Now let's change the subtitle to How to Not Be a Jerk! It's the same book, but now the recipient's reaction is different. "Does he think I'm a jerk?" they wonder and quietly ignore the book. Or they say, "What do mean I'm a jerk", and they throw it back in your face.
That brings me to my book, The Power of Dadhood: Become the Father Your Child Needs. The feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. I believe it is honest, encouraging, and simply written.
The one thing that I may regret is the subtitle, which is Become the Father Your Child Needs. It is not the subtitle I had written. When my publisher changed it I didn't object because my initial reaction was positive and others agreed. A child does need his father and it suggested my book would help with that duty. To some people, however, it sends a different message when it is received as a gift.
My original subtitle was A Better Society One Child at a Time. I chose that subtitle because there was much emphasis on the impacts on society when families break down. Every father that stands by and supports his family is one step toward a society with less crime, fewer births to teenage mothers, more educated youth, and more community-minded people—I could go on and on.
I have heard, however, that when someone gives the book to a friend and/or relative, their initial reaction may be to be offended! Their interpretation is, “Are you saying I’m doing a terrible job as a father?” Certainly, this is not the intent at all!
The true purpose of my book is threefold!
- To prove to any man, no matter what he thinks, or what he hears, that he is a crucial and undeniable influence on the lives of his children and it is vital that he be there for them in a positive way.
- To be a reference for how to handle the challenges of fatherhood which, most assuredly, will occur.
- To save precious lives from a path of self-destruction, underachievement, and/or being a burden on society.
When my book was translated into Chinese, the publisher there translated the subtitle to “A moment for dad, a lifetime for (his) kid”, which I think is an interesting and positive subtitle. It doesn’t have a potential to suggest anything negative to someone who may receive it as a gift.
My publisher, Familius, did not have the last word on the subtitle, I did! These few examples of the reaction to the subtitle were not anticipated by either of us. The subtitle is an honest and true reflection of the content, yet I can now see how people’s sensitivities may be provoked. However, the message of the book is too strong and important to ignore, so don’t let anything stop you from gifting this book!
If ever there is a second edition of my book, I may come up with another subtitle. Even replacing the word 'Become' with 'Be' would help. But for now, it can't be changed. What I ask for is this; anyone who may consider my book as a gift to a current, expecting, and even a future father, please be aware of the potential misconception that may occur and let them know it is no reflection on their performance, ability, or future as a dad! The Power of Dadhood is simply a tool to help fathers in their pursuit of being a first-class parent.