anticipating children’s needs before
they say them.
Dads: children tend to work more
at explaining their needs to their
Moms: tend to actively help their
child find solutions.
Dads: tend to watch the child
and give verbal encouragement and
In general, Gibb says moms are like
lifeguards: they strive to keep their
children safe and comfortable.
Dads tend to have a cheerleader
style: they assure children they can
do something and encourage them to
stretch their limits.
Whatever moms’ and dads’
Communicating with each other
is key to understanding the other’s
approach. Put your children’s well-
being first when differences arise and
let your partner know that they have
“Different parenting styles have
strengths and value, as long as they
are supporting children’s needs at
each stage of development,” Barker
— Terry Bullick
Many kinds of
parents and families
Kyle Pruett and Marsha Kline Pruett,
the authors of Partnership Parenting,
say partnership parenting is important
to every family structure: male/female,
same sex, biological, adopted or
blended, living together or apart, or with
grandparents or others in a parenting
role. Partnership parenting is a critical
consideration for any two people raising
When adults recognize and work out how
to make the most use of their different
strengths for the benefit of the children,
children learn a variety of approaches to
life, and that makes all the difference.
Our special reprint series includes issues on brain development,
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