First-Time Father: The essential guide for the new dad

August 7, 2012

First Time Father

For many men, the birth of their first child is a truly life-changing event. First-Time Father: The essential guide for the new dad provides fathers with the answers and options to enable them to design a rewarding and effective fatherhood journey.

It seems that what new fathers are wanting has continued to change over the last five years. In this revised edition of First-ime Father, the authors Dr Graeme Russell and Tony White (who both work extensively with new fathers) show that contemporary men want to:

  • have a strong and enduring relationship with their children;
  • be actively involved in the day-to-day care of their children;
  • share the parenting and paid work equally with their partner;
  • take extended leave from paid work to be the primary caregiver for a period of time; and
  • reduce their hours of work (for example, to part-time) to behighly involved in caring for their child.

There are also more families with young children where both parents are in the paid workforce, thus providing a range of different options for fathers to be actively involved. Indeed, according to the authors, there are more men today (like women) who want to have a successful career and a satisfying family life. And there are more couples seeking to base their relationships on equality in their involvement in paid work and in caring for children. With changing expectations and workplace policies, more couples have been able to put these different family arrangements in place.

The authors address the five common questions or curiosities that they find new fathers have:

  1. What impact do fathers have? How important am I? Research shows that fathers are important to their children from the beginning.
  2. What is best for my child? – How do I decide what I want for my child? What are his or her needs, and how can I make sure I meet these?
  3. How can I connect with my newborn, and stay connected with her as she grows? – What are my opportunities to be actively involved, to be part of my child’s life from the beginning, to share the joys and challenges as they grow – to be a positive influence in her life? How can I build a strong relationship with my child?
  4. What about my partner, how can we work together? How can we work as a team? The research evidence shows the value of a strong relationship between partners and the benefits that result for children when fathers and mothers work as a parenting ‘team’.
  5. How can I include my child in my life? Are there benefits in integrating the needs of my child into all aspects of my life? How can I achieve a satisfying balance between my work and my new family responsibilities?
  • It focuses more directly on the five questions fathers commonly ask, mentioned above.
  • There is a new chapter reviewing the latest research demonstrating the impact fathers have on their children.
  • Greater recognition is given to the emerging group of men who are actively seeking to be highly involved as fathers. More options are provided for this group.
  • Greater emphasis is given to family patterns where both parents share paid work and caring.
  • New material has been added to strengthen team parenting and couple relationship sections.
  • The chapter on integrating work and family has been substantially revised and covers the latest trends and options for men to take either parental or paternity leave.

Source: First-Time Father (

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