Family Reunion: Reconnecting Parents and Children in Adulthood

Family Reunion: Reconnecting Parents and Children in Adulthood

by Robert Kuttner, Sharland Trotter
     
 

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All our lives, we seek affirmation and love from the people closest to us -- our parents and, later, our grown children. But too few of us get it. As adults, many of us feel that our aging parents still treat us like kids. As parents, many of us are sad that our adult children seem to have little use for us.

When Robert Kuttner and Sharland Trotter were writing

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Overview


All our lives, we seek affirmation and love from the people closest to us -- our parents and, later, our grown children. But too few of us get it. As adults, many of us feel that our aging parents still treat us like kids. As parents, many of us are sad that our adult children seem to have little use for us.

When Robert Kuttner and Sharland Trotter were writing Family Re-Union, many new empty-nesters told them, "I hope I have a better relationship with my kids than I did with my parents." Family Re-Union offers insights on how adults and their parents can cultivate new adult- to-adult lifelong connections and become deeper friends. It is the first book to explore this challenge over the entire life course -- from a teenager's departure for college to the impending death of an aging parent.

Kuttner, a well-known journalist, and Trotter, a clinical psychologist, conceived the book when their son had just gone off to college and their daughter was a junior in high school. The message of Family Re-Union is deepened by the unusual circumstances of its writing: a year into the work, Sharland Trotter learned she had cancer.

As Sharland deals with her illness and invites her family into her journey, the book takes on additional relevance for all those facing their own mortality -- whether prematurely or at the natural end of a long life span -- and seeking to repair family relationships. But Family Re-Union will prove indispensable for all adults, from the twenty-five-year-old who finds her parents overbearing, through the forty-year-old hoping to have a better relationship with his son than he had with his father, to the seventy-year-old trying toreconnect with a middle-aged daughter, and all steps in between. These are life stages we all encounter, and Family Re-Union offers hope that, no matter what our personal circumstances, it is never too late to create loving, respectful family ties.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Robert Kuttner, founder of the American Prospect, and his wife, Sharland Trotter (now deceased), a psychologist, have written Family Re-Union: Reconnecting Parents and Children in Adulthood, based on their own experience and Trotter's research into intergenerational relationships. The authors offer suggestions on how to negotiate what is essentially a new relationship dynamic, cautioning parents to "communicate trust and to cultivate skills of active listening" rather than immediately giving an opinion to an adult child who is learning to make decisions. Kuttner and Trotter's work is a thoughtful rumination on the nature and intricacies of adult child and parent relationships. (May) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
A basic tenet of systems theory is that if one part of a system is altered, a ripple effect causes all parts of the system to change. Kuttner (Everything for Sale) and therapist Trotter make considerable use of systems theory, with examples showing that one person's changing how he or she related to another inevitably changed the other's responses. They offer real-life examples as well as examples from literature to highlight their main point: that when interacting with adult children or parents, one should give them the same consideration given friends or coworkers. Once married, the authors also use their own dealings with their parents and children as examples self-referencing made particularly poignant by Trotter's death as the book was being written. An entire epilog is devoted to the effect that her illness had on their family. Public libraries may want to consider, although Trotter's last days tend to eclipse the titular theme. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780684827223
Publisher:
Free Press
Publication date:
04/23/2002
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
6.16(w) x 9.48(h) x 0.98(d)

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