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

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

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by Judith S. Wallerstein, Sandra Blakeslee
     
 

Now in paperback—a groundbreaking guide that tells parents how to help their children at the time of the breakup and in the many years that follow within the post-divorce and remarried family—from the New York Times bestselling author of The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce.

In the tradition of the best parenting guidebooks comes a new work by

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Overview

Now in paperback—a groundbreaking guide that tells parents how to help their children at the time of the breakup and in the many years that follow within the post-divorce and remarried family—from the New York Times bestselling author of The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce.

In the tradition of the best parenting guidebooks comes a new work by the renowned child psychologist Judith Wallerstein on a subject that vexes millions of American moms and dads: How can you genuinely protect your children during and after divorce? Wallerstein answers this important question based on 30 years of in-depth interviews with children of divorce and their parents.

Divorce is not a single event but a lifelong trajectory of changed circumstances that demand a different kind of parenting than we have ever known. In What About the Kids? Wallerstein shows parents how to create a new family with compassion and wisdom. It covers issues that arise at the time of divorce as well as suggestions for talking to your children months and years after the event.

Eminent psychologist Judith S. Wallerstein shares her unique insight and advice in What About the Kids?—the first comprehensive guide to easing the impact of divorce on your children—including:

  • The best and worst ages for children to experience their parents' divorce
  • Right and wrong ways to explain divorce to your children
  • Choosing a custody arrangement that's best for your child
  • How to involve the grandparents—a major resource?
  • Getting the children on your side when you form new relationships
  • The positive effects of divorce on children (believe it or not)
  • How divorce can actually make you a better parent
  • Raising children who grow up able to form lasting relationships

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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:
9780786887514
Publisher:
Hyperion
Publication date:
03/28/2004
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
465,873
Product dimensions:
5.75(w) x 8.87(h) x 0.87(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

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