There When He Needs You: How to Be an Available, Involved, and Emotionally Connected Father to Your Son

Neil Bernstein, Author, Brooke Lea Foster, With
Neil Bernstein, Author, Brooke Lea Foster, With . Free Press $25 (256p) ISBN 978-1-4165-6073-9
Reviewed on: 04/21/2008
Release date: 05/01/2008
Ebook - 256 pages - 978-1-4165-5935-1
Paperback - 256 pages - 978-1-4165-6092-0
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This straightforward look at “the dos and don’ts of good fathering” should be handed out to all men as they leave the hospital with a newborn son. Bernstein draws on years of experience as a clinical psychologist focused on family therapy to thoroughly explore what he calls “the father trap”—men who are “drawn to fatherhood by their desire to out-father their own dads” after they become parents, only to realize that “they have no idea how to go about being different.” Using many real examples of conflicts faced by his patients, Bernstein makes convincing arguments on a range of fatherhood issues, from explaining how new dads have to confront the legacy of their own often conflicted feeling about their own fathers to detailing specific ways to “Take steps to get involved in your son’s life.” Bernstein’s writing style is fairly simple but not simplistic, and he is consistently enlightening whether he’s discussing the importance of baby talk or showing how dads can best deal with a teenager’s interest in pornography. He concludes with a list of “Top Ten Fathering Tips” (“10. Never tell your son to 'suck it up.’ ”) that all dads should memorize. (May)

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