Parenting and Depression
Top of Mind with Julie Rose - Radio Archive, Episode 18 , Segment 4
Episode: Invasive Species, Wealth of Nations, Stepdads, Hostile Bosses
- Mar 4, 2015 10:00 pm
- 15:17 mins
(1:14:47) Guest: Kevin Shafer, Assistant Professor of Social Work at BYU The Brady’s made it look so easy, didn’t they? Blending families, step-parenting, finding harmony. In real-life, stepdads are really stressed out and prone to depression. Researchers at Brigham Young University and Princeton studied just how much stress different members in a blended family experienced and found dads topped the list. “We all have an image of the wicked stepmother… what Dads’ face that’s different than stepmoms, is that they have an awkward middle ground,” says Shafer, “Am I supposed to be like a biological father? Like a cool uncle? It’s quite ambiguous.” Stress and depression relates to how many new roles stepparents take on, says Shafer. “The expectations of moms are usually pretty solid... whereas for Dads there’s a lot more variability in what parenting looks like.” “I think the biggest mistake that blended families make is that they don’t communicate with each other,” says Shafer. “They don’t go in talking about all the baggage they’re bringing into the relationship, not talking about their previous marriage, not going through everything that goes with divorce, and just jumping into new relationships.” “They’re not having the conversations they need to have with their kids. If you have children who are of the age that they can communicate with you, their opinions and impressions should be integrated into what the family will look like,” says Shafer.