One of the features of The First National Conference for Men and Boys was a conference ideas wall where we asked delegates to say how they think we can improve the lives of men and boys in the UK. Below is a selection of the answers:
HOW DO WE GIVE EVERY BOY THE BEST POSSIBLE START IN LIFE?
- Love him, celebrate him
- Let him play fight
- Let him have 2 loving parents
- Parenting classes solely for dads
- Encourage play in nature setting
- STOP DEMONIZING!
- Love them and support those that do
- Mothers need to know when not to smother
- Reassurance – asking for help is good
HOW DO WE HELP EVERY DAD BE THE BEST DAD HE CAN BE?
- See him
- Value him, he should get 50% of your attention
- Read Steve Biddulph’s ‘Manhood’
- Invitation to responsibility and give him support
- Give him equal rights!
- Less helping, more listening
- Give every dad a ‘Baby’s here’ book
- By sharing our experiences together
- Allow dads to ‘not be ok’ and ask for help
- Provide practical info he can apply
- Dads Groups (Give it a try we don’t bite)
- Don’t be alone, try it.
- Don’t be alone, try it!
HOW DO WE HELP MEN LIVE LONGER, HAPPIER, HEALTHIER LIVES?
- Educate health professionals
- Co-ordination, linking services
- Work top down and bottom up approaches within a multi-agency partnership
- Involve others – less self
- Spread knowledge on health, diseases and ways to improve health
- Educate GPs
- Being happier longer within our lives
- Health education starting early, junior schools and beyond
HOW DO WE KEEP EVERYONE SAFE BY KEEPING MEN AND BOYS SAFE?
- Help him belong to a family and to a community
- Michael Meade “The fires that burn”
- Work on self less on help (victim)
- Motivate and enable boys to connect more effectively in the community, without the need for organisations and agencies
- Give men and boys permission to speak
- Heart speaking, keep it real!
- Letting men and boys know that talking (feeling) is ok!!
- Building safe relationships and protective behaviours
- Talk openly about suicide – a preventable death
- Train ordinary men to learn suicide alertness & intervention skills