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Family Ties: Mother or Father Knows Best?

Co-parenting is nothing new, but when a couple juggles working full time and raising their children on their own, tag teaming becomes all the more important — or does it? For four years, my husband and I have taken care of our two kids and dual careers without enlisting childcare. While it's a dream in many ways — we've watched every milestone and been able to spend those crucial and fleeting first years with our kids, it's also a challenge.

The technical bugs like who needs to be where have been worked out, but things like laundry piles and wiping down the kitchen counters are more a matter of perspective. We have the same game plan, but play on different fields. When I'm with my son and daughter, they follow more of a routine, pick up after themselves and sit down for meals. Their daddy's agenda is completely different. The threesome spends every moment possible outside digging ditches in the dirt, climbing structures and engaging in activities that would likely give uncoordinated me a heart attack. Meals happen as they do and the same goes for cleaning up messes. But conflicting parenting styles aside, I know that splitting their time between us will make them more well rounded individuals. To find out an expert's opinion,


A recent segment on Good Morning America covered this issue. Moms and dads are typically different, but experts seem to think the contrasts have little effect on the children. It said:

"The bottom line for children is, 'I don't have just one and a half person who is nuts about me. I have two and they are kind of nuts about me in interesting ways. They bring out different parts of me,'" explains Kyle Pruett, M.D., a child psychiatrist and the author of "Father Need: Why Father Care Is as Essential as Mother Care for Your Child."

Do you and your partner's parenting styles differ?

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