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Prodigal Father [Paperback]

Mark Bryan
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jun 1998
In The Prodigal Father, Mark Bryan addresses this important social issue by offering a proven program to help fathers assume a vital role in their children's lives. "Through my work and my own experience as an absent father, I've come to realize that what we call 'deadbeat dads' are actually broken-hearted dads," says Bryan. "Living in shame and denial about the pain of their loss (even when they were the ones who decided to give up their kids), these men feel hopeless and overwhelmed at the thought of attempting a reunion."

Mark Bryan knows the problems of men who are divorced and don't see their kids as often as they would like, as well as those of the men who have totally lost touch with their children. He knows the guilt and shame they feel, the pangs at holiday times, the wrench when a father is alone and sees other fathers playing with their kids, taking them to school, waiting with them in the line at McDonald's. He knows how fathers wonder how they got "out of the picture," how they became "extraneous." He also knows that kids miss their fathers as much as their fathers miss them. He knows this because he is a reunited father himself, and because he has reunited many fathers with their children through his Father Project workshops. Bryan tells many of their stories, and his own, in this book. In The Prodigal Father, Bryan recounts, in detail, the steps he took that led finally to the close relationship that he and his son Scott now enjoy.

More recently, working with small groups of men around the country, Bryan developed an eight-step program to lead men from estrangement to reunion. Many men who never expected to see their children again now see them regularly, participate in decisions in their day-to-day lives, and enjoy the richness and joy only children can provide. Bryan's carefully conceived plan helps men negotiate the sensitive and potentially explosive path back.  

It includes:
Acknowledging the loss and the pain
Taking steps to regain self-respect and become the man you'd want to father your children
Making amends to your child's mother
Planning the meeting with your child
Recognizing the specific needs of your child at each age
Establishing an ongoing relationship; becoming close
Embracing your child's extended family; the stepfather and half sisters and brothers.

A special chapter is addressed to mothers, urging them to help in the reunion process. Bryan's message will bring hope and happiness not only to the men who find their way back, but to their children, so often silent about their deep grief over the separation, and to the mothers long overburdened by the responsibilities of single parenthood.
Says Bryan: "I will be touring to more than twenty cities to get the message of Reunion for Fathers across.  Will you help me reach those millions of fathers and mothers whose distance keeps their children from knowing their fathers?  Will you help those 21 million children who never see their fathers live fuller lives and gain a love they so fervently need?  I am asking your help to bring this message to your audience. For this is not just a book. It is a mission."    

Product details

  • Paperback: 278 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Publications; 1st Pbk. Ed edition (Jun 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0609802038
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609802038
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.3 x 1.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,406,060 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Mark Bryan's Prodigal Father is an important book for several reasons. First, it presents the seldom heard personal truths of men who have become separated and alienated from their children following the loss of their relationship with their children's mother. This emotional hollowness and yearning, Bryan aptly call "the haunting."
Brian gives voice to his own experience, painfully describing his separation from his then teenage wife and his loss of contact with their infant son, Scott. We hear from other men struggling to bridge this gap, and we hear from the children who stand at the other side of the gulf. These poignant tales need to enter our national consciousness if we are ever to get a fuller understanding of the devastating impact fatherlessness has on all of those involved.
Prodigal Father does not just wag a finger at the problem. Mark Bryan has developed a program that helps men along the difficult path back into their children's lives. ! For it to work, the men must be willing to do an honest self-appraisal, and they need to find a way to make amends to their children's mother. As the literature in this field shows, without the mother's acquiescence, the chances of success are greatly diminished. These are no easy remedies for the problem of fatherlessness, but the way back is building such bridges one at a time. Mark Bryan, in his Prodigal Father, walks the talk. I highly recommend this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The finest & hardest soul searching trip ever. 14 July 1999
By A Customer
I recently heard Mark Bryan speak at the NACSDC @ the Univ. Notre Dame. I cried through his entire presentation. There are too many parallels to mention. I bought two copies of his book. One I read. One I gave to my daughter who is a single mom and in reunion (without this book) with her child's father. They now have the book, each has read some of it. They are still talking. My book will remain with me. I will be buying another copy so that I can write a letter to my childrens father. Maybe then they will find thier way back to each other. I never understood until I read about the haunting. Thank you Mark!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars reality and inspiring 23 Jun 1999
By A Customer
After reading this book I finnaly took the first steps to becoming a responsible father after 3 yrs of not seeing my son. This is a terrifying and not always easy thing to do and Mark Bryan has given me the courage and guidence to progress towards a meaningful relationship with my 17 yr old son. Only time will tell!!! And to all of you fathers out there, PLEASE GET A COPY OF THIS BOOK AND READ IT, NOT ONCE, BUT SEVERAL TIMES!!!!! it will change your life
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book has been the most difficult and important book I have read in 13 years..since my son was born. I am the mother of a son whose father walked out on both of us...I really don't know if he ever thinks about his son. This book makes me think he does and if he is experiencing the pain that the book describes absent dads as feeling...I really feel bad for him. He has missed out on all the joy, pain and love of raising his child.
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