Is your child getting the right balance of nurturing care that all children need to grow into healthy adults, including the kind of care only a father can give? For years the most trusted child care experts have emphasized the mother/child bond, but this is only half the story. Kids and dads are also biologically hardwired for a different but equally important relationship. In "Fatherneed," Dr. Kyle D. Pruett draws on more than two decades of highly acclaimed research at the Yale Child Study Center to offer the first complete understanding of the father's role in child and adult development.
Combining real-life examples from his own child and family psychiatry practice with state-of-the-art research data, Dr. Pruett shows how fathers parent differently and why that difference is so important to a child's physical, cognitive, emotional, and behavioral development. Dr. Pruett challenges the time-honored tradition of giving mothers all the credit -- and all the blame -- for how their children turn out. Biological studies of infants show that they seek comfort from moms but crave interaction with their dads. Mothers quickly reassure toddlers when they become frustrated or fearful, whereas fathers encourage their toddlers to tolerate frustration a bit longer, helping them develop into adults with greater reserves of strength in dealing with everyday stress and frustration. And Dr. Pruett's long-term studies show that children who are actively involved with their fathers from birth through adolescence develop more emotional balance, stronger curiosity, and greater self-assurance.
"Fatherneed" is also a how-to guide for engaged fathering that will give your children the skills todevelop into happy and healthy adults. Dr. Pruett specifically addresses what a father can do to prepare his marriage, his house, and his emotions for his child's needs, from infancy through the toddler years, childhood, adolescence, and young and mature adulthood. His advice to fathers is comprehensive and wide-ranging: how to speak to toddlers in language they can understand; how to avoid the common tendency to reinforce gender stereotypes in young children; how to maintain a connection with an increasingly autonomous teenager; how to strengthen one's marriage while facing the challenges of fathering. Divorced fathers, fathers of adopted children, stepfathers, and fathers of special-needs children all face unique challenges, and Dr. Pruett offers step-by-step guidance for coping with every one of these special situations. When fathers are absent, mothers must look elsewhere. Dr. Pruett shows single moms how to be sure that their children are getting the benefit of a male adult's attention.
Successful fathering does not come at the expense of the mother/child bond; in fact it depends on a mother's encouragement. Every mother loves to see the health and happiness in her child, and in the child's father, that result from successful fathering. Through true stories of actual families "Fatherneed" reveals the infinite varieties of fathering that result when a dedicated father and a supportive mother work together. With wit, authority, and compassion, Dr. Pruett shows how to be sure that your child gets what only a father can provide.