Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Book Review: "First Time Dad: The Stuff You Really Need to Know"

First Time Dad: The Stuff You Really Need to Know
by John Fuller with Paul Batura
Chicago: Moody Publishers, 2011

John Fuller, cohost of the Focus on the Family daily broadcast, seeks to provide new fathers with some solid advice in "First-Time Dad; The Stuff You Really Need to Know." He hits the ball out of the park.

He tells of his own experience of new fatherhood - how all the reading in the world won't prepare you for it. He encourages new fathers to have realistic expectations of how their lives are going to change. Fuller emphasizes the importance of looking to God first for parenting support. "Don't take your cues about fatherhood from the culture, but rather from the God of the universe . . . You don't want to be a good father just for the sake of being a good father. You want to be a good father because you want to teach your son how to be a good man."

Fuller talks about balancing priorities and resisting the urge to immerse yourself in some new activity simply to avoid being at home. He encourages men to take the long view - parenting comes with "no annual review, few 'attaboys' and little immediate feedback. So you'll need to persevere and settle in for the long haul."

He also offers help for men who had poor parenting role-models growing up and encourages them to break the cycle.

Women will appreciate most the ways Fuller provides men with ways to help their wives and maintain the marital bond despite having children. He also emphasizes the importance of being a spiritual leader to one's family and bringing one's children up in the faith. "Your child will, whether you like it or not, tend to imitate your priorities in life - including the importance of your personal faith."

While "First-Time Dads" is obviously aimed at new dads, I think it could be helpful for men at any stage in the parenting journey. It's never too early or too late to improve.

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