THE AMERICAN FATHER: A New Approach to Understanding Himself, His Woman, His Child by William Reynolds

THE AMERICAN FATHER: A New Approach to Understanding Himself, His Woman, His Child

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Unlike Roman and Haddad or Stafford (both below), Reynolds finds fatherhood a far cry from motherhood and he has concocted his own theories to explain why. Fathering, he maintains, ""is a secondary interest to Father who is primarily occupied with the torments and rewards of being Mother's lover first and foremost."" Father's need to show off and to feel possession along with Mother's approval-seeking mode form the basis of their relationship, and the children can never rank too high in his pyramid of interests. The composite Father he refers to throughout bears more resemblance to a 1950s father than to today's more actively involved figures; Reynolds persistently includes him in scenarios that many families won't recognize--Mother spends her day at home and Father calls frequently to make sure she's there. What's more, he comes down hard, if nonspecifically, on most of the modern parenting books, insisting that American children are ""overparented""--hurt more by too much attention than by neglect. Presumably, all this certainty derives from Reynolds' work as a Queens College psychology professor and private therapist, for there's no sign of anything vaguely equivalent to research to back him up. But such absolute and unfashionable pronouncements need more than a mere say-so to reach an audience.

Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 1978
Publisher: Paddington--dist. by Grosset & Dunlap