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FatherNeed: Why Father Care Is as Essential as Mother Care for Your Child Hardcover – January 31, 2000

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

A pioneer in the field of fatherhood research, Yale child psychiatrist Pruett (The Nurturing Father) draws on his own groundbreaking longitudinal study of men as primary caregivers, as well as the findings of others, in this exploration of how fathering affects both children and men. "Men are the single greatest untapped resource in the lives of American children," he contends, building a solid case for recognizing and supporting this unique and critical connection. Pruett champions the early involvement of fathers, showing how infants are "prewired" for attachment to both men and women, and explains the lifelong benefits of this mutually dependent relationship, which he calls "fatherneed," and the vital role it plays in both child development and the emotional and physical well-being of men. Showing how a healthy father-child relationship complements rather than competes with that of the mother and child, Pruett offers a host of pointers for negotiating the various stages of childhood, from infancy and toddlerhood through the early school years, adolescence ("chase your children down occasionally, buy them lunch, and listen") and young adulthood. Pruett writes with an easy grace, and his warmly relaxed style is studded with humor. Thoughtful, inspiring and eminently practical, this one belongs at the top of the "must have" list for every father. (Jan.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

This is a well-researched book about the role of fathers. Pruett (psychiatry, Yale Medical Sch.), a well-known columnist and the author of The Nurturing Father, looks at fathers in various family situations--intact families where both parents work, intact families where fathers are primary caretakers, families in which the father is a single parent, families in which mothers have primary custody--and among a variety of cultures. His conclusions emphasize the importance of fathers in the growth of their children. He does not, however, minimize the mother's role; Pruett believes that fathers bring different assets to childrearing than mothers and feels that the mother's relationship with her children is improved by the active role of the father. Extensive notes document recent research. This important book will not only interest scholars and students but also parents who want to learn more about effective family relationships. Recommended for all libraries.
-Kay L. Brodie, Chesapeake Coll., Wye Mills, MD
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Free Press; 1 edition (January 31, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684857758
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684857756
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.9 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,675,040 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I used this book as the primary text for a class on Fatherhood at the University of Utah. It is very easy to read and useful. I've recommended it to others and passed it on and they agree. It has language that is easy to understand and thus works well as a text for University study or as a self-improvement advice book. His lists of ideas and recommendations are important. I really hope that this book is not removed from print as I have heard it may be.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
It says something of our culture that we need books noting that fathers are important to parenting. This was no surprise to my parents, or their parents, but somehow it is now. This book is well researched, and offers good, tight argument in favor of fathers as parents, with useful ideas. It has a little more research and less how to than I would have liked. My favorite book on parenting is currently only available in German, titled something like Blossoming the Child, I understand it will come out in English next year. I won't repeat what other positive reviewers said. Strong Fathers, Strong Daughters: 10 Secrets Every Father Should Know is also very good.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was involved with Child Protective Services and I had a lot of emotional issues. While in counseling, I felt absolutely devastated by my own abusive actions and questioned everything I felt like doing as a parent. This book helped me rebuild my confidence; I came to realize that as a man, I care for my children in different ways than their mother. I am now a safe dad and learned to trust my intuition to teach my children and guide their independence. It helped me identify the nurturing tools that I didn't realize I had. It was fairly easy to read and I would highly recommend that any dad who is concerned about being a better father to read it.
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Format: Hardcover
Pruett's attempt at expanding what could have been a chapter in an academic text into a self-help book for the masses is admirable. Yes, I think fathers and fathers-in-waiting should skim the book. Some sloppy work: doesn't the author know the difference between Penn and Penn State? But overall, makes a good case, if you can excuse the gratuitous fawning over "single mothers." The "as you'll read in the next chapter" stuff was annoying.
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Format: Paperback
I think this book reflects a courageous effort, with a lot of hard work clearly involved, to repair the breach in fatherhood that has been created over the last several thousand years as men became increasingly focused on seeking to compete with and dominate other men for resources and controlling women, and, in the process, lost their access to their emotions and their confidence as fathers. Or some measure of breach may always have been there due to conscious or subconscious doubts about paternity that were present on a cultural level as well as in individual families. The fact that the only power women have had has been as mothers has also unfortunately led them to let men be crowded out of parenting.

Dr. Pruett does a very good job showing how this breach can be repaired, and is being repaired, by many compassionate, caring, respectful Dads here in the last few decades (assisted by the work many women now do to earn money for their families on a scale greater than that in the past). The fact that paternity can be proven - and disproven is helpful as well.

As someone who grew up with a dominator type father, and has spent much of my life trying to survive without getting what I needed from my father and working hard to overcome that harm, I highly recommend this book to mothers and fathers.

I also suggest that many men may benefit from psychotherapy, counseling, support groups, etc., to look at whether there is any harm or unmet need in their own relationships with their fathers (or their mothers as well, of course) that they have buried. I suspect that bringing that to the surface may be necessary in some cases, unfortunately, to allow you to be free enough to learn a new way to father your children?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Some of the information is a little dated, there is a lot of information that still holds true today. Lots of value here. Don't buy this book if you're looking for a step by step guide for parenting. This book only gives that a surface treatment with some bullet points about how to handle certain situations, but nothing that goes very deep. Also, this book is very heavy on research language, and it's clear that the intended audience is not necessarily young, or less educated readers. Some of the language is a little heavy, but there is a lot of good information in this book regardless. The author is credible and makes good arguments. If you can get past the generalizations made (which is impossible to avoid in a big picture book like this) that may not apply to you, then this book will be extremely helpful. I personally like that the language is a little heavy because it gives the book added credibility. Pruett also ties the work of other psychologists, sociologists, and research groups into his arguments witch also adds credibility. If you took any sociology or psychology classes in high school or college then what you read here probably won't surprise you. All things considered, I still learned a few things from this book.
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