All About Better Parenting Month: Partnership Parenting

February 13, 2013

partnershipBook477-2Partnership Parenting by Kyle Pruett, MD, and Marsha Kline Pruett, PhD, is the first book review in our “All About Better Parenting Month” at Unhooked Books.

I met the Pruett’s about 15 years ago when I brought them to Arizona to train family law practitioners about the role of fathers in children’s lives, which was based on Dr. Kyle Pruett’s popular book, Fatherneed. It was a fascinating presentation delivered by two clearly passionate, educated people who have become leaders in the field of parenting. That day has always stuck in my mind. Since that time I’ve had opportunity to hear them speak at other events. They’re tops in my book!

The Pruett’s don’t offer random, anecdotally-based suggestions for better parenting – their writing is based on empirical evidence from research they’ve conducted at the Yale School of Medicine and the Smith School for Social Work combined with their many years of practical experience working with families.

Now they’ve co-authored Partnership Parenting: How Men and Women Parent Differently –Why It Helps Your Kids and Can Strengthen Your Marriage. This book is for any parent who wants to improve their parenting skills. While it focuses on parents in intact marriages/relationships, the basic principles of parenting. learning about biological differences in men’s and women’s parenting styles, and partnership parenting applies to any parent. The Pruett’s research combined with many years’ practical experience working with families has given them insight into what works and doesn’t work, which they share in a digestible and easy to implement manner in the book.

They explain the differences in men’s and women’s naturally different communication styles and approaches to parenting. They’ve found that fathers tend to naturally push children toward independence while moms tend to protect and even overprotect. If you’re a parent you know how this usually ends up – tension-filled and conflicted, but it doesn’t have to be that way and they show you why and how.

What I like about their approach is that they help parents identify their own individual strengths and use them to parent effectively, even if they aren’t exactly on the same page as the other parent. Their research and practical experience shows that contradictions in parenting can, if done constructively, strengthen the whole family.

The Pruett’s recommended co-parenting team approach can only serve to strengthen the family unit, and, as they’ve proven through research and practical experience, it does indeed strengthen the marital relationship. Instead of difficult parenting situations tearing relationships apart, Partnership Parenting can improve them!
Keep reading for more information about Partnership Parenting, taken directly from the book:


Men and women not only have naturally different communication styles, but unique approaches to parenting as well. While mothers tend to overprotect their kids, fathers tend to push them toward independence. And whereas many experts tend to advocate “a united front,” Drs. Kyle and Marsha Pruett reveal how Mom and Dad not always being on exactly the same page— which, initially, may seem to cause conflict— can actually strengthen the whole family.

Informed by the Pruetts’ research and extensive experience with parents and children, Partnership Parenting offers a new outlook. In addition to fascinating biological insights, the book features strategies for negotiating common “landmine situations” from birth to age eight, from discipline and bedtime to helping kids with homework and teaching them responsibility.

With wisdom and humor, Partnership Parenting helps couples take advantage of their individual strengths to raise confident children while simultaneously improving their marriage.

All parents want to raise happy and healthy children. And all parents have opinions about the best way to do so. But what happens when two parents have opposing views on how to raise their kids? With fathers playing an increasingly active role in child-rearing, the joys and responsibilities of raising kids have evolved to include both parents. This can place strain on a marriage, with negotiations taking place not only between parent and child but between parent and parent as well. How does a couple with contrasting parenting styles maintain a healthy marriage? And should all parenting duties be split 50/50 as recent books and articles have suggested?

Through years of experience as practicing clinicians and researchers, Dr. Kyle Pruett and Dr. Marsha Kline Pruett have developed a program of co-parenting that explains not only how to maintain an intact marriage but how to strengthen it as well. In Partnership Parenting: How Men and Women Parent Differently-Why it Helps Your Kids and Can Strengthen Your Marriage , they show that by forming a parenting team, parents can put their differences to constructive uses, bringing diversity and dynamism to the family and fostering the growth and development of their children. Rather than serving as sources of conflict, inevitable contradictions in parenting can be viewed as opportunities for learning for both parents and children.

Partnership Parenting gives parents the information they need to strengthen family life at all levels, addressing the best approaches to such areas as meals, sleep, discipline, safety, and education-all in the context of mutual discussions and shared contributions. It also makes it clear that, rather than splitting parenting responsibilities down the middle or trading them off, each parent should do what he or she does best. Above all, it shows that a strong relationship between parents is an invaluable factor in raising great kids.


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