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A Guide New Dads Just Might Appreciate

June 09, 1997|JEANNINE STEIN

Still can't decide if you should get Pop the Porsche or the "How to Get Bass to Jump Into Your Boat" video for Father's Day?

All this week, Shortcuts looks at books designed for dear old Dad. Today's entry is from "The New Father: A Dad's Guide to the First Year" by Armin A. Brott (Abbeville Press):

* "In one of the earliest studies of father-infant interaction, researcher Ross Parke made a discovery that shocked a lot of traditionalists: Fathers were just as caring, interested and involved with their infants as mothers were, and they held, touched, kissed, rocked and cooed at their new babies with at least the same frequency as mothers did."

* "Although postpartum blues or depression are almost always associated with women, the fact is that many men also get the blues after their babies are born. Men's blues, however, are not hormonally based like their partner's. The feelings of sadness, the mood swings, and the anxiety you may be experiencing are more likely the result of coming face to face with the reality of your changing life."

* ". . . a large percentage of men see the fatherhood role as that of a teacher of values and skills. Until they can actually communicate with their children, these men don't quite feel that they've become fathers. . . . But by the time your baby is 6 months old, she's no longer unable to communicate. She turns her head when you walk into the room. . . . You're starting to feel confident that your baby needs you and that you're playing an important and influential role in her young life."

* "As you continue to grow and develop as a father, you may find yourself spending a lot of time thinking about your own father. Was he the kind of father you'd like to use as a role model, or was he exactly the kind of father you don't want to be? . . . Like it or not, it is the relationship you had with your father when you were young that sets the tone for your relationship with your own children."

* "There's nothing like a long day at the office to make you realize just how much you miss your baby. And when you get home, you might be tempted to try to make up for lost time by cramming as much active, physical father / baby contact as you can into the few hours before bedtime. That's a pretty tall order . . . so before you start tickling and wrestling and playing with the baby, spend a few minutes reading or cuddling with her, quietly getting to know each other again."

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