Love That Boy
List Price: $26
First entered: 23rd, Apr 2016
Number of weeks: 1
Tyler and I inch toward the Green Room, in line with blow-dried TV anchors and stuffy columnists. He’s practicing his handshake and hello: “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. President. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. President. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Mr. President.” When the couple in front of us steps forward for their picture, my teenager with sky-blue eyes and a soft heart looks up at me and says, “I hope I don’t let you down, Dad.”
What kind of father raises a son to worry about embarrassing his dad? I want to tell Tyler not to worry, that he’d never let me down. That there’s nothing wrong with being different. That I actually am proud of what makes him special. But we are next in line to meet the president of the United States in a room filled with fellow strivers, and all I can think about is the real possibility that Tyler might embarrass himself. Or, God forbid, me.
LOVE THAT BOY is a uniquely personal story about the causes and costs of outsized parental expectations. What we want for our children—popularity, normalcy, achievement, genius—and what they truly need—grit, empathy, character—are explored by National Journal’s Ron Fournier, who weaves his extraordinary journey to acceptance around the latest research on childhood development and stories of other loving-but-struggling parents.
Name: Ron Fournier
About the author:
Ron Fournier is the Senior Political Columnist of National Journal. Prior to joining NJ, he worked at the Associated Press for 20 years, most recently as Washington Bureau Chief.
A Detroit native, Fournier began his career in Arkansas, first with the Hot Springs Sentinel-Record and then with the Arkansas Democrat and the AP, where he covered the state legislature and Gov. Bill Clinton. In January 1993, Fournier moved to Washington, where he covered the White House and presidential campaigns for the AP.
In 2005, Fournier served as a fellow at the Harvard Institute of Politics, where he co-wrote " Applebee's America," a New York Times best seller that examined the shared attributes of successful political, business and religious leaders. He left the AP briefly to run a social networking start up, HotSoup.com, and returned to cover the 2008 presidential race.
Fournier has won numerous awards, includingthe Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi Award for coverage of the 2000 elections and a four-time winner of the prestigious White House Correspondents' Association Merriman Smith Memorial Award. His 2012 cover story on the decline of U.S. institutions, "In Nothing We Trust," was awarded an honorable mention in David Brook's essay contest, the Sidney Awards. He stepped down as editor-in-chief of NJ in November 2012 to return full-time to reporting.
Fournier is writing a book for Harmony Books based on his National Journal cover story, "How Two Presidents Helped Me Deal With Love, Guilt and Fatherhood."
Fournier serves on the Harvard Institute of Politics Senior Advisory Board.