Fatherhood needs a paradigm shift within society

 

Twins s2s pic

International Fathers Mental Health Day

#DadsMHday

18th June 2018

The thought of an International Fathers Mental Health day brings mixed emotions. On one hand, I am pleased that something useful is being done to raise awareness by the likes of @MarkWilliamsFMH and @DrAndyMayers and many others across the world. On the other hand, I feel disappointed that things have come to such a pass that a special day is required to raise awareness. It begs the question: What has gone wrong and why?

I am not planning to answer this question for you. It is best that we answer this collectively as a society.

Today I would like to share with you a specific resource that I have developed to better support dads of children who are preterm or unwell and are being looked after in neonatal units.

As you very well know, being a new dad can be a daunting thing, but being the parent of a child in neonatal care potentially brings even more difficult emotions and problems, as well as a wealth of complex information to digest.

The idea for the Neonatal DadPad was conceived by me after recognising that there was a need for better communication and support for fathers of babies on neonatal units.  It is thought to be the first resource of its kind in the world.

The pack of laminated cards contains practical information and advice on relevant matters, including how dads can best help themselves and their partners as they each deal with their feelings and emotions; where to go to seek further help, support and information; and practical guidance on holding, handling, bonding with and caring for their  baby.

It is hoped that the resource will become a valuable tool for fathers during this sensitive time, as well as a ‘keepsake’ book for the father, child and family, with spaces in which to record information, pictures and emotions. It has been designed to be kept as a memento of the neonatal journey.

Whilst this resource is aimed specifically at dads, the information within it is useful for both parents and is also a good adjunct for communication for neonatal unit staff.

The Neonatal DadPad will be launched at the Neonatal Unit at Poole Hospital in England on 17th June 2018, Father’s day.

https://thedadpad.co.uk/neonatal/

Better engagement of dads plays a critical role in supporting mothers, improving breastfeeding rates, decreasing risk and improving the integrity and resilience of the family unit at a very difficult time.

Even outside the neonatal unit i.e. following normal birth and a well-baby, the experiences of fathers are in many ways suboptimal. Improved experience of fathers will improve health outcomes not just for the father but more importantly for the child, for the mother, the family and society at large. We find that supporting the father-infant bond and supporting co-parenting between the mother and the father benefits the health of the baby as well as the family unit. We find, however, that despite much interest in engaging with parents as full partners in the care of the infant, engagement with fathers is generally poor. Fathers typically describe the opportunity to bond with their babies in glowing terms of gratitude, happiness and love. These emotions are underpinned by hormonal and neurobiological changes that take place in fathers when they care for their babies, (similar to what has been well known and accepted for mothers) Fathers, however, are subject to different social expectations and this shapes how they respond to the situation and how others treat them. Fathers are more likely to be considered responsible for earning, they are often considered to be less competent at caring than mothers and they are expected to be “the strong one”, providing support to mothers but not expecting it in return.

It is important that health services and society assess the needs of mother and father individually,  gear parenting education towards co-parenting, actively promote father-infant bonding, be attentive to fathers hiding their stress, communicate with fathers directly not just via the mother and facilitate peer-to-peer communication for fathers as appropriate. Health care staff need better training to be able to evaluate the needs of fathers and to positively support co-parenting.

In conclusion we need a paradigm shift to appreciate and implement:

  • support for the father-baby bond like the mother-baby bond is supported
  • support for co-parenting, by the mother and father working together as a team

This shift is critical in moving individuals, healthcare teams and society at large, away from the widespread view that mothers are primary carers of infants and fathers are helpers to the co-parenting paradigm. Fathers have innate biologically based abilities to bond with and care for babies; these are especially important for the health and safety of babies in situations of stress and risk. The father-baby bond optimises the family dynamic and the opportunities for nurture of children.

I would like to leave you with some great pics of the overwhelming joy of new fathers, courtesy UNICEF at https://familyincluded.com/love-and-joy-fathers-hold-their-babies/

 

Prof (Dr.) Minesh Khashu MBBS, MD, FRCPCH, FRSA

Consultant Neonatologist & Professor of Perinatal Health

Above all else, a ‘father’ and a ‘student of life’

@mkrettiwt  ;  https://mineshkhashu.wordpress.com/

 

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The roundabout view of life!

Roundabouts came onto British roads round about the same time I came about. Many a driver with an ‘L’ plate has had his heart racing and his car stalling at these ubiquitous traffic landmarks. The dictionary calls them ‘traffic calming devices’. Calming the traffic? Maybe, but at the cost of perspiration for many driving instructors. Is it a ‘roundabout’ way of getting back at these much loved professionals?

If you have conjured up a picture in your head of me as head of the ARSE (Anti Roundabout Society of England) or someone who is eager to demean driving instructors then let me assure you that you are wrong. We are all driving instructors in our own right, much to the chagrin of friends in whose cars we choose to negotiate roundabouts on British roads.

I think I flew off on a tangent there. Let’s get back to today’s business i.e. roundabouts. I have a huge regard for roundabouts. They have taught me a lot about life. They are not just about traffic. They go much deeper. In fact, I would call them a philosophical goldmine.

The most crucial lesson roundabouts have taught me is that there is always someone to your right, someone in a better position than you. More importantly, as we moan and complain about what is on our ‘plate’ a quick glance to the left makes us feel thankful for we are always much more privileged than millions of others.

Life is not just one roundabout but a series of many many roundabouts and there will always be someone on our right and always someone on our left. The crucial question is whether it is the same people having the right of passage all the time.

Roundabouts in life may appear to slow you down. Perhaps they do, but they make a more level playing field. They teach you to give way to what is right, to whosoever is on the ‘right’.

Exiting roundabouts may be classified as an extreme sport by insurance companies. Perhaps it is for those with an L plate! In life you do enter roundabouts and don’t know which exit to take. Do you go round again or take any exit? Before committing to an exit, it is sometimes useful to buy some more time till time makes it all much clearer.

Beware, however, of the ones who go round and round with indecision. Life’s roundabouts provide windows of opportunity. Please grab them. If you, however, miss them, don’t despair. There are many exits to life’s roundabouts and many roundabouts to life…

 

 

Minesh Khashu

@mkrettiwt

The most powerful currency in the world!

FORGET THE POUND & THE DOLLAR:  THE MOST POWERFUL CURRENCY IN THE WORLD IS ‘EMOTIONS’.

THIS IS WHAT DRIVES US; EACH AND EVERYONE OF US…

EI or emotional intelligence has been one of the most frequently words used in management and leadership jargon in the last few decades. It is a relatively newer concept (in contrast to IQ) and various models and means of measurement have been proposed and used. It got highlighted in the leadership arena especially because of the realisation that people despite high IQs and expert skills were not successful as leaders and were found to be deficient in EI.

There are lots of good books and websites on EI and there is no sense in me duplicating those here. However, I would like to focus on EI at a more personal level rather than for use in a management or leadership scenario.

In simple terms EI is about identifying, assessing and managing emotions to optimise your potential and of those around you.

I started off by thinking about us as chess players facing the world. Our ‘pieces’ are our emotions and we use these to move forward to achieve our goal (which may be as small as having an extra bit of chocolate or as huge as ‘saving mankind’). EI in this situation means that not only do you understand and plan and execute your moves, you are understanding the plan and moves of the opponent i.e. the emotions of the person facing you affect your emotions (moves) and vice versa. The only way to play this game well is to understand somebody else’s moves (emotions) and what they do to your plan and how you manage your moves (emotions) in response to that. I, however, soon got into trouble with this model. Primarily because in this model the bottom line is competition i.e. there is a winner and a loser. Moreover you are using EI to manipulate others for your own gain. This may be perceived as fine in your quest for getting a particular job or getting a promotion or so on. But this makes me quite uncomfortable on multiple counts. This isn’t what EI should be about.

As I was looking out of the window, pondering over this predicament, I saw a beautiful bird fly by. That got me thinking. Let ‘me’ be one wing of the bird and ‘you’ be the other wing of the bird and let the movements of the wings be our emotions. If only one wing moves, the bird can’t fly and will drop down. Even if somehow we managed to keep it up, movement from only one wing by laws of physics would make the bird go round and round. Lot of energy wasted! But why would the other wing not flap. The other wing could be STUPID and say ‘ You are the right wing and you are moving down so that the bird rotates to the right i.e. clockwise. When I move down the bird will move anticlockwise. Our aims are opposite and antagonistic. WE CAN’T WORK TOGETHER. WE WILL GET NOWHERE. You know very well how far from the truth this is but DO WE THINK AND ACT LIKE THAT STUPID WING? Well, well…

Moral of the story is that if we understand what others are thinking and feeling and what is driving others as well as what we are feeling and what is driving us and synchronise our emotions for the ‘greater good’ both (or all) will fly. But how do we do that?

You need 2 implements, relatively common ones. I am sure they are in your household. A THERMOMETER AND A MIRROR.
To have EI is to have always with you an EMOTIONAL THERMOMETER,  that measures the emotional temperature or state of those around you and manages it with ‘listening’ and ‘understanding’. For your own self, apart from a THERMOMETER what you need is an EMOTIONAL MIRROR. A person with high EI regularly looks at this mirror, at himself, how he is feeling and why and then he smiles…

When you keep using the THERMOMETER and MIRROR you will gradually realise that most others are not very different from you, most of the time….

This develops compassion for others. You also realise your own ‘demons’ and will hopefully develop a compassion for yourself as well. Once you have total compassion for yourself and others, you don’t need anything else.

Making Health a Social Movement: Can we heal an ailing healthcare system?

Can We Heal an Ailing Healthcare System?

                       Part 1: Renaissance of the NHS as a Social Movement

By Minesh Khashu and Jeremy Scrivens

Do we have the best healthcare system in the world?

Time and again we hear that we do but to many of us in the U.K. it does not feel like it is. In relative terms, considering the resources spent on healthcare, we perhaps have the best healthcare system in the world. However, in terms of outcomes and quality of care, there is still a lot that can and should be improved.

The Mid-Staffs disaster is still very fresh in our memory. There is still significant avoidable harm in the NHS, with about 500 patients daily experiencing some form of adverse incident. While there are pockets of excellent practice, there are many untoward events happening daily and the experience of many a patient, their carer and their family is still quite unsatisfactory.

The main issues that cause significant difficulties for the NHS today are:

  • Supply and demand imbalance e.g. the long waits in emergency departments,

 

  • Fragmentation and poor coordination among different parts of the system, for example, between health and social care, between primary and secondary care,

 

  • Very little focus on prevention,

 

  • Inadequate learning from mistakes as well as good practice and poor dissemination of learning and good practice,

 

  • Out of date, top down, management styles fuelling disengagement amongst staff at a time when the new social and digital technologies allow for a never possible previously level of engagement from staff by way of collaboration, innovation and social good at scale The ‘Five Year Forward View’ by Simon Stevens, Chief Executive of the NHS, provides a strategy and plan of action going forward. It highlights the financial gap going forward, the need to focus on demand, improve efficiency and most importantly shift the system to a person centred care and prevention paradigm. It, for the first time, talks about making the NHS a social movement. This, to us, is the most important legacy of this document. The so called new models of care need to be bold enough, visionary enough.
  • NHS as a social movement is the start of a Renaissance for the NHS.The ‘social movementfrom the whole, not, as we see now, a series of hierarchical, siloed institutions stifling innovation, risk taking and avoiding why?

 

However, the ‘Five Year Forward View’ does not elaborate about how to make the NHS a social movement and that is why we are writing this open manifesto to the public of the United Kingdom who care passionately about the future of the NHS.

We propose to positively disrupt the NHS to move in the direction of a social movement beyond the boundaries of our fragmented current system. We see a significant positive impact on decreasing long-term demand, improving efficiency, bridging financial gaps and engaging the untapped potential of our staff to work in a culture of open collaboration and innovation.

nhs-social-movement-part-1-appendices

We propose the development of a health and social care service akin to youth military service in some countries. But this will be a social movement which engages our millennial or GenG workforce to become members of a living NHS ecosystem where every member can contribute their strengths not only to the what and how of healthcare but to the why from the experience of wholeness at scale.

The development of this health and social care service will be a single intervention that can help overcome all the significant difficulties alluded to above.

It will:

 

  • Increase provision of health and social care but without significantly increasing the cost,

 

  • Provide the ‘glue’, the connectivity to improve coordination within the health and the social care system,

 

  • Engage the youth of today, tomorrow’s Britain, to contribute the best of their strengths. This is about releasing their intrinsic needs, shaped by today’s open platform social and digital technologies, for Authenticity, Collaboration, Wholeness, Abundance and Connected together, these young kids are wired to contribute to health promotion and disease prevention at scale,

 

  • Release untapped resources, assets, ideas, time and money previously locked in the cracks between the parts of the hierarchy and the so out of date ME job descriptions, rather than the future of work in the NHS as ‘WE’ Collaborative Charters,

 

  • Restore ownership of the priorities, resources and decisions back to a self- regulating living community, not a third party compliance driven and separated hierarchies.

 

It is in our stewardship, our gift and our time to make it happen!

The earlier models of national youth service (still practised in some countries) were compliance driven; they were mandatory. Today, most of our workforce live in compliance based work cultures. No, it does not need to be mandatory, it has to be about engaging contribution, which is about voluntary choice, about being drawn to something, rather than being driven. Britain, has shown, time and again through its contribution to voluntary and charitable work globally that this is not an impossible ask of British youth.

It is about taking the time to engage people intrinsically from the heart, to contribute the best of the individual connecting with others to bring more strengths together to reshape renaissance of the NHS system as a living community or ecosystem. What’s better, a mandatory system which sees an extra million pair of hands or a voluntary system which engages 250,000 with their hands, their minds and their hearts?

This is not just about increasing capacity/capability in the system. The bigger and more important goal is to engage the younger generation to be more involved in health and social care, understand life style choices better, contribute to health promotion and disease prevention and as a nation take charge of our future health i.e. making it a social movement.

We can achieve a better balance in supply/demand of health and social care with little extra cost.  We will significantly expand the voluntary sector, shift the focus of the future generation into a health promotion/prevention paradigm and increase the interest of the future generation in science and health work streams (we have been historically short staffed in these areas of work).

Above all, we will generate a social responsibility vehicle. We will give a young generation, wired for sharing, collaboration and innovation, an opportunity to learn compassion and life skills for their own health and those of others. We will see a restored and extended life-work ecosystem operating out of wholeness, not separation. We can and should save millions by dismantling our costly system of third party compliance, moving to a self-regulating living ecosystem.

 

See Part Two: Renaissance of the NHS as the Elevation of the Positive Core at Scale

Just be…

What he ought to be
Stacked into him over years
He just could not see
How it all fuelled his fears

He thought he knew
What he wanted to be
Others just drew
What he ought to see

They corrupted his hard drive
His software was out of date too
How could he thrive?
Living life by proxy, would you?

You are what you are
No rush to become anything
Trying to catch the destination
Journey killed by smothering…

The story of a straight line…

Both Science and Spirituality are about seeking the Truth. I am a student, a seeker in both fields. In some ways I think that they are one and the same but that is a topic for discussion for another day.
What I wish to talk about today is what I think is the most important prerequisite for both these fields of endeavour. It is the capacity to ask questions. It is about the capacity to not take anything for granted. It is the capacity to go beyond dogma and belief and challenge ones own perceptions and look for answers.

Knowledge and Wisdom are not merely obtained by obtaining an answer to a particular question. They are secured by the process of seeking, of asking questions. The process is such that the answers fall in our lap. Let me elucidate with an example. Something I wish you to work on, reflect on and grapple with at an individual level. If I said that there is nothing like a ‘true straight line’ you might think that this person has gone nuts. ‘Even a 6 year old knows what a straight line is’. A straight line is a concept that we are taught very early in life and we take it for granted. We don’t question it. It is actually a hypothetical construct and let me explain how. The universe is made up of spheres and circles. Any line between 2 points is a line between 2 points of a sphere or circle and this by definition can’t be straight. A straight line is a concept for our convenience.

Both in science and spirituality we do have to work with concepts as they are useful for learning. They play a useful role in our journey. However, it is important that we understand them as concepts and not as absolute truths. The bottom line is that a straight line may not be straight after all…

ADDITION: THE BIGGEST FLAW IN HUMAN THINKING AND BEHAVIOUR

We humans have somehow come to perceive that we progress mainly by a process of addition i.e. that we start off as deficient and that we progress by a process of addition which gradually minimises the deficiency state. This is one of the biggest flaws in human thinking, understanding and behaviour.

This preoccupation with ‘addition’ makes us waste all our lives in adding things at all levels whether they be physical objects or information ( misunderstood to be knowledge for the mind). In this way we create unnecessary layer over layer in our thought process and actions.

We do not start in a deficient state. What we simply need is an appreciation of ourself and this appreciation can lead to our tryst with divinity. However, we don’t do simple! We complicate things by our desire or longing for ‘something’ from outside that we think is ‘missing’ and that is required to rectify the defect in us. What we actually need is some way of clearing the ‘dust’ such that we can see and appreciate our brilliance. What we tend to do instead is think we are ‘dirty’ or ‘faulty’ or ‘incomplete’ and add artificial layer over layer of paint over ourselves hoping that no one can see the ‘defect’ in us.

Human progress is based not on addition but on subtraction. IF WE GIVE UP ALL UNNECESSARY THINGS WE ARE ONE WITH OUR CREATION. The aim in life should be to strip down to the bare minimum.
STOP ASKING: WHAT DO I WANT?
START EACH DAY BY ASKING WHAT CAN I GIVE UP TODAY? WHAT IS SUPERFLOUS? ONCE WE START STRIPPING OURSELVES OF ALL THE UNNECESSARY WE BECOME BLISSFUL. SUBTRACTION THEN BECOMES ADDITION AND OUR JOY MULTIPLIES.

The bad habit of ‘addition’ makes us into ‘hoarders’ but unfortunately these ‘additions’ do not help us to progress. Infact they pull us down. They make it difficult for us to move forward. They also create a lot of ‘noise’ in our lives such that we can’t hear the real melody of life. To listen to our inner self we need SILENCE. We don’t want to be distracted by the ‘NOISE’.

We need to learn the art of ‘giving up’ all the superflous things in our lives be they thoughts, words, actions or objects. STOP THINKING, SAYING, DOING AND GETTING SUPERFLOUS THINGS. The more you strip from your unnecessary layers the more blissful you will feel. Literally it is a big weight off your shoulders. You will enjoy life better and appreciate yourself and the creation around you. Give it a go!

Minesh Khashu

If you have secured happiness, you don’t need to read any further…

Of all human endeavors, the least success humans have achieved is in the pursuit of happiness.

Happiness is unfortunately not a ‘ready to eat’ dish. One has to secure the raw materials and all the ingredients and then to cook it. What makes this process even more tricky is that while there are myriads of recipes out there, very few are genuine and even among these maybe none will work for you perfectly.The recipes are good as guidance but in reality, you have to work out your own recipe…

Happiness is cooked in receptacles called ‘relationships’ and your emotions provide the ‘energy’ for the cooking. Beware of uncontrolled heat that will burn the dish!

The most important relationship that we all have is with our own self. As such, the best receptacle to prepare the dish of happiness is our own self. Life provides us with a lot of raw materials for our dish of HAPPINESS and depending upon our taste and the type of recipe we like, we use special spices or particular ways of cooking…

This brings me to a book called ENCOURAGEMENT by Dr. Hank Seitz.

Dr. Hank Seitz is a celebrated expert in the area of personal improvement and mental development.People just love him because he loves people and helps people love themselves.This quality is enough, in and of itself to make people feel significant and uniquely gifted to achieve any goal. At an organisational level Dr.Seitz works with teams to measurably increase their business results. He has a Master’s Degree in Human Behavior, and PhD in Mental Science. He was a General Manager with Procter & Gamble for 15 years, in charge of running a billion dollar corporation, and for the past 15 years he has used his time proven process with hundreds of Corporations and thousands of business teams.

Dr. Seitz highlights that our most important relationship is with ourself. He focusses on the importance of self belief and the power of positive thoughts.

If you are contemplating ‘cooking’ some happiness for yourself, do cast your eyes on the book. Look at the recipe and use the ingredients and the spices in there to get the most appropriate recipe to suit your taste.

I have pasted some links below for your perusal.

Whatever recipe and ingredients you choose to cook your happiness, do come and share with me and others.

Take care and keep smiling.
Prof. Minesh Khashu
 
Website: www.FeelRich.US

Facebook:

​​facebook.com/DrHank Seitz
Twitter:    Twitter @DrHankSeitz  
Top-PerformerBlog.com 
YouTube.com Channel – DrHankSeitz           
 

Of relationships and the red moon…

If life’s experiences are our reality, our relationships are our ‘senses’ for that reality. They are the currency of our emotional world.

We can learn a lot about our relationships from the relationship of the earth with the moon.

1. To the uninitiated the earth’s relationship with the moon may be one where ‘earth’ is the primary player and the moon revolves around it. We consciously or subconsciously make a similar mistake in our relationships. The moon is ‘part’ of the earth and has arisen from it. Each plays a unique role in the relationship.There is no room for hierarchies.

2. If we try to make others revolve to our whims and fancies, we need to appreciate that even though there may be ‘moons’ around to oblige us here and there, we could get a taste of our own medicine and be made to revolve around the ‘sun’. Revolving around someone you are attracted to is not negative but this should not be done in a superiority-inferiority complex. It should add to your being and not subtract from it. In a relationship both revolve around each other.

3. The rotations and revolutions of the earth and moon are essential and drive the system. Our Karma should do the same.

4. Like the phases of the moon and the waxing and waning sizes and changing shapes, people with whom we have a relationship will appear ‘different’ at times.This confuses us and puts strain on relationships. We need to be vigilant of this and show faith and patience.

5. The best red moon is a feature of Rayleigh scattering ( the same phenomenon that makes the sky appear blue). It is best seen when the moon is near the horizon ( it is actually farther from us than nearer). The moon appears red as the red part of light has a longer wavelength and is not deflected as much as the blue end of the spectrum by the atmospheric particles as light travels to us from the moon. As most of the blue end of the light spectrum gets scattered what reaches our eyes is mainly the red end of the spectrum.

There are three major lessons from this:

a) The moon does not change. What changes is either our perespective or angle from where we are viewing the moon (or the person with whom we have a relationship) or the medium between the moon and the earth. This medium is the atmosphere ( its depth, angle, particle content etc) in terms of the earth and the moon and in terms of our relationship is the atmosphere we create in our relationship. A good atmosphere with very good communication is critical if we want our relationships to flourish. What we say passes directly to the other person and does not get deflected or distorted.

b) In our relationships whenever we perceive that the other person has changed rather than pointing the finger at them it might be best to review whether your angle of vision or the atmosphere has changed and take remedial action.

c) Variety is the spice of life. Rather than worrying about the changes in the shape, size or color of the moon we should learn to enjoy it. The blue serene moon, the marble white moon , the red moon and so on all have their own great beauty and can give us great joy. Similarly our loved ones will demonstrate varying moods and preferences. Let us learn to enjoy these. Don’t fear them. Have faith that ‘it’ is still the same moon who is as much pulled to you as you are to it.