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.
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.
"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