Hello and welcome to a strange new world. You have traveled far through the desert, only to be met time and again by one empty oasis after another. You are lost and alone, wandering, wondering if someone, anyone, knows how you feel. And just when you think you can't go on, and no one could possibly understand your struggle, a hand reaches out to you, lifts you to your feet, and carries you to the promised land. He feeds you knowledge, shelters you from the self-righteous (and the ridiculous), and provides you with the tools you need to survive in this brave new world. You are a stranger in a strange land, but you are not alone. Let him be your guide. Follow closely as you travel together on this adventure of a lifetime. For now, you are a foreigner to "Fatherhood" but soon YOU will be the master of this realm.

"No Man is Expendable!"

This is Fodder 4 Fathers...


"Snake Oil For Sale!"
I'm not much of a reader. Oh, I've read my fair share of textbooks on everything from psychology to marketing to communication, but that doesn't mean I enjoyed it. Call it the curse of a creative mind, but if you give me a novel I'll be rewriting it in my head by the third sentence. It's just how my mind works. I like to think for myself. I like to see a problem, break it down to its main components, and put it back together in a way that makes sense (at least to me). I'm a hands on learner. I learn best through trial and error (with some guidace/insight from those who have gone before me). I don't read manuals. I don't read self-help books. And the only parenting book I ever read gave me the most pertinent information in point form. So, if you ask me what I think of the so-called parenting "expert" book boom, I can't help you, but I can point you in the direction of someone who can...

P.T. Barnum (with Tiny Tim)
The best "showman"
of all time

Enter Josh Freed, documentary filmmaker, and director of "The Trouble with Experts," a hard hitting expose of the big business of selling off advice. If you ask him, asking an expert to guide you as you purchase stocks, raise your kids, or buy groceries is a crap shoot, as the science behind what they say may not hold up over time.

Here's Freed explaining it in his own words...

Audio Interview:

Related Newspaper Articles:

So while we are bombarded with information on a daily basis, you have to ask yourself, what do we need experts for? Beyond the obvious (doctors, lawyers, accountants, and speed skating coaches), do we really need experts? If they are wrong so much of the time, why do we put so much faith in them? I'll suggest that maybe it's because we are afraid to make our own decisions. It's okay to read a few books and take them with a grain of salt, but too many of us dive right in and hand over our diets, our portfolios, and our kids to these modern day masters of illusion that are often wrong (but for the sake of their good name, you'll never hear them admit it). That's like having a friend that's never wrong and isn't shy about telling you what she thinks of your parenting skills - while her kids run around your house terrorizing your dog and destroying everything in their path. Thanks, but no thanks.


It's a choice people. We choose the advice we follow. It's a little hard to do with 40,000 parenting books on the market, but that doesn't mean there aren't some great books from which to choose- you just have to use a little common sense to read through the bullsh@# and trust the man (or woman) behind the myth (it's a saying). Yes, you remember common sense, that thing that allows you to make decisions based on a lifetime of acquired knowledge; that voice in your head that tells you you're right even though everyone is telling you that you are wrong (we'll accept intuition as an answer for this one as well); that thing that keeps you from telling your mother-in-law what you really think about her. You know, common sense, that unimportant thing you relinquish whenever you follow the advice of others blindly. It's in you, you just have to have enough faith in yourself to use it; to trust it; to own it.


As Andy Warhol said, everyone gets their fifteen minutes in the limelight, and maybe the current expert explosion is what he meant, but if you just brought home a baby boy or a little girl, this is also your time to shine, so don't let someone else's advice get in the way of you being the most important person in your baby's life. And don't let anyone scare you from doing what you think is right (well, after the nurses give you a brief crash course). Parenting books are great but they always seem to forget the most important lesson... every parent is the expert on their own child, and at the end of the day, you know what is best for your baby, no matter what anyone else says (except maybe child services).

And, hey, if you can't find any parenting books you like, I can suggest a blog (or two, or three) you might enjoy


If you ask my honest opinion, the best parenting advice you will ever get is from someone who is going through exactly what you are, at the same time, and can point you in the right direction to the information you really need as quickly and painlessly as possible. But, that's just me. We all choose our own path to success.

Disclaimer: This blog is for entertainment purposes only. The advice given in this article does not constitute an expert opinion, nor should it be taken as such. As well, Fodder 4 Fathers, its writers and staff will not be held liable for advice provided via third party links. These links have been provided for our readers to peruse at their own discretion and risk. We will not take any responsibility for advice given by third parties.


    1. Standing O for this Adam! Great topic. Is it worth it? Great response: Trust ourselves. All human beings are hard wired with their own GPS. When we act out of alignment we are miserable, when we act in alignment we thrive - and so do those around us. Catch is humans and their environs are as diverse as plants, so we each achieve "alignment" differently, yet experts write books for everyone - and they're always building better roads. Hello? Good news is we simply need to check our own GPS and make our own correction. As with driving, the right map (or parenting book) can help dramatically. So choose good friends to ride with and be also a good friend to yourself and others. Your readers certainly have this with you. Happy to be one of them! PS Children the Challenge by Rudolph Dreikurs is my personal fav (Decades in print for a reason!) Oak trees live long lives.

    2. Good thing I don't consider myself an expert! I always open up my six-week parenting course making that very point. I don't think there is any such thing as an expert. If you're lucky, you will become an expert for one particular child a few years after that child has flown the coop. Much of what applied to that one will backfire with the other one growing under the same roof! There is just too much diversity when it comes to the human psyche, and the most that "experts" can hope for is to give people a couple more tools to add to their toolbox. Each parent has to choose the right tool at the right time for the right child.

      Marlaine I completely agree with your comment. "Alignment," where it is deemed a good thing by the wider community, has many interlocking paths leading to it. An amusing point to make here is that even the so-called expert who finds the other experts inaccurate, may also be inaccurate in his statement about experts. We all come from a different standpoint. I don't believe any of them is wrong per-se. I DO believe that if nothing is applicable across the board even in the same household, how can we expect them to be applicable across the entire world, country, or even locality? Yet, we can expand our horizons and learn about what works elsewhere in order to help discover what works for us. Methinks that is the same message underlying Adam's piece. Read, yes. But then analyse,decipher, sift through, hold some, and discard others with no disrespect. If you haven't walked a mile in their shoes, you don't know their standpoint. I call that "informed" common-sense parenting.