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New book promotes father and son bonding

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John Thompson   Print
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Traditionally, some men have had problems emotionally connecting with their children. Now however, men are increasingly expected to open up and express their feelings, which can be difficult.

Neil I Bernstein describes this as having to be a "Superman and Superdad" in his book, There When He Needs You.

Written with Brooke Lea Foster, the book is designed to help dads build stronger father and son relationships by understanding both themselves and their children.

In a situation many people will be familiar with, he describes how his own father provided for the family and attended his sports games, but his mother did the cooking, cleaning and child-rearing, as well as providing the emotional support.

However Bernstein realized later in life that his father had been there for him in his own way. He said: "I wish I'd had the courage to tell him, 'Dad, if I turn out to be as good a man as you are, I'll consider myself fortunate'."

Drawing on his experience as both a child psychologist and a father, he has written the book to try and help dads develop better parenting skills by learning what compromises to make and how to express their feelings in different ways.

With Father's Day approaching, has suggested a number of ways in which dads can celebrate it with their sons, including renting a tandem bicycle and building a rocket together.
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