Three dads in New Zealand present a handy manual for new fathers
Scott Lancaster, Eric Mooij and Stefan Korn are entrepreneurs, fathers and now bestselling authors whose efforts succeed in filling an important void on the parenting-book aisle. As the innovative trio behind DIY Father, these dads have compiled their considerable combined experience and research to produce a book that is not only an important resource for new, young and hip dads but is also an entertaining read for both of the new parents.
Besides offering a host of practical tips backed by solid research, Lancaster, Mooij and Korn are engagingly honest in a way that a new generation of dads cannot fail to appreciate. And they are honest about the bad news as well as the good news. (Good news: your wife's figure becomes better endowed during pregnancy. Bad news: those endowments could actually be painful for her so you may be required to give them a wide berth).
From pregnancy through the first 12 months of fatherhood, Call Me Dad is a must-have for English-speaking fathers across the globe, at least until it begins to be translated into other languages—an eventuality which must be regarded as inevitable. In the meantime, English-speakers will not mind mentally translating the occasional (and charming) Kiwi vernacular since the important aspects of baby care covered by this excellent manual are, in fact, universal.
As the authors put it, their book is meant to cover "the mechanics of fathering (yep, that's where the nappies come in), but also the mentality of fathering (as in, 'You're having children? You must be mental . . .'). Most importantly though, it's about the joy of becoming and being a dad—a journey that lasts for the rest of your life."
A new look at a traditional family relationship
The first American Father's Day celebration was held on July 5, 1908, in Fairmont, West Virginia, only about 20 miles from the location of the first Mother’s Day celebration in Grafton. The event was the emotionally charged response to a mine explosion that had occurred one year earlier, killing more than 300 men, most of whom were fathers. Hundreds of grieving widows were left behind, along with more than 1,000 fatherless children.
Mrs. Grace Clayton, a woman who had lost two children and understood family loss well, was moved to establish an annual holiday to honor and remember all fathers for their great contributions to their families. But while this Father’s Day observance is mentioned in at least one historical document, it has all but been forgotten, and it is a separate event that occurred one year later that is most often referred to as the “beginning of Father’s Day.”
At a Mother’s Day celebration almost a year later, a young woman named Sonora Louise Smart was thinking about the sacrifices her father had made while shouldering the responsibility for his six children after his wife had died eleven years earlier. She wondered why there was no day set aside to honor fathers, and made it her mission to see one established. Her efforts were joined with those of many others across America, and while a declaration by President Calvin Coolidge made the day a popular tradition by 1924, it was not until 1972 that the day was finally signed into law by President Richard Nixon.
Interestingly, this formal recognition came just as fathers’ contributions to the family were beginning to be acknowledged in more important legal ways as well. In 1972, the Supreme Court acknowledged that fathers, like mothers, should be entitled to a hearing before state intervention that might result in removal of his children. The Court also ruled it unconstitutional to begin proceedings to terminate the parental rights of fathers without proper notification.
Now, almost a decade into a new millennium, society is still struggling to find the right place for fathers, but researchers who study this question are uncovering encouraging news that may give families more reason than ever to celebrate Father’s Day. Read more about the importance of fathers in Vision's special report: A Tribute to Fathers.