I was supporting Little Patriots Embraced (LPE), a wonderful charity that supports military families throughout the country focusing on the needs of military children. I discovered LPE when I was looking for organizations to which I could donate my book, “The Power of Dadhood, How to Become the Father Your Child Needs”.
I brought a couple of my books to the event to give away to anyone that expressed an interest in the topic. The topic of my book dovetails nicely with the goals of LPE. Military families suffer many more challenges in raising children than non-military families, at least in general. The constant separations, the frequent moves, the long hours, and even PTSD, all contribute to more pressure in family unity and harmony. This is why Carol Watanabe, the founder of LPE became so interested in what my book can do for military families. Through her organization, we give hundreds of books to the military.
As I said, I brought a couple of my books and some literature to the event. People were very nice, it was a gorgeous day and a great turnout. However, few people took notice of my book. In no way was I surprised by that, in fact, it was expected. The food and fun were more attractive, but you never know who might be interested so it is best to be prepared. Finally, a family came to our booth and the mother picked up some literature on my book. She quickly put it back on the table and I said “Please keep it, better yet, here is the book and you can also keep it if you like.” The mother took the book and showed it to her husband asking him if he would like to have it. He glanced at the title and shook his head no.
This father of three young children showed no interest in learning more about ‘Dadhood’ because he may have thought he knew what he needed to know already. And it is much more fun to read Tom Clancy or the adventures of 'Jack Reacher'. His lack of interest in my book doesn’t mean he was anything less than a good father.
Pilots read aviation magazines. Gun enthusiasts read “Gun and Ammo”. Investors constantly read up on investment advice. I would bet these men are good pilots, great marksmen and wise investors, but they keep up and try to become better. My observations tell me this is not so true about their most important and vital responsibility, being a nurturing father, a dad! I don’t blame fathers for being like this. It’s a cultural thing. There is no general emphasis and very little talk about fathering. There is no pattern or social pressure to read about parenting for men as there is for women. I was like that myself!
What exists is a “barrier of good enough” which allows fathers to think they are parenting just fine, or at least as good as most fathers. After all, if you are around you are better than many fathers. Feed them, clothe them, pat them on the head, and go to their ballgames. It is all good, but it does not complete what being a dad is all about. A dad is also a mentor, a coach, a cheerleader, a disciplinarian, and a protector among many things.
Fathering can be like eating, you can get by without much effort. But by understanding diet, one can do much better regarding healthy choices. That fact was recognized and the void was filled, over and over again. The void in healthy fathering was not filled so completely. I think books on the topic of diet outnumber books on fathering at least 1,000 to 1. Yes, there are books about fathers and fathering, but they are mostly authored and read by professionals and academics.
My book was written for real dads regarding real situations. It takes a special father to think and research about being a better dad. Don’t be satisfied with a vision of being a good father based on past experiences that set a low standard. In the army of Dadhood, be the best you can be!
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Click here for more information on Little Patriots Embraced. A charity I highly endorse serving the children of those who serve us.