Parent to Parent: Daddy doesn’t always know best, but he tries


For Father’s Day, publishers offer a variety of books and CDs to help dads care for and connect with their children.

Let’s start with a first-person funny one about a dad in his early 50s grappling with his 3-year-old named Max: “Dadditude: How a Real Man Became a Real Dad” (Da Capo, $19.95, 2007) by Philip Lerman, former co-executive producer of “America’s Most Wanted” and former National Editor of USA Today.

Lerman quit his TV-producer job to take on full-time fatherhood with both seriousness and a sense of humor. A lesson for dads: “Understanding that everyone else knows more than you.”
Another lesson for fathers, he says: Learning to just be there for their kids. “To just stop — stop teaching and doing and taking and going and fixing, and just be there. That’s what I learned from Max: If I can clear my mind enough to just plop down on the floor with him, and pick up a car, and roll it around the floor and make the car sound — that’s the real music to Max’s ears,” he writes on his Web site at

Lerman also found that years of management experience meant next to nothing at home. “A 3-year-old takes that belief and stuffs cheese balls in its ear,” he writes.