cover image Fatherneed: Why Father Care Is as Essential as Mother Care for Your Child

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

Kyle D. Pruett. Free Press, $24 (256pp) ISBN 978-0-684-85775-6

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.)