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Glad to Be Dad: A Call to Fatherhood
Reach And Teach says:
Any book that starts with a quote from Ursula LeGuin is a book worth continuing to read! This one didn't break that rule.
I've always gone along with the belief that the world would be a much more peaceful place if women were in charge. Tim Myers' new book, Glad to Be Dad, hasn't necessarily changed that belief, but it has given me something new to add to my list of "the world would be better ifs." The world would be a lot better off if more fathers deeply involved themselves in their children's lives the way Tim Myers did. And, more fathers could and would do that if they read this book.
Our usual readers might wonder why Reach And Teach would be reviewing a book which the author clearly states is geared towards heterosexual two-parent households. We are, after all, champions of the "love makes a family" philosophy (as is Myers). But if the family happens to have a mother and a father, this book can truly help the father experience the true joy of parenthood, well warned about the sheer hell it can sometimes be, and armed with some great tips for hanging onto his cushion in that handbasket throughout the ride. And, despite Myers' opinion about for whom he wrote the book, as a gay man who doesn't happen to have children, I have to say that the book has universal appeal and I would recommend it to anyone who has ever had, thought of having, had friends or family who have had, or are thinking of having, or might ever spend any time anywhere near... children.
The other day at a festival while standing in our booth I saw a little boy skipping happily down the street and then moments later a young girl grabbed her mother's hand and dragged her into our booth, grinning from ear to ear and exclaiming "Look Mommy!! Books!!!!!" Imagine if we adults could tap into the pure joy being felt by the skipping boy and the book-loving girl, how much better our entire world would be. One of the reasons Myers wrote this book was to help fathers tap into that pure joy, as often as possible, by truly engaging in their children's lives.
Of course not all of parenthood is about skipping boys and grinning girls. You also have meltdowns, up-all-nighters, throwing up and diarrhea simultaneously (AKA "double-ender"), an end to meaningful sex (well at least a long time out), and lots of other difficult situations through which parents have to navigate. Myers doesn't avoid the messy side of things, the really messy side, the kind of mess that fills up the washing machine three or four times in the same day, but he provides lots of ways to get through the sea of vomit and urine and tantrums. And, even in the midst of the worst meltdowns and other bad hehavior, critically important to anything Reach And Teach would recommend, he takes a strong stand against any form of physical punishment, especially spanking. His basic principle on discipline starts with "First make your kid happy, then worry about discipline."
Chock-full of humorous and scary anecdotes, checklists, do-and-don't-lists, and heartfelt soul-healing advice, Myers has written a moving, funny, insightful, practical, and inspiring book that any would-be or current parent should read.
As Americans in the midst of one of the greatest economic and social upheavals since the Great Depression, rather than despairing the loss of the lifestyles of the credit-card-rich-and-reality-show-famous, now is a wonderful time to stop and look at what's really important in our lives and what will help build a better world for the future. One of the answers is truly connecting with our families, connecting in a deeper more intense and intentional and healthy way than our double-income two kids who never sit down for a meal together heady days of the bubble. This book shows the joys that will come from doing that, especially for fathers whom society has told to seek other measures of success.
World peace really is just a skipping boy or a gleeful book-loving girl away, after you wash up all the poop.
Seriously people, buy the book.
About the Book:
After staying home with his two sons for a year and his daughter since her infancy, Tim Myers knows all about being a stay-at-home parent. He knows the most effective cleaning products, which snacks to buy, and has developed a “housemaid’s knee.” He has experienced first-hand the profound influence fathers have on their children, along with the challenges of being a committed parent. By recounting personal experiences, offering honest, sincere opinions, and including quizzes for fatherly-preparedness, Tim Myers emphasizes the importance of fatherly contribution and influence in the home. He shows fathers that they are not only vital to home life, but that fatherhood also brings great joy into men’s lives, not to mention a surprising amount of plain old fun. In addition, Myers details the essential role of fathers, and the very real (and sometimes frustrating) transition into taking an active role in home life. Poignant, funny, and inspiring, Glad to be Dad is perfect for both aspiring fathers and seasoned veterans.
About the Author:
Tim J. Myers is a writer, storyteller, songwriter, and senior lecturer at Santa Clara University. Tim earned his master’s in literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has 32 years experience teaching, both at the classroom and university levels. He’s published 11 children’s books (with four on the way) and over 120 poems, including two books of poetry for adults. His children's books include "Dark-Sparkle Tea" (Wordsong), "Good Babies" (Candlewick ‘05), and Basho and the Fox (Cavendish ’00), and New York Times bestseller for children. He also won the 2012 SCBWI Magazine Merit Award for Fiction.
- Written by Tim J. Myers
- Published by Familius Spring 2013
- ISBN 9781938301018
- Paperback 270 pages