Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Baby Bonding Book featured in Texas Family

This was taken by doing Apple's neat trick of holding down the control-shift-and the #4 keys at the same time to take a snapshot of the screen. Since it's illegible (but it looks cool, doesn't it?), here's what the review says:
The Baby Bonding
Book for Dads
James di Properzio and
Jennifer Margulis
“The Baby Bonding Book for Dads” is
a helpful guide for any new dad who
feels lost parenting a newborn. With
information on bonding, diapering,
napping, going places, and even on
how to carry a baby, this “instruction
manual” provides fathers with
invaluable insight into everyday living
and what matters most in caring for a
baby from birth. Authored by James
di Properzio, a father of three, with
his wife, Jennifer Margulis, it offers
firsthand advice beginning with the
delivery room experience. Filled with
helpful information and beautiful
pictures by Christopher Briscoe, this
guide is a must-have for any new dad.
$15.95, www.willowcreekpress.com.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day!

F A T H E R ' S
D A Y !!

Breakfast in bed, framed photos, calls to long distance grandpas, a walk in the woods, lots of horizontal play time with your spouse ... here's to wishing everyone a happy Father's Day! (even if it is a Hallmark holiday designed to sell greeting cards...)

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A round up of book-related Web news

You can now see the inside of the book (and read parts of it online) at Willow Creek Press.

Kathy Sena has a review of the book up at Ground Reports.

Blonde Mom Blog, one of our favorites, has a great post about dads up at her site (and is doing a book giveaway, click on over there for details).

You can read Jennifer Margulis's article all about Treesorts in Takilma, Oregon at Travel Savvy Mom's cool new Website. Jamie Pearson's blog about kids and travel is hilarious so check it out too.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Picture Time

An excerpt from a chapter of the Baby Bonding Book for Dads called "Picture Time":
If you're the one in the house who takes the pictures, you'll soon find that there are lots of pictures of the baby, and of the baby and your wife, but almost none of the baby and you. This is often the dad's place: looking in on the action, wanting to record it all, but not in the picture. But to bond with your baby you need to get into the frame, so to speak...
Though some of us think fondly that there was no Father's Day (or Mother's Day) a hundred years ago, a good present for a new dad is a photo shoot. If your budget allows for it, have a professional take pictures of dad and baby (moms can be in them too). If you're feeling the squeeze of the economy, despite that incentive check, set up a photo shoot at home and take the pictures yourself.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Savvy Housewife Book Give Away

Win a free copy of the book by leaving a comment on the Savvy Housewife's new sassy blog.

Or, if you don't want a free book, read Jennifer Margulis's latest (and penultimate) column in the Ashland Daily Tidings and see if you can figure out what's so controversial about writing about Wildlife Images, an animal rehabilitation center (and an amazing day trip for kids) in southern Oregon.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

"An Informative, Practical, and Never Condescending Guide"

Meagan Francis writes about the Baby Bonding Book for Dads in her column, "Mama-Rama," in the Michigan Noise today. She calls the book "An informative, practical, and never condescending guide to bonding with your baby..." and includes a Q & A that she did with co-authors James di Properzio and Jennifer Margulis. Here's an excerpt:
Meagan: Does a bonded father make a better husband or partner?

Jennifer: There's no question that having an engaged partner makes for easier parenting for both the mom and the dad. I'd argue that equal, bonded co-parenting also raises children's self-esteem, sets an example for future generations and is an all-round good thing. In fact, a recent scientific study in Sweden, that included an extensive literature review, revealed that boys who have actively engaged fathers have fewer behavior problems and girls have fewer psychological problems.

Parenting should involve both parents and should be a shared task. I hope that we are ready to move past the idea that it is the woman's role to be the caregiver and the man's role to be the provider. In our family James and I are both caregivers (though I tend to be the stricter one!) and we are both providers.

Meagan: I think a lot of expecting dads are afraid that having a baby is going to negatively affect their lives (loss of freedom, strained relationship with their wives, etc). We often hear about the negative side, but what are some really cool things about being a father?

James: You know, the coolest thing is that the side of you that never grows up ... can indulge in all the fun things from childhood all over again, except this time it's on your terms. Not only is this fun with the things you really loved as a kid and can do just the same way or better, but also with the ones that your parents messed up: you can now do them in your own way, and get the chance to finally have them just the way you want, which is healing, plus you know you're way cooler than your parents ever were.
Win a free book by leaving a comment on Meagan's blog.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

What About Stepdads?

A press release from the Council on Contemporary Families sets the facts straight about stepdads. Here's what they have to say:
Stepdads are fathers too:

* About 17 percent of America's children live in stepfamily households.

* There are five times as many stepfathers as stepmothers.

* More than 40 percent of all marriages are remarriages, and one-third of all marriages in America bring a stepfamily into existence.

* More than half of Americans today have been, are now, or will eventually be in some form of stepfamily during their lives.

Stepfamilies not new: Far from being non-traditional, stepfamilies were until recently one of the most common family forms in history, due to higher mortality rates in the past. The United States has many notable stepfathers. George Washington, the father of our country, was a stepfather to Martha's children. Dr. Seuss was a stepfather, as was the famous baby doctor, Dr. Spock. Meriwether Lewis, the great explorer, also had a stepfather, as did Booker T. Washington. Former Presidents Bill Clinton and Gerald Ford had stepfathers who adopted them.

Myth of the Bad Stepdad: Yet stepfathers today, unlike the past, get little respect. In fact, stories about "bad" stepfathers circulate so widely that a prominent sociologist and social commentator recently claimed that a woman with children who remarries is committing child abuse! This stunning misuse of social science research is based upon studies that lumped together boyfriends, uncles, grandfathers, and friends of the mother under the category of "stepfather" and found that such men were more likely than the biological father to abuse children. If we limit the category of "stepfather" to those men who have married the mother of their stepchildren, there is little difference between biological fathers and stepfathers in propensity toward child abuse.

Lack of Support for Stepfathers: Most stepfathers provide substantial financial and emotional support for their stepchildren, yet our society offers them little support for doing so. In fact, stepfathers have no rights regarding their stepchildren. Unless they adopt them, stepfathers are considered "legal strangers" to their stepchildren. They cannot legally sign them into the emergency wards of hospitals, they often cannot visit a stepchild in the intensive care unit of a hospital because they are not considered "immediate family" (although they are "allowed" to pay the hospital bills), and they cannot have access to school records of their stepchildren, even if they are the ones helping with the homework every evening.

For kids, loving both Dad and Stepdad is not an either/or issue: Children, especially adolescents, benefit from having close relationships with both their stepfather and their father. Right now this happens about 25% of the time. 35% of the time, youth have a close relationship with their stepfather rather than their father-- and 16% of the time it is the other way around. Sadly, 25% of the time, teens in stepfamilies have neither a close relationship with their stepfather or father. Supporting stepfathers and stepfatherhood is good for families: young people need
all the fathering that they can get.

Being a Stepfather takes extra work: Although studies show that a good relationship with a stepfather is a protective factor for children, very few of us think about the patience and hard work that it takes for stepfathers to win their stepchildren's trust. Stepdads must walk the fine line of being a parental figure in the family without trying to replace the children's biological dad. Even if the biological father has been irresponsible and neglectful, a successful stepfather bite his tongue and does not try to take the father's place. Effective stepfathers develop good relationships with their stepchildren the same way they would develop a relationship with a potential friend -- except that unlike with most friends, they put aside their hurt feelings when their overtures are rejected and make a fresh start at trying to get acquainted every day, for as long as it takes. They spend one-on-one time with the stepchild, especially early in the relationship. And they resist any pressure to "act like a father" when is comes to being the disciplinarian, recognizing that this is a job for the children's mother. Successful stepfathers let the stepchildren choose the pace at which the friendship develops. Loving their stepchildren, they understand that it takes time for their stepchildren to reciprocate.

The best stepfathers are masters at living with delayed gratification. But even the most patient master needs a little appreciation every once in a while. So if you know a stepfather this Father's Day, don't put off any longer telling him how much you value his efforts.

Monday, June 2, 2008

June Pick from Parents and Kids

Along with things like burp armor and morning sickness drinks, Parents and Kids, a regional parenting magazine located in Needham, Massachusetts, lists The Baby Bonding Book for Dads among its June picks. Check out their informative Website, "Wicked Local," and if you live in the Boston area (that would be you, Dad), pick up a copy of the magazine.