Parenting Perspective: Council of Dads

August 2, 2010

Bruce Feiler had a good life: He was a bestselling author. And a happy husband and father of twin girls.

Then two years ago, Feiler discovered he had an aggressive form of cancer. Like so many parents facing death, his first thought was about his children.

On the day Bruce Feiler learned he had a tumor in his left leg, his daughters Eden and Tybee were just three. If he died, who would teach his daughters how to live? Who would

"So I decided to reach out to six men from all parts of my life and ask them to be present for my daughters and I called the group 'The Council of Dads.'"

Feiler decided no family members -- they'd be there by default.

Instead he picked his friends: His boyhood best friend, a friend made during teenage travels, a college chum, his book agent, his closest adult pal, and a more recent buddy.

"The real heart of the project is I sat down with each of these men and asked them to play a role in girls' lives: How to live, how to think, how to dream."

Feiler picked his six because of specific life lessons he knew they'd pass on, like how to question and how to see life's daily miracles.

But Feiler says you don't have to be dying to create a Council of Dads, or Moms. He's written a book about forging that bond, a bond he says you and your children will only get if you ask for it.

"We all have our work life. We have our family. Friends keep getting pushed aside. This in so many ways is finding an excuse to bring your friends into the heart of your life."

The good news is Bruce now is in remission. Follow the link to learn more about his Council of Dads.

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