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What About the Kids?: Raising Your Children Before, During, and After Divorce

Overview

The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce gave us new and important insight into the long-term effects of divorce on children who have grown into adulthood. What About the Kids? is a new book that tells parents in unprecedented detail how to help their children over the long haul-what to say, what to do, what to expect-every step of the way. Tapping into the latest findings on how children develop, this clearly written guidebook helps parents understand why children at different ages react the way they do to divorce and ...

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Overview

The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce gave us new and important insight into the long-term effects of divorce on children who have grown into adulthood. What About the Kids? is a new book that tells parents in unprecedented detail how to help their children over the long haul-what to say, what to do, what to expect-every step of the way. Tapping into the latest findings on how children develop, this clearly written guidebook helps parents understand why children at different ages react the way they do to divorce and how to head off trouble before it begins. The book follows divorce chronologically so parents can find advice for whatever stage of the experience they are in, including how to help older children many years after the breakup. nPart One: The Immediate Breakup What you need to know to get your own life back on track, what to tell the children, how children react, the reasons for their reactions, and thoughts on when is the best time to divorce. nPart Two: The First Few Years Setting routines, getting legal help, choosing the right custody to fit your child, finding support, and how to realistically follow the advice 'don't fight.' nPart Three: Assessing the Post-Divorce Family Five and Ten Years Down the Road Take another close look at yourself and your kids. Divorce requires a new kind of father, mother, and teenager. nPart Four: When Outsiders Join the Family Dating, sex, remarriage, blended families, holidays, and what step-parents need to know. nPart Five: Conversations for a Lifetime How to talk with your children as they enter young adulthood so they feel safe and free to seek relationships based on love, trust, and mutual commitment. What About the Kids is the ultimate resource for any person wishing to ease the effects of divorce on children, and for all divorced parents who want to ensure their children's future happiness.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The founder and executive director for the Center for the Family in Transition, Wallerstein taught at UC Berkeley for more than 25 years, but is best known as the author of The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce, which taught adult children of divorce how to recognize reactive divorce-based behavior patterns. Here with New York Times science writer Blakeslee, Wallerstein explicitly hopes to complement Dr. Spock and Dr. T. Berry Brazelton's child rearing how-tos by showing parents how to guide children through the dissolution of a marriage. She does an excellent job. After a chapter that advises parents to get their own heads straight before dealing with the kids ("I wish I could tell you that it's ok to lie down and pull the covers over your head, but that's not possible"), Wallerstein addresses the developmental problems that infants and toddlers might face and ways of easing them into differing options for care. She's forthright in talking about the reactions of older children ("Teenagers can be excellent manipulators. All of them do it, but children of divorce have much more to work with"), and talks about their needs with empathy, insight and rigor, but never loses sight of what parents need and feel, too. Chapters cover "The Breakup," "Parent to Parent" advice on custody and avoiding disputes, "The Post-Divorce Family," "Second Marriage" and "Conversations for a Lifetime," or talks that help kids not to be afraid of love and commitment. Addressing everything from parent-to-parent blame to the many forms of child-to-parent resentment, Wallerstein offers firm honesty and supportive encouragement. Divorcing parents will be grateful for it. (Mar. 12) Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
In these books, the authors counsel adults about effective ways to help children deal with change and grief. Marta, founder of RAINBOWS, an international grief support organization for children, applies her techniques to kids who are dealing with several types of loss-the death of a parent, sibling, or friend; divorce; abandonment or placement in foster care; and local or national crisis. Drawing on her work with small groups, she aids her readers in understanding how children experience grief and sadness and offers suggestions for helping them deal with loss and build hope for the future. Also included are guidelines for talking to children and games to help them voice their emotions. Wallerstein (sociology, emerita, Berkeley) has been studying and writing about the effects of divorce on children for more than 25 years. Here, with the help of science writer Blakeslee, she distills her groundbreaking research from The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce (2000) into digestible guidelines for parents. Divided into five parts, the book addresses handling the breakup, dealing with the coparent, examining the family several years after divorce, learning to cope with second families and dating parents, and, finally, assisting children in learning from the parents' divorce so that they may seek healthy relationships as they become young adults. Wallerstein emphasizes the need for continuous dialog with children appropriate to their age; she also stresses that parents must acknowledge the divorce throughout the child's lifetime, making changes in conversation and habits as the children age. Though their subjects and intended audiences are somewhat different, both guides offer complementary advice on helping children deal with the ongoing emotional impact of a loss. Both are recommended for all public libraries, though those owning The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce need not purchase Wallerstein's unless they have strong parenting collections.-Kay Brodie, Chesapeake Coll., Wye Mills, MD Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786868650
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 3/12/2003
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 1.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 6.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Judith S. Wallerstein is the founder and executive director of the Center for the Family in Transition. She is senior lecturer emerita at the School of Social Welfare at the University of California at Berkeley, where she has taught for twenty-six years. She has spoken with more divorced families than anyone in the nation, and lectured to thousands of family court judges, attorneys, mental health professionals, mediators, and educators. She has appeared on Oprah, the Today show, and Good Morning America, among others. She is the author, with Sandra Blakeslee, of the national bestsellers The Good Marriage: How and Why Love Lasts and Second Chances: Men, Women, and Children a Decade After Divorce; with Blakeslee and Julia M. Lewis of the bestseller The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce: A 25-Year Landmark Study; and, with Dr. Joan Berlin Kelly, of Surviving the Breakup: How Children and Parents Cope with Divorce. She lives in Belvedere, California.

Sandra Blakeslee is an award-winning science writer who contributes regularly to the New York Times. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Table of Contents

Introduction XI
Part 1 The Breakup 1
Chapter 1 Take Care of Yourself 3
Chapter 2 Telling the Children 19
Chapter 3 The Developmental Ladder 31
Chapter 4 Zero to Three 43
Chapter 5 Three-, Four-, and Five-Year-Olds 51
Chapter 6 Six-, Seven-, and Eight-Year-Olds 63
Chapter 7 Nine- and Ten-Year-Olds 73
Chapter 8 Eleven-, Twelve-, and Thirteen-Year-Olds 87
Chapter 9 Fourteen-, Fifteen-, Sixteen-, and Seventeen-Year-Olds 99
Chapter 10 College-Age Children 113
Chapter 11 Vulnerable Children 121
Chapter 12 What Is the "Best" Time to Divorce? 127
Chapter 13 Setting Routines and Structure 133
Chapter 14 Supporting the New Family 141
Part 2 Parent-to-Parent 155
Chapter 15 A New Kind of Parent 157
Chapter 16 You and the Law 163
Chapter 17 Laying the Foundation for Custody and Coparenting 175
Chapter 18 Custody 185
Chapter 19 High-Conflict Divorce 203
Chapter 20 How to Choose the Right Custody for Your Child 215
Part 3 The Post-Divorce Family 221
Chapter 21 Take Another Close Look at Your Children and at Yourself 223
Chapter 22 The Overburdened Child 231
Chapter 23 Parent-Child Alignments 239
Chapter 24 A New Kind of Teenager 247
Chapter 25 A New Kind of Father 259
Chapter 26 A New Kind of Mother 269
Part 4 Second Marriage 275
Chapter 27 Dating and Sex 277
Chapter 28 Remarriage 289
Chapter 29 Insiders and the Remarried Family 299
Chapter 30 Stepparents 311
Chapter 31 Blending Two Families 323
Chapter 32 Holidays and Special Occasions 333
Part 5 Conversations for a Lifetime 339
Chapter 33 How to Protect Children of Divorce in Young Adulthood 341
Epilogue 363
Index 365
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    well-written complete guidebook

    When it comes to the children (including adults) of divorce parents, Judith S. Wallerstein is considered the self-help guru based on the insightful THE UNEXPECTED LEGACY OF DIVORCE. Her newest effort to help families is a discerning collaboration with Sandra Blakeslee that provides a how to guide book to assist divorcing or divorced parents with helping their children survive the break up of the marriage. The authors insist that the former spouses must straighten themselves out rather quickly so that they can be there for the children (think airline oxygen mask instructions). Infants and toddlers need immediate assistance while adapting to changes in care and nurturing. Preadolescents require empathy and the knowledge the parents will be there as they struggle with the emotional bombs of change. Teens will manipulate the guilt of the parents better than Machiavelli so provide empathy and understanding, but also remember the parent has feelings too. Even adults have issues that their splitting parents must not ignore. Other topics provide insight into the before during, after, and second marriages with a thorough index to further assist the reader. This is a well-written complete guidebook encouraging the divorcees that with integrity they can handle the grenades their resentful, often angry children and perhaps their former partner toss at them. Harriet Klausner

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    Posted December 8, 2011

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    Posted December 31, 2010

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