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FATHERNEED by Kyle D. Pruett

FATHERNEED

Why Father Care Is as Essential as Mother Care for Your Child

By Kyle D. Pruett

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-684-85775-8
Publisher: Free Press

Psychiatrist Pruett (Yale Child Study Center) makes clear that fatherhood is not in competition with motherhood; children need both parents, and for different reasons. He cites some now familiar, but still staggering, statistics: “Just 34% of all children born in America in the last three years of the twentieth century will reach age eighteen living with both biological parents.— Working here principally from his own research, Pruett first explains that “Fathers Do Not Mother.” He builds on small differences in style (fathers tend to spend more time in play that uses few toys and encourages exploration; mothers, on play for entertainment and distraction’s sake) to explain how a father’s brand of involvement promotes a child’s physical, emotional, and social development. Ensuing discussions consider how a father’s own development intertwines with that of his child. Pruett pulls no punches in his discussion of divorce. It’s a disaster, and —conventional wisdom to date has been far too cavalier about the cost of divorce on children.” The pattern of successful families he salutes is generous, including gay couples, blended families, and single parents; he discusses mother/father relationships as part of the whole picture; and throughout, he quotes children to remind us of their views on parenting. Suggestions for public policy reform round out the volume. No platitudes, no preaching; just a thoughtful exploration of what fatherhood means.