What is the Essence of Good Fathering?
This is a question I’ve been pursuing for the past 20 years. The first years of that pursuit were purely academic; I had no kids. Since 1993, however, when my son Evan was born, I’ve wanted to know personally and practically how I can be the best father to my son.
After interviewing hundreds of fathers, sons and daughters, I’ve finally brought my findings together in an audio CD that I hope will be helpful to both women and men raising kids. The CD is called, “What Sons and Daughters Need from Their Dads,” and is available by clicking here.
On the CD, I explain the three most important elements of good fathering. Knowing these three elements has made a huge difference in my approach to parenting, and I hope it is helpful to you and your family.
This is also my first foray into CD production. My focus has previously been writing books, but I’ve discovered that many people learn better by listening than reading. “What Sons and Daughters Need from Their Dads” includes my best material on the topic of fatherhood.
Do Men Cry?
One of the most fascinating statistics from my FatherLoss survey is this one: 61 percent of men cry over the death of their fathers. It’s fascinating because I can’t decide whether that number is high or low. On the one hand, more than six in 10 men overcome the prohibition against men crying. On the other hand, just six in 10 cry over what for most men is the biggest loss of their lives to that point.
The good news is that crying is not the determining factor in whether a man grieves effectively. Crying, in fact, is only one of many ways that people – and men in particular – come to terms with a loss.
In my research, I found that many men grieve through action. For example, they:
- listen to music their fathers loved
- read books their fathers left behind
- wear clothes their fathers wore
- start an organization to combat the disease that killed their fathers
- tend the garden their fathers created
- use the tools from their fathers’ woodshop.
Not surprisingly, many of these acts are just as successful as crying at helping a grieving person deal with a major loss.