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When Sons and Daughters Choose Alternative Lifestyles Paperback – October, 1996

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Caplan, a therapist and freelance author, has written a guidebook for parents developing new relationships with their adult children. Although the title indicates a focus on an adult child's nontraditional lifestyle, the relevance of the book is not limited to parent/adult child relationships far outside the mainstream. The author defines "alternative" broadly and includes a range of lifestyles, from a decision to remain single to a gay partnership to membership in a cult or commune. Caplan states that a relationship must be maintained regardless of the areas of disagreement and that parents need to recognize the need for that bond and grieve for their lost hopes. Her advice to parents is based on two principles: find help for yourself and put love for your adult child above all else. Case examples and a bibliography are given in the appendixes. Recommended for public libraries?Kay L. Brodie, Chesapeake Coll., Wye Mills, Md.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 232 pages
  • Publisher: Hohm Pr (October 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0934252696
  • ISBN-13: 978-0934252690
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6.2 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,959,239 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ellen Etc. VINE VOICE on February 17, 2004
Format: Paperback
This is not a bad book, it's just that it can't see its own self-righteousness. The author rightly believes that adult children have every right to choose lifestyles that their parents might find weird -- living in a commune, not having children, coming out as gay, or following a guru, for example. But in advocating for that right, she promotes a heavy-handed moral certitude that pretty much advises the parents to just get over it.
If a parent or relative has already determined to accept the alternative lifestyle and wants support in dealing with it, this would be a good book. It's not great on confronting the reasons behind the parental disapproval, such as upbringing or religion, and gives no help whatsoever to a parent who goes against her church or community in accepting a particular lifestyle. Caplan just suggests that love for the adult child must overcome the differences and that the parent needs to work on himself, though there are some helpful guidelines for "agreeing to disagree" on some subjects and then letting the topic drop.
Caplan doesn't like the word "cult" and suggests using "alternative lifestyle" instead. She conveniently discusses what she seems to consider the "healthy" lifestyle differences such as vegetarianism, but notably absent are "lifestyle choices" such as drugs, crime, and sexual misconduct. (Not all parental disapproval is due to outmoded cultural conditioning.) The book is also silent on drawing limits with adult children who take advantage of their parents emotionally or financially, assuming that the fault is all on the part of rigid, controlling parents.
The book is presented under the authority of an M.A. without giving any biographical information on the author's credentials.
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1 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 10, 1997
Format: Paperback
Great! Absolutely Awesom
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When Sons and Daughters Choose Alternative Lifestyles
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