CriticasWith half of all marriages ending in divorce, books that help parents and caregivers cope with the resulting changes are in high demand. In Los hijos y el divorcio, psychologists Long and Forehand offer an eight-step plan for dealing with the aftermath of separation. The authors write from the premise that divorce is often the best solution and that it need not affect children adversely. In their discussion of such issues as custody, visitation rights, starting new relationships, and getting professional help, the authors stress the importance of communicating with family members and caring for oneself. Parents must always be honest and avoid using children as allies, spies, or messengers. They must maintain a positive attitude so that children feel loved and never believe that they caused the divorce. The book ends with a bibliography of English-language titles and a list of U.S. organizations and Spanish-language resources. In Cómo ayudar a los hijos, Rodríguez, a Mexican child psychologist and couples counselor who hosts a radio talk show, writes in a more casual, self-help tone. She mixes sound psychological advice with shaded boxes containing tips and scripts of specific scenarios. Like Long and Forehand, Rodríguez emphasizes the importance of communicating openly, making the child feel loved, and minimizing stress to produce a healthy family environment. The scripts demonstrate techniques for encouraging children to express feelings, negotiating with a former spouse, and avoiding conflict. Women will find Rodríguez's advice appealing, especially the part that emphasizes the importance of spending less time on domestic chores and enjoying abit of pampering. Both titles contain valuable information for families in the throes of divorce. While the well-organized plans and reference lists in Los hijos y el divorcio will help parents cope with conflict and change, the supportive dialog that Rodríguez initiates in Cómo ayudar a los hijos will appeal to women who feel overwhelmed by the divorce. Well recommended for all public library collections.
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Barbara M. Bibel, Oakland P.L., CA