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The First Love Story

Adam, Eve, and Us

flsfinal3dFrom the New York Times bestselling author of Walking the Bible and Abraham comes a revelatory journey across four continents and 4,000 years exploring how Adam and Eve introduced the idea of love into the world, and how they continue to shape our deepest feelings about relationships, family, and togetherness. READ MORE

 

The Secrets of Happy Families

Improve Your Mornings, Rethink Family Dinner, Fight Smarter, Go Out and Play, and Much More

The Secrets of Happy Families book coverBest-selling author and New York Times family columnist Bruce Feiler found himself squeezed between aging parents and rising children. He set out on a three-year journey to find the smartest ideas, cutting-edge research, and novel solutions to make his family happier. READ MORE

 

The Council of Dads

A Story of Family, Friendship & Learning How to Live

The Council of Dads book coverWhen bestselling author Bruce Feiler was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in his leg, he could only imagine all the walks he might not take with his daughters, the ballet recitals he would miss, the art projects left undone, and the aisles he might not walk down. READ MORE

Read Bruce’s cancer diary.

Bruce's latest news

Bruce discusses the Secrets of Happy Families on the latest Digital Dads podcast.

Announcing Bruce’s forthcoming book, The First Love Story, from Penguin Random House

Watch the award-winning PBS series, Sacred Journeys with Bruce Feiler.

Bruce talks about “Happy Families” at Google.

See Bruce’s up-to-date list of speaking topics, and learn more about inviting him to your event.

Daddy-bashing is Suddenly Cool! What Should Dads Do?

Daddy-bashing is suddenly cool. The cover story of the latest Atlantic proclaims “The End of Men: How Women Are Taking Control — of Everything,” while inside the magazine Pamela Paul poses the emasculating question, “Are Fathers Necessary?” Her answer, after sifting through the research: probably not. Social scientists have been unable to prove that dads contribute much, she reports. The effort and quality of parenting are what really matter, not parents’ gender.

“The bad news for Dad is that despite common perception, there’s nothing objectively essential about his contribution,” concludes Paul, the author of “Parenting, Inc.”

The bad-dad rap doesn’t stop there. A 20-year study of lesbian parents in the journal Pediatrics concludes that teenagers raised by two mothers (read: no dad) had better grades and fewer social problems than other teens. The study’s co-author, Nanette Gartrell of the University of California at Los Angeles, explained the difference by saying that lesbian mothers are more committed to child-rearing than heterosexual parents.

So what’s a beleaguered dad to do? If science can’t prove that we matter, does that mean we don’t?

Read my full articles in The Washington Post.

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7 Responses to “Daddy-bashing is Suddenly Cool! What Should Dads Do?”

  1. Robert says:

    Thanks for your Washington Post article. I too have become more and more sensitive to the gender biases of late. For example, a cursory look at any TV commercial that portrays a father demonstrates the same caricature: a bumbling idiot of a man that serves as the proverbial punchline.

    I am proud to say that in the raising of our three children, there’s nothing my wife can do that I can’t, won’t, or don’t. And the shocking thing is, that fact bewilders many people we come in contact with.

    It’s a sad state of affairs, and we men really do need to stand up for ourselves. Thank you for being one such very public voice!

  2. Seth says:

    Are fathers necessary? Hmmmm. For what?

    My five-year-old girl has been a daddy’s girl pretty much from the age of one, when she stopped breastfeeding. She would point to things everywhere and say “Daddy’s.” Apparently, I own most of the aircraft on the tarmac at Chicago O’Hare.

    Her mother and I are a great team. Mom makes the trains run on time, Dad listens to what our daughter is feeling as well as what she is saying. Is that because of my gender? Maybe. Maybe not. Maybe it’s easier for her to be close to me without feeling smothered. Maybe I’m just a good listener with fewer expectations of her.

    I have observed at preschool that from a pretty early age, boys and girls are different. So having two perspectives in the house would be a plus, other things being equal. I’m pretty sure that love is the most important thing, though, followed closely by respect for the child as an individual with her own soul and her own will. Some people are better at that than others, and I doubt gender has much to do with it.

    What I do know is that I’m the center of her little world. And, like you, not being there for my daughter is the only thing I really dread. When I get nervous about an upcoming airplane flight for a business trip, she’s the reason. If it were just me, I could say, “Whatever happens, happens.” But I have someone I really need to come home to. Someone whose whole world would be shattered if I didn’t make it.

    I’m glad you wrote the book. I’ll have to pick up a copy. And I hope you’ll have the chance to walk each of your daughters down the aisle.

  3. […] Four Lessons of Faith for my daughters. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/theblog/ Daddy-bashing is Suddenly Cool! What Should Dads Do? « Bruce Feiler 3 hours ago When bestselling author Bruce Feiler was diagnosed with a malignant tumor in his leg, […]

  4. Jackie Warwick UK says:

    Daddy bashing is not a good idea. I am so pleased I have my Dad and my Mum and they just coming up to celebrating 50 years of marriage. The world might just be a better place with more parents being together. Children need Dad’s, active Dad’s not just a name or an empty name on a birth certificate.

  5. Eleni says:

    Happy father’s day! Please allow my comment. I get very angry with those strange women (OK, Not Politically Correct, but correct just the same.) They are NOT lesbians! My father and his father are lesbians (from the island of Lesbos–about 5 miles off the northern coast of Turkey) My people are good and faithful Christians, having suffered over 4 centuries of religous persecution under the hands of muslim conquerers. Only to have these disgusting women to take the name of my fathers and drag it through the dirt. My father was a loving father, who taught me and my siblings of the world and the Lord that all TRUE Lesbians honor to serve. — My prayers are for you and all the dear Fathers who try to raise their children against the scorns of the world.

  6. Cathy Heffner says:

    I’m sorry to be sexist (not to you Bruce, but to fellow women), but the first thing jumping out at me is that both of your experts were women. I’m going to have to find these articles to if the data might be biased. I remember hearing on NPR several years ago a piece made by teenagers around Father’s Day, and the sense that even though some of their lives were good, the lack of a father was painful.

    My dad taught me how to grow vegetables; how to drive; how to be dependable; by example what it meant to be responsible to a job and for a family; and he had dirty sock fights with me and my 3 siblings after he came home from working all day (we had to stop when we started hitting the lamps). I lost him 2 years ago, I’m 55 years old, and I miss him every day. He was far from perfect, but none of us kids did drugs, we are all good citizens, and we don’t fight with one another because Daddy (Mom too) was involved in our lives, didn’t just finance them. There is something about these studies that just does not ring true.

  7. Scott B says:

    Bruce,

    Daddy Bashing has been going on for much longer. Think “The Roseanne Show”, “Home Improvement” w/ Tim Allen, even on “Family Ties” with the sensitive father, and the kids constantly back talking, fatherhood is being greatly dimished, even in the Church.

    I am tired of every kids movie, and even many adult movies, where the main comedy, revolves around a boy or man getting kicked in the groin. Ultimately, men are losing their respect in the media, and everytime I am with my kids, I explain the importance of what it means to be boy and to become a man. Kicking another boy in the groin doesn’t make you a man, it’s an easy way out of a fight. Though, I also teach my kids to avoid fighting as well.

    I can’t say that I am a stronger man because I had a strong father, but what I will say is that he taught me responsibilty and what it means to be a man and accept responsibility for myself and to my family.

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