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Rookie Father - A Playbook for Men Experiencing Fatherhood for the First Time

English · Hardback

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A playbook filled with short lessons for new fathers who might not have had the best examples of fatherhood.

List of contents

Part I – Your Foundation
Section Preview: Setting Your Foundation
The Beginning
How Will You Parent?
The Mission at Hand, and Your Past
The Traps Before You
What Does Your Fatherhood Ultimately Mean?
Setting Your Foundation
The Clock Ticks… But You Don’t Know All the Tricks
The “Labor” of Expectations
Gaining Altitude
Inspiration From Other Dads
The Anchor Fathers Who Hold You Back
Step #1: Being There
Full-time Daddy
Locating Where “Stress” Exists
The Concept of Triage: Prioritizing Areas of Stress
Bad Habits Intensify, Good Habits Multiply
Old Dads Versus Young Dads
Right Here, Right Now
When the World is Running Down, You Make the Best of What’s Still Around
Give Yourself Some Credit

Part II – Your Wife
Section Preview: Your Wife
Your Marriage Is Your Institution
Your Parent’s Marriage vs. Your Marriage: The Milestone Year
A Heavy Subject
The Hard Questions
Your Parents’ Divorce, Translated
Over-Servicing Your Wife’s Honey-Do List
Land Mines    
The “Man” of the House
When Your Wife Really Pisses You Off
When It’s Time to Call in the Referee
The Good Weekend
If You’re Always Being Told What to Do, Congratulations, You’ve Been Emasculated
Stating the Obvious – Good Times
Dating Your Wife
A Second Child on Your Terms
The Nursing Mother
There is Nothing Worse…
Own Up to It

Part III – Your Child
Section Preview: Your Child
Bad Boys, Bad Boys, Whatcha Gonna Do?
Stage 1: The First Four Months = Teamwork
Stage 2: Growth & Adjustment (4-9 months old)
Stage 3: Safety (9-16 months old)
Your Expectations… and Your Child’s Life
The Overbearing Parent on the Sideline
The Teams You Love
When You Have Zero Patience
Solidarity Is A MUST
The Family Meal
What Not to Include During the Family Meal
A Technology Rule for The 21st Century
The Shared Ritual
Struggles & Success 
Parenting Is A Privilege
Spontaneity – Just Do It!
Your Kid’s Childhood Is A Treasure

Part IV – Guest Interview #1
Dana Glazer / Producer & Director of The Evolution of Dad

Part V – Safety & Structure
Section Preview: Safety & Structure
Check Small Things
Autonomy Starts with The Ferber Method
Baby Proof? Of Course! But Educate Too
The Helicopter Dad
The Schedule
Bugs, Basements, and Pools… Oh My!
Pets in the Home
The First Rule of Social Media
The Second Rule of Social Media

Part VI – Your Work Life
Section Preview: Your Work Life
Your Boss and Your Limits
The Clock and Your Ambitions
Mothers’ Rights are Paternity Rights, and Paternity Rights Are Fathers’ Rights
What It Means to Man Up – Your Time
Organizing your Work Hours
The Boss of Your Family

Part VII – Guest Interview #2
Alan Katz, Former Publisher and Media Titan
Part VIII – Your Finances
Section Preview: Your Finances
Financing Your Priorities
The Fundamentals of the “Bucket” Strategy
One Last Hurrah
The Investment Battle Plan
The Hot Stock!
It’s Not About How Much Money You Make, It’s About How Much You Save
The Financial Lifeline
That Ever Elusive American Dream
Banking on Scholarships
The Least Exciting (but Maybe) Most Important Thing to Do
The Big Splurge
The Most Critical Two-Pronged Financial Strategy
The Family Nest: Wants Versus Needs
The Family Sacrifice
The Annual Home “Gift”
Cash Speaks Louder than Words
Home Improvement, or the Lack Thereof

Part IX – Family & In-Law Relations
Section Preview: Family & In-Law Relations
The Most Important Word When Managing the Family: Tolerance
Setting Boundaries with Family
The Basics of Managing the In-Laws
The “Pace” of Life
The Father-In-Law’s Legacy
Drunk Uncle
Holidays with Family: Tip #1
Holidays with Family: Tip #2
Holidays with Family: Tip #3
Laying Down Your Terms: Handling Critical Decisions
The Wisdom of Outsiders
Righting the Ship
Being Judged and Judging Brother & Sister In-Laws
The Only Child Caregiver
The Single Mom / Only Child Complex
Learning to Say No to Parents and Friends

Part X – Your Community and Role Models
Section Preview: Your Community & Role Models
Your Number One Role Model
Seek out and Find Other Role Models
New Kids, New Friends
Leadership and Showing Up
“Optimism is a Force Multiplier”
Your Local Radar
Broken Institutions and What to Do About Them
The Parenting/Friendship Divide
Shunning Media Stereotypes: The Idiot Father
Kind People Matter
The Power of Wisdom

Part XI – Guest Interview #3
Mark & Steve Lemieux – Two Dads

Part XII – Your Legacy
Section Preview: Your Legacy
The Next Generation: Aim for a +1 Net Positive
The Envelope, Please
The Legacy of Your Fatherhood
The Heirloom Box
Final Thoughts

About the author

Kendall Smith is an author whose work includes self-help, fiction, and satire, and he’s a dedicated father and husband living in New Jersey. His core focus is fatherhood and providing relevant, pragmatic advice to new dads.  



If you grew up without a father figure, you may be concerned whether you have what it takes to be a great dad. Author Kendall Smith, son of a single mother, takes you under his wing, sharing the wisdom he has gathered from his own experience as a father, from observing other dads, and from interviewing various generations of men. This playbook for fathers who, like Smith, did not have a regular and dependable father figure is packed with short lessons to answer questions new dads will face, from choosing your parenting style to what it means to really be the “man of the house” (spoiler alert: it’s not the 1950s) to managing your expectations as your child grows into a unique person. With hilarious examples and a straightforward approach, Rookie Father is the mentor-in-a-book every new father needs to be the dad you want to be.

Additional text

"Kendall Smith’s Rookie Father is a well-written, easily digestible mini-encyclopedia for new dads. He leaves no stone unturned when it comes to situations faced by first-time fathers—from all of the usual 'how to handle the kid' issues, to supporting your exhausted wife, to long-term financial planning that will affect your child, to dealing with (mostly) well-meaning in-laws. Kendall speaks from his heart through his deeply felt personal experience. His style is fresh and direct. If you are a new dad or about to be one or you know someone who’s 'expecting,' this book is the perfect resource."
—Ben Bernstein, PhD, the author of Stressed Out! For Parents: How to be Calm, Confident & Focused

“Kendall helps new dads take the reigns when it comes to saving money and managing their finances, and his advice is grounded in reality: he provides suggestions that are actionable. Rookie Father can help new dads to achieve their goals when it comes to home purchases, college savings, and retirement.”
-Sara Yogev, Ph.D., author of A Couple’s Guide to Happy Retirement and Aging, clinical psychologist and former faculty member of Northwestern University.

"A TRULY FABULOUS BOOK!  I was blessed to receive an advance copy and have found Kendall Smith's Rookie Father well worth the read. Broken down into small chapters that are easy to digest, Rookie Father is truly one of the most insightful, supportive parenting books I've encountered. Every father (and mother) will benefit from reading this hearty, inviting book that's filled with gems of wisdom at every turn.  From affirming the importance of relationship-saving psychotherapy to the essential gift of compassion, Kendall's honest, loving approach to parenting and family relationships is affirming and truly valuable. Books such as this are all too rare; Rookie Father has the power to change children's and parents' lives for the better.”
–Carla Marie Manly, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, author of Joy from Fear: Create the Life of Your Dreams by Making Fear Your Friend and Date Smart: Transform Your Relationships and Love Fearlessly
"With Smith's deeply authentic and real perspective, Rookie Father takes dadhood to its roots in a modern, real, and inspirational way. It teaches dads how to be men and men how to be dads. Its pages have the powerful potential to bring fathers and families more peace at home, better relationships with those they love, and more fulfilling lives. In reality, it is far more than a game changer. It's a life changer." 
—Michelle Packard, author of Family Ever After

"Many young men grow up without fathers in their lives. How do you parent without an example? Rookie Father answers this question—and many more. The author’s casual writing style invites the reader on a journey through fatherhood that is full of wisdom and insight. He shares his own story of growing up with divorce and encourages the reader to look forward and not to the past in creating meaningful relationships. He includes interviews with Dana Glazer (The Evolution of Dad) and Alan Katz, publisher and media mogul. The book take-away gives the reader permission to create positive parent-child memories and connections that will filter through generations to come."
—Christy Monson, marriage & family therapist and the author of Family Talk and Finding Peace in Times of Tragedy

"Kendall Smith has a candid, straightforward approach that demystifies many of the daunting aspects of fatherhood.  I loved the way he shares struggles from his own life and turns his hard-earned wisdom into manageable, actionable solutions that help men navigate the adventure of fatherhood. Any new dad will find this to be a tremendously useful guide."
—Pam Lobley, humor columnist and author of Why Can't We Just Play?

"Kendall Smith’s new book, Rookie Father, provides a treasure trove of helpful ideas for new fathers and old fathers alike.  As someone who has done research on families and has been married for 44 years with 7 children and 20 grandchildren, I found the book provides the kind of advice that all fathers need as they try to navigate the challenges of being a husband and father.”
—Gibb Dyer, PhD, author of The Family Edge and academic director of the Ballard Center for Economic Self-Reliance in the Marriott School of Business

"Kendall Smith knows the damaging impact of being raised without a father and the irreplaceable power of being one. He has focused squarely on what a new father needs to know, giving any new dad a jump-start on the most important responsibility he will ever have! What better gift for a new dad?"
—Michael Byron Smith, author of The Power of Dadhood: How to Become the Father Your Child Needs

"How can you be a great chef if you didn't grow up eating food? That's pretty much the question Kendall Smith answers in this book about fatherhood from the perspective of a guy who grew up without a dad. The trick is to gather information, study some good examples, and adopt a curious and optimistic outlook that allows you to grow. This book is a great place to start!"
—Lenore Skenazy, founder of Free-Range Kids

"Kendall Smith has given us a personal account of his life as a growing father. He is willing to learn from other fathers, willing to share regrets, willing to explore how to triage family difficulties, and best of all, how to keep living a fit and healthy life to have the energy and love to be very available to his child. His loving care is unmistakable as he shares how he has overcome the trials of his childhood with a major mission: to be the best, most loving father he can be. As he reveals experiences about learning from his wife, his devotion to his marriage, and the joy he has in parenting together, he sets the tone for an emotionally written, easy-going, fatherly style that comes across in every chapter. If you're a new father looking to feel engaged with another new father, Kendall is your guy. He's supportive, personable, and gives you the feeling that what he's learned, he wants to share with you."
—Laurie Hollman, PhD, psychoanalyst, award-winning author of the Parental Intelligence book series, Playing with Baby: Research-Based Play to Bond with Your Baby from Birth to One Year, and Are You Living with a Narcissist?

"First-time dads need Rookie Father! If you’re one of the almost 20 million men out there who grew up without a dad of your own to teach you the guiding principles of being a good man and father, then you’ve just found the ultimate playbook to show you the way. Rookie Father checks all the important boxes by touching on everything from the importance of creating meaningful rituals with your kids to why it’s so important to have a cohesive partnership with your spouse. And I love that the author uses his own experience as a child of divorce throughout the book to share his insights and give new dads permission to use the hard moments from their past to create a lasting legacy for the future. Giving this one to every new dad I know."
—Lisa Sugarman, nationally syndicated columnist, radio show host, and author of How To Raise Perfectly Imperfect Kids And Be Ok With It and LIFE: It Is What It Is


Product details

Authors Kendall Smith
Publisher Familius
Languages English
Product format Hardback
Released 31.01.2022
EAN 9781641705738
ISBN 978-1-64170-573-8
Dimensions 135 mm x 185 mm x 30 mm
Subjects Guides > Self-help, everyday life > Partnership, sexuality

SELF-HELP / Motivational & Inspirational, FAMILY & RELATIONSHIPS / Parenting / Single Parent, Assertiveness, motivation & self-esteem, Advice on parenting, Parenting: advice and issues

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