Attachment Fathering

Non-Fiction - Parenting
56 Pages
Reviewed on 10/31/2018
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Attachment Fathering is a nonfiction parental guide written, and with photography, by Neena Roumell, Ph.D. Roumell’s photographs and text celebrate the intimate relationships enjoyed by fathers and their infants from childbirth on. Her pictures are privy to those special moments when parents and baby first meet, and she helps the reader focus upon the type of communication seen between father and child. Her photographs capture the expressions on newborns’ faces as they interact with their dads. She discusses how having Dad be a familiar presence in those first few days can set the tone for a lifelong relationship between father and child. Likewise, the shared experiences of care-giving, including feeding, changing diapers and play can help fathers understand the cues their baby is giving as it expresses its needs, desires and feelings.

Neena Roumell’s nonfiction parental guide, Attachment Fathering, is a gorgeous and inspirational look at fathering at its best. Each page has one or more images of fathers interacting with their infants, and the sheer delight shared by parent and child shines forth in each image. Roumell’s photography is masterful -- there are no gimmicks, cute outfits or images to distract from the subject, simply the story told in each image of the love shared by dad and child. Somehow, she is even able to show the opportunity for fun and interaction in the diapering, feeding and bathing processes. Roumell’s discussion of how powerfully this early relationship affects a child’s development and self-image as they are growing up can be seen in the reactions of these infants. Her book demonstrates beautifully the role dads can have during the first year of their child’s life. Attachment Fathering is most highly recommended.

Alyssa Elmore

Discover the bliss of fatherhood in the beautiful photographic book, Attachment Fathering, by Neena Roumell, P.h.D. Becoming a parent can be daunting, but becoming a contemporary father can be challenging. With all of the stigmas and traditions surrounding fatherhood, it is no small feat to stand up to customs and outdated beliefs and decide to be the father of one's dreams. Being an attachment father is a unique concept, revealing how a dad's care can help shape and enhance the lives of their children. Offering love, playfulness, support, and nurturing, attachment fathers have been proven to give a child increased self-confidence and security from kindergarten throughout. Now is the time to redefine the role of fatherhood and give our children the support and unconditional love of a fully involved father.

Challenge the role of fathers in this parenting book. Enjoy the beauty of a father and baby connection through the photos adorning the pages. As an attachment parent, I was interested in the content of this book, so it was a bit surprising to discover that it is more of a picture book than a how-to book. However, I loved the concept of this book. The photos are a unique tribute to the father/child connection. As times change and household responsibilities shift, books like this one help support a more elevated life. Although going against the flow of tradition, this book shows how fathers can take a more active and nurturing role in their children's lives, starting at birth. I recommend this book to new fathers as it can guide them as they step into the fulfilling role of fatherhood.

Marta Tandori

Attachment Fathering is a charming photographic essay by Neena Roumell, Ph.D. that shows the importance of a father’s role in their infant’s life in the first crucial year of development. The role of the father begins prior to the birth of the baby, with the father-to-be being the supportive force for their partner during childbirth. After birth, time spent with a newborn helps set the foundation that develops between father and child through gazing, holding, touching and talking. Sharing the role of caregiver with the mother evokes protective feelings toward the child while watching and listening will enable fathers to understand their infants’ needs. Diapering is a time for games and interacting, while bath time is the ideal opportunity to forge a closeness with one’s baby. Roumell states that school-aged children whose fathers were engaged in their care giving as infants, show a positive self-image, are better learners and have a higher degree of empathy for others. She also states that a father’s nurturing presence and hands-on involvement with their baby directly or indirectly benefits the mother, which then resonates throughout the family.

The author indicates that the purpose of Attachment Fathering is to help strengthen the bond between fathers and babies and to reinforce the opportunity for strong attachments and sensitive parenting. Her photographic essay shows fathers and infants and their interactions following birth as well as throughout various stages in an infant’s life, including feeding time, diaper changing and playtime. The photos have almost a vintage look about them and each shot captures an intimate moment between father and child that’s particularly endearing.

While it’s noted that Roumell has used a multicultural cross-section of the population to illustrate the importance of attachment fathering, it should also be noted that fathering, and the responsibilities that it entails, is different from culture to culture and it would have been nice if the author had addressed some of those cultural differences and the impact on attachment fathering. Attachment Fathering is, nevertheless, the perfect book for all new fathers and for fathers who want to become better fathers.