Be it spring, summer, fall, or winter, the start of a new season marks a time of change and growth. In 8 Seasons of Parenthood
, co-authors Barbara C. Unell, founder of Twins
magazine, and family psychologist Jerry Wyckoff, M.D., explore the very predictable cycles of parenthood, showing how each waxing and waning season shapes individuals and families. Beginning with pregnancy (a time when moms-to-be are the "celebrities" and their husbands are the "roadies"), the authors use familiar examples to describe the physical and psychological changes adults encounter throughout parenthood--be it the new mom who laments her lost waistline and freedom; the father of a teen who suddenly needs to revisit his bygone youth; or the lonely couple who can't face eating at the family dinner table once their children are off to college.
Wykoff and Unell succeed in providing a thorough guide for parents in any stage of the child-rearing game, taking care to share a diversity of circumstances from various socioeconomic sectors as well as the experiences of special-needs families in which a child's developmental disabilities prevent parents from reaching the final seasons. A final, thought-provoking chapter is dedicated to parents who find themselves in need of being "parented" by their own children. --Liane Thomas
From Publishers Weekly
Parenthood is truly not about how we raise our kids. Quite the opposite: Parenthood... is about the impact that our children make on us, an impact that gives definition and meaning to our entire adult life cycle." With this original argument as their foundation, writer and activist Unell and child psychologist Wyckoff offer fulsome definitions of the eight season of parental life based on children's ages, from "Celebrity" (pregnancy) through "Volcano Dweller" (adolescence), "Plateau Parent" to "Rebounder." The authors' spirited introduction explains the book's thesis so crisply and comprehensively that there hardly seems to be a reason to read the ensuing chapters. Sure, there are some nuggets of good advice, case histories of struggling parents and piquant quotes from notables ranging from Bill Cosby to Kierkegaard; however, the text is so laden with cliches and belabored metaphors--"the sentimental journey of this season [Celebrity] takes on the rhythm of someone fitting a big Tupperware container into an already crowded fridge"--as to frequently render the authors' message unintelligible (and make the reader wonder what happened to the editor). Best to skip ahead to the book's last section, which provides information on starting a "Circles" group of same-season parents, copious notes and a helpful bibliography. (Apr.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.