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The Boys and Girls Book About Divorce Paperback – April 1, 1985


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 9 and up
  • Grade Level: 4 and up
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam; Reprint edition (April 1, 1985)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553276190
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553276190
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 4.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #560,174 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Should Your Parents Be Married Even If They're Unhappy With Each Other?

If your parents fuss at you does it mean they don't love you? How can you tell if your father loves you, if he lives in another city? Are you "bad" when you get angry with your mother or father? Why is it a mistake to talk to one parent about another? Do you blame yourself for your parents' divorce?

This warm and honest book provides reassuring answers to these and many more crucial questions children ask about divorce.

From the Inside Flap

Should Your Parents Be Married Even If They're Unhappy With Each Other?



If your parents fuss at you does it mean they don't love you? How can you tell if your father loves you, if he lives in another city? Are you "bad" when you get angry with your mother or father? Why is it a mistake  to talk to one parent about another? Do you blame yourself for your parents' divorce?



This warm and honest book provides reassuring answers to these and many more crucial questions children ask about divorce.

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Customer Reviews

2.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Unicorns & Kittens on June 24, 2002
Format: Paperback
This book is fantastically un-PC; so much that it verges on shocking. Those who want some bland and reassuring pap for their nearest/dearest child of divorce should look elsewhere.
I know nothing of the author biographically, but I can tell he's seen a lot of unhappy children. He's seen them lied to by adults whose intentions spanned the gamut of good and bad, and seen that misdirection and ephemism hurt children more than directness ever could. In other words, Gardner respects children and understands their need for plain talk. This book advocates for them.
Parents may be offended. But divorces occur more often where fundamental tenets of healthy relationships aren't respected, and things we rarely talk about are done to kids as a matter of course. Kids get used as adult-companionship substitutes. Kids get used as weapons against the Ex, or meal tickets. Parents drift off after the divorce and never drift back again. Parents fawn and drool on birthdays or Christmas and fail to call the rest of the year. To Gardner, this suggests a parent who does not love their child. What does it suggest to you?
The current vogue is pad all this over and "be reassuring," but Gardner prefers to let them in on the truth -- believing truth is something even children can eventually come to terms with.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Shuan Chen on March 15, 2004
Format: Paperback
I noticed this book because of my own miserable childhood.
No adult would like to tell me the truth about my parient's divorce even themselves.There were so many questions in my mind.I have wasted so many time to adjust it. The teachers never taught you how to deal with a divorced family and a sad father. There was no book about it. So, we are helpless.
When I saw this book,I felt so amazingly. This was a book written for us and truely helped us.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 4, 1996
Format: Paperback
I read the book 16 years ago and it influenced me to become
a psychologist. I even mentioned the book and Dr. Gardner
in my application essay for graduate school. The book was
easy to understand as a child and I still recommend the book
to my children-patients. I highly recommend the book to
parents and children who are dealing with divorce issues.
The book also contains great illustrations. No book has had
greater influence on my life and career
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By hipRealtor on May 20, 2005
Format: Paperback
The negative reviewers are in denial and, although they believe they are doing the right thing by not being honest with their kids or themselves, they are hurting their kids and probably screwing them up for life so they too can repeat the mistakes of their parents and continue the cycle.

The chapter about what love is and how to recognize it is invaluable. It does NO good to teach a child that neglect, disinterest and selfishness is love because it is not.

The sad fact is that some parents do not love their children or love them very much. Face it and deal with it - adults and children alike. If you teach your kid that "not-love" is love then you're not giving your kid the skills to find and recognize Real Love.

Apparently, many negatives reviewers had a fit when they read the chapter about how to recognize love and they didn't continue reading how to help your child cope when their parent has little or no love for them. Maybe, as I did, they had to face facts that their own estranged spouse and/or a parent of theirs also did not love nor love them enough.

This book also addresses the fears that children have and denying that they have those fears is easier on the parent, but certainly not helpful to a child who is, well, childish and needs reassurance.

If you love your children, really really love them - then buy this book. Read it first yourself then use the chapters that apply to your situation and know that even though truth hurts and facing fears is difficult - you're doing right by your children. Sugar-coating and running away from facts is harmful to you and to your kids. It's time to stop taking the short-term easy way out and get real.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Wuulf on December 5, 2008
Format: Paperback
I respectfully disagree with the reviews from well-meaning adults regarding Gardner's candor. Divorce is not last place at the science fair. Divorce is a civil war where children are given a front-row seat to the ugly, forceful destruction of their family. While unconditional love may be helpful short-term, it doesn't address the guilt, distrust or hatred children may have that they don't understand and cannot voice.

My parents put this book in my hands 25 years ago. To be sure, it contains stinging criticism of adult behavior that left my parents smarting, but it became a valuable tool for thoughtful conversation that restored confidence and trust. I still use its principals in adulthood.

Do I agree with everything this book said? Nope. Did I find the book useful anyhow? Absolutely. I encourage you to read the book for yourself, then decide whether to share it with your children. Whatever you decide, I encourage you to do what it takes to help children of divorce learn to think critically about their experience.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sofpod on September 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
After a couple of years of trying to figure out what was wrong with my step daughter who's now 11, we finally found out that her mom has been repeatedly telling her numerous appalling lies about her dad which she believed and became scared and distante from her dad. She never mentioned the bad mouthing from her mom because she was told by her mom if she spoke up the judge would take her away from her mom. Finally it all came out during an extended stay with us and with the help of a couple of books "Divorce poison" and "The boys & girls book about divorce" we have been able to appropriately address this concern and the positive results already show in my step daughter. She has opened up about a lot of negative things going on at her mother's home which we were not aware of, and we have now been able to guide her on how to deal with it emotionally and how to address it directly with her mom. She acts and looks so much better now, her confidence has already improved and she is now relaxed with us like old time. Great book! Yes some aspect of it may seam a little harsh for children but after thinking about it I really agree with it and think that honesty about the facts while keeping out badmouthing, will help children confront reality and learn how to deal with it better. This book also provides good info that can be applied to any children from divorced family or not.
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