New research into child development is producing some surprising findings. One is that in the first hours after birth a baby can be looking for its father. Another is that when fathers create a bond with their child from the earliest days this boosts the way their child's brain develops. In this stimulating book Richard Fletcher a pioneer researcher on fathers' role with young children provides the hard evidence and practical guidance for fathering that builds children's brains and capabilities. Fathers are told that they should be 'involved' with their baby but not how to go about building the connection. This book provides the nuts and bolts of bonding showing how the effect of a dad simply 'playing around' with his child can alter the pathways formed by the neurons in the brain of that growing infant. (So fathers playing 'peek-a-boo' are not wasting time but doing the real stuff of parenting!) Richard addresses the contentious issue of child development: How do fathers encourage development through rough and tumble play? How is father-bonding different to mother-bonding? Should fathers treat boys and girls the same?
In his view socialisation does not explain differences between the sexes particularly between male and female brains. Without diminishing the importance of mothers Richard offers practical strategies for fathers to bond with their baby and child and shows the crucial role that fathers play in children's risk taking motivation and social development.