Item description for The Heart of a Father: How You Can Become a Dad of Destiny by Ken Canfield...
Overview From our fathers we learn so many things about character, integrity, honesty, and life itself. From the founder and president of the National Center for Fathering comes this stirring message for fathers and sons alike.
Publishers Description Every father has a hidden longing to see his children surpass him. To help him achieve this, Ken Canfield offers a three-part plan. First, a dad should examine his own heart. Next, he should take steps to improve the way he connects with his children. Lastly, he should take a longer range view and plan specifically for a lifetime of involved fathering. Canfield's plan addresses a father's past--a father should resolve his relationship with his own father in order to effectively build a relationship with his children. Canfield also explains how to build the four "walls" or dimensions, of fathering: involvement, awareness, consistency, and nurturing. He then supplies a plan for the future. From being a new father to being a grandfather, dads face challenges at each stage of their life. With the long-range perspective this book provides, fathers can anticipate and prepare for the changing situations they'll face. Based on years of careful research involving thousands of fathers, this book is a solid reference tool for dads.
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KEN R. CANFIELD, Ph.D. (B.A., Friends University; M.C.S., University of British Columbia; Ph.D., Kansas State University) is founder of the National Center for Fathering, and served as NCF's president and CEO from 1990 through 2005. In January 2008, he accepted an appointment as Executive Director of the Boone Center for the Family at Pepperdine University. He is the author of "The Heart of a Father" and numerous other books including the award-winning "7 Secrets of Effective Fathers." Ken and his wife, Dee, have been married over 30 years and have five children and three grandchildren.
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THE HEART OF A FATHER by Ken Canfield Apr 12, 2010
The Heart of a Father: How You Can Become a Dad of Destiny is a 1996 book on fathering by Ken Canfield, founder of the National Center for Fathering. Based on the research that organization has collected, Canfield offers a three-part "blueprint" for good fathering.
First, Canfield says, every father should resolve his relationship with his own father so that he can effectively build relationships with his children. Second, a father must be involved, consistent, aware, and nurturing. Third, Canfield offers perspective on each stage of fathering, from having an infant to becoming a grandparent.
For what Canfield has to say, this is a long book (288 pages). Part of the problem is that Canfield loves to belabor his points. He does a ton of recapping, whether from chapter to chapter or paragraph to paragraph. It doesn't help that the content within a number of the early chapters doesn't feel well-organized.
When it comes to problem-solving, Canfield is always frustratingly general, as he tends to drop out of his anecdotes at key moments. So we never get to hear how this fathering expert disciplined his children in any specific situations, and he often presents challenging problems without offering solutions of any kind.
Canfield is more specific with the long-term approach a father should take. Yet his list of mandates feels inhumanly rigid - no one could possibly do all of it and still keep any ambitions of his own. It gives the book a feel of, "Kids are great, but you've got to abandon all your hopes and dreams to raise them right." He also advocates effusively praising your children on a level that feels disingenuous.
Canfield is right on the basics: listen to your children, love them unconditionally, be involved in their lives, build them up, and so forth. No one's disputing that. But this book isn't the best way to get these points across.