “how this changed their heart and mind.” Ask them “if they feel overwhelmed” or even have them reach out to me. This is my passion for being the person they can come to when they just don’t know how to voice it to someone close to them. I want to help you to be able to help them. We are all on this journey together. Let’s make it one that is empowering and filled with growth.
I know it can be tough. We are all busy and have billions of things in our minds. The last thing we want to do is sit in a room, feeling as though we understand nothing. It can feel defeating and create a mindset of “stupidity.” It is helpful for you to find your best learning style to fully reach your full potential as a student or “studier.”
The first thing that is important regarding becoming a successful student is finding what type of learner you are. This will help you find the best way to reach your goals. There are four main types of learning styles, visual, auditory, reading/writing preference, and kinesthetic, also known as VARK.
Visual Learners: Process information through graphs and charts. Images help to connect concepts, maps, and diagrams help to explain information rather than a book. This type of learning style does not include photographs or videos. A lot of times, teachers will use graphic organizers to help these students organize information.
Auditory Learners: Learn best through spoken information and lectures. It helps this type of student talk through what they have learned and discuss it with someone else. A lot of times, these students speak before sorting out the information. This helps them to retain what they learned and then sort it out verbally. Teachers tend to use recordings or even ask them to explain the context they learned for homework or class.
Reading/Writing Preference: These students prefer the written word over listening to a video any day. These students tend to be successful when taking notes, perform well on written assignments like book reports or essays. A teacher might have these students explain the information presented on a chart to go over later to retain the information.
Kinesthetic Learners: These students learn best through tactile or touch-based learning. They connect personal experience to what they’re learning to retain the information. They learn best through physical action or experience. A teacher will ask these students to recreate an experiment or test out a process to see if they are the same.
Teachers and parents need to know that everyone is a different style learner. Some can learn through all of these. Some can only learn through one or two. It’s important to supply your student with what they need for success. If that be music in the background, fidget cubes or spinners, more written work or videos. Creating a unique process for each student will help them become the best version of themselves. It is also important to remember that just because students have a learning style doesn’t mean they know how to use it to their best ability. Helping them learn how to take proper notes or watching the right video.
Now knowing your learning style, you can find tips and tricks that fit right into how your brain processes information. This blog will break down a few different learning tips for you about your learning style. Depending on which learning type you are under, VARK styles will determine the best way for you to study.
Understanding every student is different. Every learning style is different. Being patient with the students and allowing them to try different studying habits or time to explore different learning styles will help them match the right one. Sometimes when taking the quiz, we answer on how we feel instead of how we might work. Giving a chance for the student to find THEIR definition of how they learn is super important in their schooling.
Unfortunately, bullying comes in many different forms. Sometimes we don't recognize it until we are dealing with the effects. When we think of bullying, our brain jumps to physical aggression. Still, there are many different types of bullying: Social bullying, Verbal and Physical Bullying, Prejudicial Bullying, Sexual Bullying, and Cyber Bullying, as well as Bystanders. Bullying among school-aged children is an aggressive and abusive activity that includes a real or perceived imbalance of power. The behavior is continued over time or has the ability to exercise control. There can be serious, permanent issues for both children who are bullied and those who bully others.
Verbal bullying is saying hurtful things or writing them. Verbal intimidation requires Teasing, Name-calling, Inappropriate sexual comments, Taunting, Threatening to inflict harm.
Emotional bullying, often referred to as social bullying, includes damaging the image or relationships of others. Social bullying means purposely leaving someone out, telling other kids not to be friends with someone, spreading lies about someone, publicly embarrassing someone.
Physical bullying includes damaging the body or belongings of an individual. Hitting/kicking/pinching, swearing, tripping/pushing, taking or breaking stuff from others, making cruel or rude hand gestures is physical bullying.
Prejudicial bullying is described as children and young people who are being bullied for various reasons; their skin color, sexual identity, disability, gender, religion, and many other variables. It is difficult for some children and young people to appreciate others' diversity and can only see it as a disparity that can lead to bullying by prejudice.
Sexual bullying is an action, whether physical or non-physical, where sexuality or gender is used as a tool against another. There is no official definition. Sexual bullying is any conduct that degrades someone, points someone out for their appearance through the use of sexual words, gestures, or abuse, and victimizes someone. Sexual bullying often puts pressure on people to behave promiscuously and to act in a promiscuous manner.
Cyberbullying is bullying on online platforms such as mobile phones, laptops, and tablets. Cyberbullying can occur on social media, forums, or games via SMS, email, and applications, or online, where people can access, engage in, or share content. Cyberbullying involves sending, publishing, or sharing negative, damaging, misleading, or substantive information about someone else. It may involve revealing private or personal knowledge about someone else that causes embarrassment or humiliation. Some cyberbullying crosses the line into illegal or unethical behavior.
Finally, you have Bystanders, Bullying behavior by bystanders or observers may have a powerful effect on either facilitating or inhibiting bullying behavior. There are three primary kinds of bystanders Followers known as Assistants that do not initiate but play an active role in promoting bullying. Supporters' bullying behavior openly or covertly, through turning a blind eye, but do not play an active role in the bullying behavior. Defenders of conduct hate bullying and strive to aid the target by participating, obtaining teacher support using secure information, or supplying the target with direct support.
It may seem hard at the time, but my best advice in these situations is to:
1. Go to a trusted adult: find someone you trust to be a listening ear, explain all of the details of what's been going on, and ask for help.
2. Face facts: it's easy for someone to point out others' flaws but hard to see their own. Understand these are not reflections of you but reflections of themselves.
3. You have a voice. Having a supporting system is important, to allow, your trusted adult to come with you; if the situation allows you to confront the bully this will help you feel empowered.
4. Remember, you are not alone; you're worthy of life. The bully might make you feel small, but you're not less than. If you feel as though it has gotten to the point of suicidal thoughts, please contact professional services. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 800-273-8255
5. Find an outlet, a way to express your feelings healthily, through music, art, sports, or anything else. Don't lose your identity in their words.
Everyone has faced a bully one time or another; even Demi Lovato has faced bullying, to which she says, "I used to think confidence came from what other people thought about me, but now I realize it comes from what I feel about myself." It's important to remember that you're enough just as you are. If someone else doesn't see your worth, that is not your problem. That is solely their problem. They're also hotlines for someone seeking help in a bully situation.
In all the world, we always try to find our people. It’s funny how hard we search and try to find our tribe. The truth I have learned is they find us. We all have different expectations when it comes to making friends or finding them. Maybe that’s the problem. You have to get rid of all expectations, look at imperfections, and smile. For me friendship means, loving without restaining, loving every broken piece of someone and still looking at them while a soaking, sobbing mess and say, “That’s my person, my best friend, my ride or die.” What does friendship mean to you? Do you have expectations that are unrealistic as we are humans after all? Find your definition, and then you have completed step one of making good friendships.
Identifying a Good friend:
A good friend isn’t defined by name, age, or even gender. It a few simple things you look for; a good friend is honest, patient, kind, protective, respectful, and takes your “no’s” on the first try. They’re fun to be around and look out for your greater good. A good friend is not jealous, not in a way that makes you feel insecure, at least. A good friend delights in your success and doesn’t try to one-up your achievements but rather cheers the loudest. A good friend tells you when you’re a butt but still reminds you how amazing you’re right after. It’s easy to find a good friend when you’re a good friend. What your favorite qualities about yourself? What’s something you wish you were more of? Those are the things that help you find YOUR good friend.
How to make a friend:
Goals Aligning: it’s important to find someone who has similar goals, not necessarily the same, but if you both want greatness, you both will support each other in it. Your fruit needs to be similar to be a successful friendship. No one is holding the other back, nor is one making the other feel bad for being “too busy.”
Similar Intrest and points of view: What’s your passion? What’s that one conversation that gets you so excited that you smile, maybe laugh, and goes all-in when talking about it? Those are the topics you want to be able to talk about with a friend. The one who can sit and listen to you goes on and on no matter how many times. They enjoy seeing you passionate and even maybe learning something new. Having similar interests will help you find things to do and explore. It also helps to not get into silly little tiffs about topics or opinions. Also, having similar beliefs or points of view will help when in confrontation.
Honesty: It’s important to know that standing on the foundation of honesty is one of the best qualities in a friendship. I like to use the quote, “Trust takes years to build, seconds to break.” Everyone deserves the truth, not the “truth” you think they should hear but the real truth.
Open-mindedness: Not everyone believes what you believe; everyone has different foundations and reasons for their opinions. Being open-minded doesn’t mean you agree, but it does mean that you sit and listen to their perspective.
Be authentic and Be yourself: Be you! Not who you think they would like but be 100% authentically you. That’s the only way you know it’s a good friend—the one who knows the real parts of you and the goofy, messy sides. Allowing someone to get to know the real you is scary, but it’s also powerful; it helps you know that they love you for you no matter what.
Take your time and Face Fears: It’s important not to rush the making process. Maybe you meet a friend, and things seem good, but then you notice some things that aren’t good for you. It’s important to walk away before you wind up in toxic situations. It’s a big step to face your fears and let someone close, not knowing what the outcome could be. But in every step, you learn more about yourself and more about the people you want in your life.
Time to Keep Them:
Please make time to connect; it’s significant to make time for the people you want in your life. That doesn’t mean you need to talk every day or see them every day, but every once in and while, checking in making sure they’re okay. As a friend, it’s your job to be their person they can come to when life gets tough and shake them back to how good life can be. It’s not your job to make them happy, but it’s important to remind them that happiness is possible and not to give up hope.
Set up and respect boundaries; boundaries are not rules. Instead, just safe guidelines to keep everyone feeling comfortable and understood. Maybe a limit is a topic or respecting someone important in their life. You may not always understand some boundaries, but it’s important to respect them. Making them clear from the start is super essential, and though more may come, do not excuse direct disrespect of a boundary. Can you forgive? Yes, but if that behavior continues, you have to know that at one point, it is just blatant disrespect for you as an individual.
Communicate effectively; we all know that communication is hard. The most important part of communication is receptive. Taking time to hear the other person before jumping to your perspective or your option on a topic allows others to feel respected. It’s also important to know you may walk away with no real ending to the conversation. This takes me to number 4.
Agree to disagree; it’s easy to keep talk and even have it turn into a fight, but it is your job to respect other people’s points of view. Sometimes ending it with agreeing to disagree is hard, but it does save you from being upset or disrespected. Maybe this agreeing to disagree will give you both time to cold off and better see the other person’s perspective. Some even come back and say, “Hey, I see where you were coming from now.”
Respect space and being reliable; when a friend says they need space, it’s important to give that, but sometimes being a good friend also means putting aside the space you might need and showing up anyway. Taking there no for an answer is key and knowing when the no could be a not right now is also important. Giving space to allow them to express themselves will allow your relationship a chance to grow, and they do say, “distance makes the heart grow fonder.” If they matter to you, you show up, no matter what.
Building trust, everyone has lived, loved, and faced their own trials. Sometimes trusting is super easy for some people. Other times it’s super hard. It’s important to keep somethings to yourself, especially if a friend asked you. I like to you use the rule, “Pain, Ilegal, and Safety.” If your friend is hurting themselves or others, speak up; if your friend is doing something you know is illegal or wrong, speak up and if it put yourself or others in harm’s way, speak up. Everything else involves trusting you with their heart and feelings.
Giving the same energy, putting out more than you receive seems to be a factor in many relationships. My friend told me that there are two parts when it comes to relationships, one what you give, and two, what you have to give. You should always be trying to give 110% of yourself in a relationship. However, that doesn’t always mean you have the ability to give 110% of yourself. Maybe, you’re facing something really hard, like a loss. It’s not wrong not to be able to give it all. That’s why we have friends so that they can come and remind us to keep our heads up and even cheer us up. If you feel like you just aren’t receiving anything out of a relationship, then maybe you need the final step.
Know when to walk away; sometimes, people come into your life for a season. Sometimes for a lifetime. it is important to know the difference. When you feel like you have tried your best and things just aren’t working. You feel more drained than you do love, then you need to have the courage to walk away. You will find people who respect you and that you can trust. Maybe someday they will even come back in your life. Again sometimes
“no” is just a “not right now.”
In the end, be the friend you want for yourself, and sooner or later, you’ll find them.
This is our latest blog on Mental Health I thought it was appropriate for this day and age. Stay tuned for a follow-up blog on the cause of mental health!
We all know that mental illness has been a problem in the United States for several decades. Society is the problem of mental illness because back in the olden day’s people did not want other people to know about their loved ones having a mental illness. However, after the Vietnam war, it became very apparent that the problem needed to be addressed and there was no hiding from mental illness anymore!
Mental illness, aka mental health disorders, covers a wide range of mental health conditions/disorders that affect people’s moods, thinking, and behaviors. Some examples of mental illness include depression, anxiety disorders, schizophrenia, eating disorders, and addictive behaviors just to name a few.
It is a known fact that people have mental issues and health concerns from time to time. However, when that mental health concern persists it becomes a mental illness. How do we know this? It's simple. When a person has continuing signs and symptoms this may cause frequent stress and affect your ability to function.
Mental illness can make a person feel miserable and can cause problems in their daily lives, such examples include school, or work, or relationships. However, in many situations and/or cases, symptoms can be managed with a combination of medications and counseling.
The way a loved one can find out if their loved one is suffering from a mental illness is through signs and symptoms. The signs and symptoms that people should look for include:
Feeling sad or down
Confused thinking or reduced ability to concentrate
Excessive fears or worries, or extreme feelings of guilt
Extreme mood changes of highs and lows
Withdrawal from friends and activities
Significant tiredness, low energy, or problems sleeping
Detachment from reality (delusions), paranoia, or hallucinations
Inability to cope with daily problems or stress
Trouble understanding and relating to situations and to people
Problems with alcohol or drug use
Major changes in eating habits
Sex drive changes
Excessive anger, hostility, or violence
What is important to know is that these symptoms can be different depending on the mental illness disorder. Also, you have to remember it may depend on the way of life that a person may be leading. In addition, there may be alternative elements that could be affecting the person with the mental illness. Ultimately mental illness symptoms can affect emotions, thoughts, and behaviors.
Surprisingly what most of you may not know is that sometimes these symptoms can present themself as a physical problem, examples may include and are not limited to stomach pains, back pains, headaches, or other unexplained aches and pains.
If you think a person may have or you may have signs or symptoms of a mental illness, please contact your primary care doctor or a mental health provider to schedule an appointment to discuss the signs and symptoms.
If you allow these signs and symptoms to go untreated they will not go away on their own. If left untreated, a mental illness can get worse over a long period of time and can cause serious problems.
If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts it is imperative that you receive help immediately. It may be common behavior for some mental illnesses. Again it is imperative that if you think you may hurt yourself or attempt suicide follow these steps to seek help immediately:
Call 911 or your local emergency number immediately.
Call your mental health specialist.
Call a suicide hotline number. In the U.S., call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255) or use its webchat on suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat.
Seek help from your primary care provider.
Reach out to a close friend or loved one.
Contact a minister, spiritual leader, or someone else in your faith community.
I know it might be hard to address a loved one that shows signs of mental illness, but it is important to have an open and honest discussion with them about your concerns. It is true that you might not be able to force someone to get professional care, but you can offer reassurance and guidance. In addition, you can offer your loved one assistance in finding a qualified mental health professional and making an appointment, and offering to even go with them to their appointment. If your loved one has done self-harm or is considering doing so, take the person to the hospital or call for emergency help
We discussed mental health. Now we will discuss the Causes of Mental Health.
The causes of mental health vary by either genetic or environmental influences. There are three main influences that can play a part in a person having a mental illness. The number one factor is inherited traits. Usually mental illness is more prevalent in people who already have relatives who have a mental illness. In addition certain hereditary characteristics can increase your risk of developing a mental illness. Depending on what may be going on in your life may enhance or may trigger the mental illness onset.
A second factor is Environmental exposures before birth. Believe it or not substantial stressors or provocative conditions and/or toxins and alcohol and drugs in the womb sometimes can be associated with mental illness.
The third and final factor is Brain chemistry. The composition of one's brain is uniquely developed. If the brain is not completely functioning correctly then the brain chemicals are defective. This is true when we are talking about mental illness. The brain has something called Neurotransmitters. They are naturally occurring brain chemicals that carry signals to other parts of your brain and body. When the neural networks involving these chemicals are impaired, the function of nerve receptors and nerve systems change, leading to depression and other emotional disorders.
2. Stressful life situations, such as financial problems, a loved one's death or a divorce
3. An ongoing (chronic) medical condition, such as diabetes
4. Brain damage as a result of a serious injury (traumatic brain injury), such as a violent blow to the head
5.Traumatic experiences, such as military combat or assault
6. Use of alcohol or recreational drugs
7. A childhood history of abuse or neglect
8. Few friends or few healthy relationships
9. A previous mental illness
Mental illness is very common in the United states on average 1 in 5 adults has a mental illness in any given year. Mental illness can begin at any age, from childhood through later adult years, but most cases begin earlier in life. What people may not know is that the effects of mental illness can either be temporary or long term.
People can have more than one mental health disorder at the one time. For example, you may have paranoid schizophrenia and be bipolar.
Finally comes the Complications from Mental illness. It is a leading cause of disability. If it goes untreated, the mental illness does cause severe emotional, behavioral and physical health problems. Complications are sometimes linked to mental illness include:
1.Unhappiness and decreased enjoyment of life
5.Problems with tobacco, alcohol and other drugs
6. Missed work or school, or other problems related to work or school
7.Legal and financial problems
8.Poverty and homelessness
9.Self-harm and harm to others, including suicide or homicide
10.Weakened immune system, so your body has a hard time resisting infections
11.Heart disease and other medical conditions
Our third and final segment on mental health is Prevention.
Of course there is no guaranteed way to prevent mental illness.Nonetheless if you have a mental illness or think you are showing signs of a mental illness; You should take the following steps to control your stress and increase your resilience and boosting low self-esteem could help keep your symptoms under control.
Take good care of yourself. Last but not least adequate and sufficient sleep as well as healthy eating and regular physical activity are important. Maintain a regular schedule. Talking to your primary care provider about having trouble sleeping or if you have concerns or questions about your diet and physical activity
American society has blown up the issue of teen pregnancy since about the 1980’s. However, if you sit down and really think about it we have had teenage pregnancy for hundreds and hundreds of years and if you look back at the period of the quakers and the puritan’s this was a norm in their society. However, no-one ever looked at it that way because the young girls were married to the older men. As the American society evolved in more recent years now, they consider it a global problem. Which occurs most commonly in poorer and marginalized communities. Unfortunately, several girls face and feel considerable pressure to marry early and become mothers while they are still a child. However in the era of the 2000’s young teenage girls are not getting married to their teenage male counter parts. They are simply either deciding to have them and try to raise them on their own or they’re choosing to have an abortion.
Whichever choice they make teenage pregnancy increases when girls are denied the right to make decisions about their sexual and reproductive health and well-being. These teenage girls should have and must be able to make their own decisions about their bodies and futures. In addition, They must have access to appropriate healthcare services and education.
Teenage Fathers and what Programs would benefit them
Before reading this blog, I want it to be known that Love School Counseling Café is not condoning or criticizing teenage pregnancies, we wrote this for educational purposes only! Teenage pregnancies have always been an issue in the United States for decades now. However, everyone always focuses on the teenage girl while the teenage boy is seemingly forgotten about.
Researching this topic, I came across an article from Fathers Raising Responsible Men (FRRM) and it states, “while existing teen pregnancy prevention efforts have contributed to significant declines in the overall U.S. teen pregnancy rate, teen pregnancy prevention programs specifically targeting adolescent males are limited and sorely needed.” Fathers Raising Responsible Men says that “the primary reason for this proposed research is to further develop, evaluate, and disseminate a teen pregnancy prevention program specifically designed for adolescent males.” Furthering enhancements to current scientific evidence and intervention options are needed, and should be available for broad public health implementation.
“ The proposed intervention Fathers Raising Responsible Men (FRRM) focuses on the adolescent male component of teen pregnancy by identifying and addressing adolescent risk and paternal protective behaviors specific to adolescent males that have not been fully addressed in previous prevention efforts. This study strives to reduce adolescent male sexual risk behavior in ages 15-19.” Fathers Raising Responsible Men (FRRM) states that “despite the important role adolescent and young adult men play in preventing teen pregnancy, few evidence-based interventions are specifically designed for young men.”
Fathers Raising Responsible Men(FRRM) utilized three research projects, funded through a collaborative initiative between the HHS Office of Adolescent Health (OAH) and the CDC, support piloting and evaluating innovative interventions designed for young men aged 15 to 24 years to reduce the risk of teen pregnancies that can be carried out in target settings.” These funded projects address a diversity of risk and protective factors and a range of intervention strategies and settings. The projects include a motivational interviewing intervention using mobile devices; a father-son intervention delivered in the home; and a group-based intervention that aims to create support for young men as they explore and redefine healthier versions of manhood for themselves according to Fathers Raising Responsible Men(FRRM)
According to the multitude of research I have done on the topic of teenage Fatherhood; it seems to me like there are many programs for the teenage mothers but not a lot of programs for the teenage father. This may be the reason why teenage pregnancies exists because the teenage male doesn’t realize the responsibility of being a father. Additionally, teenage parents are still developing themselves. In my opinion, there need to be home economics placed back into the school system.
According to the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse “ helping young fathers (ages 16-25) with the joys and challenges of parenthood are a key component of the fatherhood programs. Several young fathers are extremely involved in the lives of their children and will participate in fatherhood programs.”
Also the National Responsible Fatherhood Clearinghouse states, “ while they face the same demands as all new fathers, young fathers in their teens and early twenties face additional challenges as they move into adulthood. They may not have finished high school, and they often are not married or even living with the mother of their child. In general, young parents tend to be emotionally and intellectually unprepared for parenthood and may reflect this by showing impatience and intolerance toward their children.”
Additionally, young fathers may feel excluded by the mother or the mother’s family. In some cases, a young father’s own family may try to discourage him from being involved due to financial or other concerns. Therefore, assisting young fathers remains a key component of many fatherhood programs.
These are tips and best practices I found through my research on teenage Dads
• Use the latest research and statistics on young fathers. The Office of Adolescent Health, Department of Health and Human Services’ Resources for Serving Young Fathers (2016) supports and informs anyone working with young fathers. The goal is to help programs reach more young fathers; influence research, practice, and policy to better address young fathers’ needs; and improve the lives of young fathers and their families.
• Follow recommendations from evidence-based resources when developing programs for young fathers. This Center for the Study of Social Policy brief makes child welfare system policy and practice change recommendations that recognize the critical role young fathers can play in improving the outcomes of their children and families. The brief highlights state and local policies; programs that identify, engage, and support young fathers; and the voices of young fathers’ experiences. It also provides links to practice guides and other resources to support implementation.
• Understand young fathers’ challenges and provide resources to support involvement in their child’s life. Research indicates that young fathers often deal with complex identity changes, experience significant financial hardship, require legal advice for maintaining contact with their child, need male-tailored parenting advice, and can benefit from improving their relationship with the child’s mother. Parenting programs can support young fathers by providing these resources, which in turn can improve their relationship with their children.
Several studies indicate adolescent fatherhood is associated with multiple risk factors including low self-esteem, addiction issues, relationship issues, and father absence during childhood and these factors appear to equate with the specific support needs of young fathers.
When fathers are involved during pregnancy, teen mothers are more likely to receive adequate prenatal care, especially during the critical first trimester, are less likely to smoke, and report fewer depressive symptoms.
While most attention and efforts are focused on mothers and babies, fathers are equally vital to developing healthy and self-sufficient young families. These resources can aid efforts to understand, engage, and serve young fathers in your community.
As you can see this is a well thought out research project from the FRRM and Fatherhood.Gov as well as Act for Youth. However, I feel that more research projects need to be done similar to this one to decrease teenage pregnancies and develop programs to help expected teen fathers as well!