Christopher Robin was never happy with the limelight his famous father, A.A. Milne, brought him. While Winnie the Pooh and his animal friends are dear to millions of fans, Christopher Robin Milne grew to resent the inhabitants of the 100 Acre Wood. Fatherhood, for the author of the beloved children’s books, was apparently just a bit beyond his abilities. It is a pity A.A. Milne did not have these must-read books on fatherhood.
How-To Books for Fathers
Grouped by child’s age, we present some instruction manuals for the small mammals in your care:
- From Dude to Dad: The Diaper Dude Guide to Pregnancy — From conception through a bit after birth (awkwardly worded; our bad) through a bit into their toddlerhood, this book helps the single Dad deal with the singular challenges of babies
- Taking Back Childhood — Cure yourself and your kids of the perpetual ocean of media, portrayed violence and inattention to the inner workings of little minds and allow your kids to be, well, kids
- The Grown-Up’s Guide to Teenage Humans: How to Decode Their Behavior, Develop Unshakable Trust, and Raise a Respectable Adult — You know your teen will never read this, so read it and be ready to offer wise old life lessons on responsibility, trust, bullying, and more
How Not-To Books for Fathers
Whether you need a laugh or just to put some distance between you and those meddling kids, try these:
- Go the F**k to Sleep — Forget Goodnight Moon; try this little waker-upper and be sure to follow it with You Have to F**king Eat
- King Lear — Several hundred years ago a guy named William Shakespeare wrote the complete compendium of things fathers should not do; you can listen to the whole play for free
- Fowl Language: The Struggle is Real and Fowl Language: Welcome to Parenting — Comic books you can completely, absolutely relate to as a single Dad
- Calm the F*** Down — No, really; that’s the name of the book, and it offers a novel twist on parenting, reassuring you that you do not need all the other books listed here
Do-It-Yourself Books on Fatherhood
Dads do things. They build, they destroy, they run and play and sit for tea parties with dolls and daughters. Knowing how to whistle through your teeth, tie a bowline knot, or braid a daughter’s hair can make you a Super Dad in anyone’s eyes. Try these:
- Dad’s Book of Awesome Projects — Get out there and build neat stuff like comic book shoes, rope swings, goo, eggshell cupcakes, or a straight-outta-Little Rascals fruit crate scooter
- Dad’s Book of Awesome Science Experiments — Help your kids explore chemistry with soap clouds, or biology with hole-y walls, or physics with straw balloon rockets, plus a whole lot of other nifty science
- Mini Weapons of Mass Destruction: Build Implements of Spitball Warfare — Come on, picture it: your kids are stuck inside your apartment for a visitation weekend while outside the rain pelts and the winds howl, so you, Captain Hero Dad, show them how to make a catapult out of rubber bands, clothespins and a plastic spoon!
Fatherly Role Models for the Books
Not all books on fatherhood are instructional recipe types of tomes. Some provide excellent role models for astute fathers who like to read between the lines.
To Kill a Mockingbird, for example, provides one of the strongest father figures in modern literature. Atticus Finch, the local lawyer, is a single father who not only tackles household challenges with Scout and Jem, he also valiantly defends a wrongly accused black man in a noxiously racist Southern town.
Despite enormous professional challenges, Finch always has time for kind, fatherly wisdom for his two children. Other paternal and patriarchal roles models from great literature:
- The Man from Cormac McCarthy’s dystopian novel, The Road — Protective, sharp, completely devoted to shepherding The Boy through the the post-apocalyptic future
- Daniel Sempere’s father in Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s Shadow of the Wind — By the simple and loving act of taking Daniel, as a young boy, to the Cemetery of Forgotten Books, this kindly father keeps his son pointed toward truth
- Horton the Elephant — An elephant (and a father) is faithful, 100 percent; In a few hundred words, Dr. Seuss teaches Dads everywhere to mean what they say and say what they mean, whether hatching an egg or hearing a Who
We have likely left off some favorite fatherly book of yours. If so, please feel free to let us know so we can provide an updated list at a later date. Contact The Firm For Men at 757-383-9184, or contact us online, with your ideas.