To find out more about Rob Jenkins and to read excerpts from his book “Family Man: The Art of Surviving Domestic Tranquility,” go to www.familymanthebook.com.
As the father of four, Rob Jenkins has learned that what teenagers want more than anything is to be independent of their parents.
“This means that they do not wish to depend on their parents for anything, other than food and shelter. And clean clothing. And transportation. And gas. And spending money. But other than that they want to be left completely alone,” he writes in his new book “Family Man: The Art of Surviving Domestic Tranquility.”
Jenkins, who is a columnist for The Gwinnett Daily Post and other newspapers, will be signing that book on Saturday at the Book Nook at 229 N. Hamilton St. in Dalton from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Peggy Rann, the manager of the Book Nook, said that when she read the book she knew she had to bring Jenkins to Dalton.
“It’s a very funny book, and people will enjoy reading it and meeting him,” she said.
A 1979 graduate of Ringgold High School, Jenkins says he still has family members and friends in North Georgia and the Chattanooga area that he hopes to see.
“I’ve always wanted to write a book, but about 10 years ago I told myself that if I was ever going to do it I had to get started,” said Jenkins. “They say write about what you know. Well, I’ve been married almost 30 years. I’ve got four kids. So I thought that’s something I know about. It seems like most of the stuff out there about family life is from a woman’s perspective, and I thought it would be interesting and different to talk about it from a man’s perspective.”
Jenkins said he wrote the book with women in mind.
“First of all, women are the ones who buy and read books. Second, I thought it might give them some insight into how men look at things,” he said.
Jenkins said men face some unique pressures in 21st century America.
“These days both men and women are providers. But there’s a pressure on men to be providers, and how well a man provides for his family is a matter of pride and potentially shame as well. The same is true to some degree for women, but women haven’t been conditioned for centuries to be the provider,” he said. “There’s a certain amount of pressure there, and that’s exacerbated these days by the fact that it’s hard for most men to provide a middle-class lifestyle for his family all by himself, even if he has a good job. They have to learn to put aside some of their pride and learn that they can’t fill some of the roles their fathers did. That’s not necessarily easy for us, but we are learning.”
Jenkins says he thinks men will also enjoy the book. He says that as an experienced husband and father young men sometimes turn to him for advice.
“The first piece of advice I would give to any man is that the best thing you can do for your children is to love their mother,” he said.
Jenkins graduated from West Georgia College, then earned a master’s degree in writing from the University of Tennessee. In addition to writing his column, he teaches at Georgia Perimeter College in Dunwoody.