Being a parent is perhaps one of the most difficult and rewarding challenges a person will ever face. After all, as a parent you become responsible for the safety, development, and happiness of another person. So where can you turn when you need some extra guidance? Parenting books could be the answer.
More fathers than ever have begun to write books about the parental journey, opening up a new range of insight for dads looking for guidance. Whether you’re searching for a book written to help you make the transition from man to father, or looking for a piece that will help you to better understand your role and your children’s behaviors, the following list should help.
Books for New Dads
Becoming a father means accepting a new role in your life that you may feel completely unprepared for – even if you’re the world’s most excited father-to-be.
1. The Expectant Father: Facts, Tips and Advice for Dads-to-be (Armin A. Brott and Jenifer Ash)
Written for the modern father, this guide to everything “Dad” provides a wealth of information designed to prepare you for pregnancy, caring for a baby, and managing those first crucial years of parenthood. It even offers a number of tips for men considering life as a stay-at-home dad. Similar to any “what-to-expect” set of tips, the book includes a number of ways in which fathers can support their partners during parenthood. However, it also helps father’s discover their own role in a strange new world.
2. Be Prepared: A Practical Handbook for New Dads (Gary Greenberg and Jeannie Hayden)
Supplementing your education on the route to becoming a father doesn’t have to be all work and no play. There are plenty of fatherhood books out there that approach the issue from a more humorous angle. For instance “Be Prepared” covers everything from how to make your baby laugh, to how to choose a new stroller. Packed with charming illustrations, this step-by-step guide also teaches dads how to baby proof the house, and change an emergency diaper at a sports game.
Books for Dads with Toddlers
Once the baby years are over, dads may need help on dealing with a whole new range of behaviors and concepts. During the toddler years, children are much more mobile, and they’re capable of causing more trouble. At the same time, they’re learning to speak, bond, and discover more about the world around them.
1. Dads, Toddlers, and the Chicken Dance (Peter Downey)
A helpful and humorous book designed to describe the realities of raising a toddler, Downey’s book is an informative, and refreshingly hilarious option for fathers who want the tips, without the serious edge. This book offers everything from information about speech development, to common illnesses, nutrition, and toilet-training. However, it may not appeal to the more sensitive readers out there.
2. Crouching Father, Hidden Toddler: A Zen Guide for New Dads (C.W. Nevius)
A book all about helping fathers discover the patience required to raise an excitable toddler, Crouching Father offers an array of short essays that cover common worries from a humorous angle, such as “What is the sound of one child napping”.
Books for Dads with School-Age Children
The elementary age, pre-teen, and teenage years provide a new selection of worries and anxieties to deal with. Not only are fathers responsible for teaching kids necessary skills and, keeping them away from bad habits, but they also have the task of instilling them with important values.
1. But I’m Almost 13! : Raising a Responsible Adolescent (Kenneth R. Ginsburg and Martha M. Jablow)
Don’t be fooled by the light-hearted title, this book is full of tips and tricks to help keep your growing child away from the risks of youth, from emotional problems like depression and anxiety, to reckless behavior like drug use and the results peer pressure. It provides advice on nourishing your child’s independence, while making them aware of the problems and consequences they could face.
2. Yes, Your Teen is Crazy: Loving Your Kid without Losing Your Mind (Michael J. Bradley)
Written by a psychologist drawing on research into the teenage brain, this book argues that the average teenager is basically insane, showing plenty of dysfunctional, unstable, and unpredictable behavior. Fortunately, the book also delivers plenty of information on how to encourage and guide your children through these difficult years as a father, and a friend.
Books for Dads with Kids Who’ve Left the Nest
It’s not just mothers that suffer from empty nest syndrome – but fathers too. The following books help dads overcome the emotional issues that can set in after a child vacates the family household.
1. The Empty Nest: How to Survive and Stay Close to Your Adult Child (Celia Dodd)
Written from an optimistic and realistic point of view, this book covers all of the issues a father might experience when living in a child-free home. It reminds readers that children continue to need their parents after they leave the nest, just as parents continue to need the love of their children.
2. Fun without Dick and Jane (Christie Mellor)
Dedicated to parents with a sense of humor, this light-hearted book offers creative insight into how to rediscover yourself as an individual after your children leave home. It could be the perfect solution for the father whose identity has become all about his kids.
What are some of your favorite books about being a dad? Share with us in the comments!