We need to leave behind clichés stuck to men and allow them to fulfill their potential without labels, said Attila Beneda at the Men in the Spotlight conference organized by the Father Academy and the School for Responsible Parents, Hungarian daily Magyar Nemzet reported. The Deputy State Secretary said that the potential they have is vital to strengthening the nation.
It is difficult for a man to define himself and, even more so, to cope in today’s world: he can be nervous but not neurotic, he can be sensitive but not hysterical. A man can be moody but not depressed. A man can be motivated, but not aggressive, a man can be kind, but not drippy. He should be self-confident, but never feel superior – said Attila Beneda at the Men in the Spotlight conference. The Deputy State Secretary for Family Affairs at the Ministry of Culture and Innovation (MOCI) believes that while it is worth reflecting on what it means to be a man today, it is not necessarily something we need to define.
The conference was attended by business leaders, employees and professionals.
Deputy State Secretary, Attila Beneda. Photo: MTI/Mónus Márton
The Deputy Secretary of State also said that the government wants every family to be free to decide how many children they have, how long to stay at home with them and what family benefits to claim. We have tried to introduce all family support elements in a way that men and fathers can benefit from, he added. We are trying to further expand family support, and we have already adopted proposals for next year. Fathers can now apply for part-time work until the age of eight for their youngest child, and paternity leave after the birth of a child will be increased to ten days, he added.
It is important that when we think of families and children, we also think of fathers, as their duties should not be just about earning a living.
We must give dads the opportunity to be part of the moments that help to forge families into a unit. The future of your relationship with your child and your relationship with your partner can depend on these actions.
Attila Benede also drew attention to the fact that men’s life expectancy is well below that of women and that they also lag behind in terms of years spent in good health. We must catch up for our own sake, for the sake of women and for the sake of our society – summarized the Deputy State Secretary.
It is important that fathers are truly part of our society,” said psychologist László Léder, one of the conference hosts and founder of the Father Academy.
A US survey from 1999 shows how vital the role and presence of fathers is. According to the research, 75 percent of people in drug centers, 80 percent of rapists and 85 percent of juveniles in prison grew up without a father. These figures show that the presence of a father is crucial – he pointed out in his presentation. Léder also stated that in the modern experience of fatherhood, it is essential to rethink our divorce practices, as the civil war between fathers and mothers can seal the fate of generations.
A recent surveys that shows that young men are becoming increasingly infertile, which can be due to mental and physical exhaustion, depression and the resulting unhealthy lifestyle, Léder pointed out in his speech. Adding to their burden, most Hungarian mothers believe that men are primarily breadwinners, while expectations also include that fathers should be family-oriented.
These expectations are not easy to meet. As a result, paternal depression is becoming increasingly common and can last for years, while in most cases it remains hidden; the father is depressed, cannot find his place and role in the family, finds no joy and blames himself for not being able to bond, when he is ‘only’ depressed,” explained László Léder at the conference. He also pointed out that a significant number of men in their thirties still live at home with their parents.
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