Book Title: My Daughter’s Keeper by Mark Winkler
Category: Adult Non-Fiction, 140 pages
Publisher: Journey Press
Release date: June, 2019
Tour dates: Nov 4 to Nov 15, 2019
Content Rating: PG + M (Rated PG+M for mature themes, but there is no bad language.)
My Daughter’s Keeper is the compelling story of a father’s journey to strive against mounting odds to be present in his daughter’s life. The story reveals the complexities of parenting as the author wrestles with his past to face self-imposed challenges in order to transition from a man given to selfish leanings to an open-hearted and dutiful father. My Daughter’s Keeper tugs on the heartstrings of any parent who has endured the pain and challenges of co-parenting, custody disputes, or separated families. Written with accountability and compassion, this book has been crafted to challenge readers to consider the ways our circumstances, including the painful ones, set us up to develop into better versions of ourselves.
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1. There are many books out there about Father Rights. What makes yours different?
My Daughter’s Keeper is a book about the rights of a father to be a father but not necessarily about Father Rights. I don’t speak in depth about the inequities still prevalent through-out many family courts nation-wide. I speak from the perspective of what if feels like to be mentally and emotionally impacted by those inequities, about what I did to contribute to my plight, and what I needed to do to stay in my daughter’s life.
2.What advice or suggestions would you give fathers going through a custody hearing like yourself?
Move through each stage of the process with love. What helped me early on was when I made the decision not to immerse my mind in hatred, bitterness, blaming or shaming. Imagine the mind as real estate, there is only so much space available for thoughts. If I allowed myself or others to fill that space with negative energy, I would have never survived this grueling journey. Instead, I chose to lead with love – the love for and from my daughter and the ever-present thought that she deserved to have a loving father in her life.
3.Do you have tips for the significant others who may be supporting someone enduring a custody battle?
Many men are still programmed not to express their feelings, especially when those feelings are sadness, loneliness, or hopelessness. Being separated from your child invokes and amplifies all those feelings. So, to the significant others I would say, be aware that the father is most likely experiencing these debilitating emotions but are probably only expressing the one emotion they have been “socially” allowed to express: Anger. Encourage them to speak to a trusted friend, one that will not inflame their anger, seek professional counseling, or join a men’s group. I did all three.
4. Parenting is hard. How can parents remain happy in their roles as parents?
Parenting can be challenging, but it can also be very joyful. As parents, we must remember to access the joy more often and with more focused intention. Also, parents must make time for themselves and not feel guilty about doing such. Take a moment alone. Identify trusted people in your network that can watch the children for a short while, so you catch a movie, go to the spa, have lunch or dinner with a friend or significant other.