Great to See You, Dad
As I absorb various news articles and other media pieces on parenting these days, I'm encouraged that the trend is towards including both parents - finally. I'm seeing fewer and fewer articles that leave out fathers, and more and more like this one that focus on the beauty of both parents teaming up for the greater good. It seems increasingly presumed that more dad involvement in childcare is good for both the kids and the marriage.
One such voice of teamwork recently surfaced with the release of a new book called Partnership Parenting by Marsha and Kyle Pruett - a professor of social work and child psychiatrist team, and parenting couple. I haven't read the book yet, but I like what I've heard about it so far. The Pruetts claim that sharing the parenting duties is good for the kids and the parents. They are clear that artificially, or actually, dividing the chores to achieve some arbitrary 50/50 goal of equal tasks completed is silly. And they also speak of the importance of deciding as a team how the parenting "show" should be run.
I couldn't agree more. Just about all of the ESP couples we have interviewed refer to their relationship as a team of equals regardless of how evenly they divide any particular chore. Very few ever claim their primary goal is equal task division (in fact, they aren't focused on chore division much at all) even as they are also clear that the more they can share any domain the closer they come to their ideals.
Much of the discussion so far about the Pruetts' new book seems to focus on the benefits of accepting each parent as he or she is - not expecting fathers to act like mothers or vice versa. Amen to that! The Pruetts are also experts on the research supporting the benefits of shared parenting on the well being of children. Amy and I have intentionally avoided focusing on the facts about ESP's benefits to children since we are not academic researchers, but we firmly believe, as I'm sure is true for most parents, that our choices work for our family. It's great to have a resource for these facts now.
I am looking forward to diving into Partnership Parenting.