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Becoming the Kind Father (PDF)
A Son's Journey
The macho society that held John Wayne as a role model has created an emotional wasteland where eighty percent of men are unable to accurately express their feelings, and where that same percentage feel estranged from their fathers. The stifled male, disconnected and out of touch, fills the void with apathy or anger and the toll is staggering: short unhealthy lives, ruined relationships and damaged children. This destructive behavior repeats itself in the next generation as the sins of the father continue the cycle.
In Becoming a Kind Father, Calvin Sandborn aims to break that cycle. His intensely personal story is heart-searing and inspirational. Brought up to fear his father's alcohol-fuelled fury and hateful put-downs, the author buried his feelings and fine-tuned his own rage. His father's early death and the collapse of the author's marriage provided catalysts for change.
Interspersing clever literary references with painful childhood memories, intense self-examination and astute observations, Sandborn provides well-researched psychological findings and self-help tips, including how to:
- identify and share feelings
- treat yourself as a kind father would
- form trusting male friendships
- break the anger habit, and
- forgive the world, and yourself.
This guide offers helpful insight for the millions of men who want to become kinder human beings. A "must-read" for every woman who loves an angry or emotionally distant man.
Calvin Sandborn is a journalist, author and environmental lawyer who currently supervises the University of Victoria Environmental Law Clinic. He is also a kind father and grandfather.
"Amid so many voices calling on men to be tough, to be manly, Calvin Sandborn calls on them to be kind, to be human. I pray that it is his voice that will prevail."
Rabbi Harold Kushner, author of When Bad Things Happen to Good People
"Becoming the Kind Father is an inspiring autobiographical guidebook to the development of heart in men. Calvin Sandborn shares what he has learned as he creates the space for forgiveness and gentleness in himself. The book is both wise and unsparing as it dissects the harsh training men perpetuate — and shows us what it takes to escape the patriarchal prison of a lack of feeling and a lack of heart."
Frederic Luskin, Ph.D., author of Forgive for Good and Director, Stanford University Forgiveness Project
"Professor Sandborn's well-referenced book is crammed with valuable self-help tips that when practiced will help debunk society's macho myth and give birth to the real man who is loving, sensitive, gentle, and kind."
John Bradshaw, author of Homecoming, Creating Love, and Healing the Shame that Binds You
"In this remarkable book, story and lessons-learned are finely woven together. Narrative passages of memory and observation are moving, and beautifully written, while the author's suggestions for individual growth are both reasonable and wise, with the strength of extensive research and personal experience behind them."
Jack Hodgins, author of Broken Ground and A Passion for Narrative
"A must-read for anyone who has imagined practical alternatives to the destructive energy of their own or a father's chronic fury. As one who has walked the walk before talking the talk, Calvin Sandborn understands that angry men are made not born and that nurturing compassion for oneself is the key to choosing to live free of anger's burden. Becoming the Kind Father has the hallmarks of a classic-to-be: true-life stories, vividly related, that deftly illustrate important truths men can use to enrich their own everyday lives and, consequently, the lives of those they love."
David Greer, author of Simple Pleasures and A Book of Wishes
"As fathers, we spend a tremendous amount of time and energy trying to make our children happy and trying to be heroes to them. In the process, they never get to know who we really are. In Becoming the Kind Father, Calvin Sandborn takes the reader on a journey of self-discovery that, ultimately, will help us be better men and better fathers."
Armin Brott ("Mr. Dad"), author of The Expectant Father and Father for Life