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WHERE DO I FIT IN? NEW BOOK HELPS MODERN FATHERS DEVELOP THEIR ROLE IN '90s FAMILY

 PAOLI, Pa., June 10 /PRNewswire/ -- "Barry thought he was safe and he began to argue. Everyone else thought he was out ... Suddenly, Barry's dad appeared at second base. He called Barry out ... and walked him back to the sidelines. Just before they sat down, his father smacked Barry in the face, shaking him and yelling, `Don't you ever embarrass me like that again!'"
 That incident, witnessed by psychologist and writer Jonathan Gould as a child, illustrates the challenges and fears, as well as the great potential of fatherhood in these tumultuous times.
 In his new book "Reinventing Fatherhood," Gould uses Barry's story to illustrate a sobering point.
 "So many of us have been raised by fathers who wanted to love us but didn't know how to express it," Gould writes. "The result is a generation of adult children who are emotionally learning disabled within their love relationships, men who desperately want to reach out to their own children but find themselves unprepared, almost inept, in their understanding of how to be an emotionally available father."
 In all of this, there is a sense among men that they have lost power.
 "If the supermoms of feminism are worried about burnout, the fathers of the men's movement are worried about obsolescence," says Gould.
 For men, that is a deep and dark fear, indeed.
 "Men are no longer needed in the traditional sense," Gould says. "We traditionally were warriors and providers, we have been teachers and the disciplinarians. At the same time, you can look at those roles we used to play and see single women raising families that have accomplished so much.
 "The great mystery, then, is where do we fit?," he adds. For fathers generally, that role hasn't been invented yet, he says.
 Gould and co-author Robert Gunther contend that, in the absence of role models, present-day fathers (and fathers-to-be) are adrift in a sea of social change and emotional upheaval. And yet, the urge -- the need -- to take a greater role in shaping their families is growing.
 While they may forge ahead, it is generally without proper role models to meet the changing demands on the American family.
 "Some, for example, have suggested that men find their 'feminine' side by learning from their wives to be nurturing and caring," said Gould. "We are told to become 'soft' men. Those attributes may be important, but our children do not need two mothers. They need a mother and a father. They need to learn nurturing and caring from the male perspective as well." Although women raising families alone have done a remarkable job, studies suggest that the absence of the father creates significant social and emotional problems for our children.
 "If the absence of the father leads to socially inappropriate behaviors (drug use and other criminal activity), we may extrapolate that the father provides a component of moral leadership," he says. "Not the only component, but an important one, nonetheless."
 Gould's and Gunther's book, published by HSI/TAB/McGraw-Hill, offers a blueprint for rebuilding this vital component of the family.
 "Reinventing Fatherhood" is about the philosophy of family, parenting and fatherhood. It is a carefully blended composite of new ideas which challenge the status quo, as well as a book filled with revealing interviews with new fathers. And it is a self-help book that offers practical exercises to help men cultivate more responsive father techniques.
 Gould offered these practical and poignant thoughts on Father's Day:
 "Father's Day should honor our legacy, our unique ability to provide principled leadership as men, as husbands, as fathers. So don't just give us a grill, or a hammer, or new neck ties. Give us a chance to share with our children our wishes and dreams, so they will learn how to make the world a better place. And give us the gift of knowing that some of that direction will come from our influence upon them as their father. Unlike the set of Craftsman tools we often give to fathers, this is a gift we all can use."
 /delval/
 -0- 6/10/93
 /CONTACT: R. Mark Butler, 215-995-0224, or Dave Ferrell of D.L. Ferrell & Associates, 215-889-0811, for "Reinventing Fatherhood"/


CO: ST: Pennsylvania IN: PUB SU:

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Date:Jun 10, 1993
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