Written by men’s and boy’s health researcher and lecturer, Dr Richard Fletcher, the book reveals and celebrates the differences between ‘fathering’ and ‘mothering’. It creates new thinking around the vital role of a father in his child’s life, right from the first moments after birth when the newborn searches for the father’s familiar voice that was heard in the womb.
Rough and tumble play is considered to be as important with daughters as it is with sons, and examples of close bonds between fathers and their children are given.
A high quality father-baby bond, created with loving, physical interaction between the pair has enormously positive effects on the baby’s brain and strengthens the baby’s emotional wellbeing. Fletcher’s research explains how a father’s natural role of protector to his family is vital to his child’s feeling of safety which allows the child to be confident to explore the environment.
Through interaction and physical play, particularly controlled ‘rough and tumble’ play, fathers help their child to discover a range of emotions, manage moods, learn to assess risks, improve problem-solving and develop body strength. Rough and tumble play is considered to be as important with daughters as it is with sons, and examples of close bonds between fathers and their children are given.
Fletcher points out that early bonding with a child goes far beyond breastfeeding but highlights the importance of a father’s support to the breastfeeding mother.
The Dad Factor is thought-provoking and can be easily read on a chapter-by-chapter basis by new parents who may be short on spare time for reading. It focuses on the importance of fathers in their new family arrangement, helping them to discover how they can be a vital part of the baby’s early life and more than just a ‘helper’ to the new mother.
Finch Publishing, 2011
186 pages RRP $29.95
To purchase the book go to http://www.mothersdirect.com.au/catalogue/parenting/the-dad-factor
Reviewed by Lauren Jones