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Wisdom for Separated Parents: Rearranging Around the Children to Keep Kinship Strong

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ISBN-13: 978-0313395888
ISBN-10: 0313395888
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Editorial Reviews

Review


 
"A ground-breaking book.We will recommend it to parents and practitioners working with families." 
  --Kathy Simons and Rae Simpson, co-directors of the Center for Work, Family & Personal Life, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

• Follows the profound changes in notions of family from the 1950s to the 21st century

• Addresses the stories and intricacies of life many decades after a separation instead of focusing only on the early years

• Includes the experience of gay parents after a separation

• Provides information that will provide adult children of separated parents a deeper understanding of their complex families and help them make their own choice of an adult partner

• Discusses how separated parents can share positive connections through grandchildren



• Provides numerous insightful quotes derived from interviews with more than 50 parents

• Supplies a bibliography that covers topics such as post-separation parenting, stepfamilies, gay/lesbian parenting, transitions for adults, and the history of cultural and family change

Review

"This is a ground-breaking book, full of surprises and insight about parents who separate after having children. It turns out that most separated families don't fit our stereotypes at all. Thanks to Judy Osborne's extensive research and long-term experience working with couples from diverse backgrounds, including gay and straight, the book reveals a world of unexpected ways that couples remain in connection with each other around parenting, and invent new kinds of family bonds. The stories of separation and re-connection are fascinating, and Osborne's observations are those of a true expert. She has been offering workshops and counseling for years, and now we have the good fortune to see her wisdom captured in book form. We will be recommending this book highly to parents who have separated, those contemplating a separation, and anyone whose own parents have separated. It is also essential, eye-opening reading for students and practitioners working with couples and families." (Kathy Simons and Rae Simpson, Co-directors of the Center for Work, Family & Personal Life, Massachusetts Institute of Technology)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 164 pages
  • Publisher: Praeger (April 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0313395888
  • ISBN-13: 978-0313395888
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,792,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book was an eye-opener for me. Step families are far more complex than I realized. I also learned from the author's interviews about the myriad ways in which partners separate over time and how it is possible for many former partners to gradually let go of anger and hurt, and to transform their lives to ones characterized by acceptance, commitment and connection. The author replaces pejorative words often ascribed to separated and/or divorced partners with more positive terms. For example instead of "ex-spouse" she uses the far more respectful terms "former spouse" or "former partner". Instead of using the words separation and divorce, which are often seen as discriminate events, she uses the more accurate terms of "untangling" and "rearranging" which connote a process that unfolds over time, often years. She stresses the importance of creating "benign energy" around the children to provide a safe environment in which they can be nurtured by both parents in a positive co-parenting arrangement. As an antidote to the outdated admonition to "not have too friendly a relationship with one's former spouse" as a 1977 professional journal warned, the author instead encourages parents to remain "closely connected and committed" to each other as parents. She also encourages parents to think of themselves as "kin", meaning "connection through marriage". This notion keeps the children at the center and can help to keep the life-long ties between separated parents strong and healthy for their own good and for their children's. I highly recommend this book because it is encouraging and supportive to anyone who has been through this process and gives specific, practical guidelines to help families move past sadness, anger and hurt to a place of healing, acceptance and positive lifelong, kinship ties.

Ginny Harris, Clinical Social Worker
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Eleanor Alden on January 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This book is a must read for anyone who is going through a separation from a partner with whom they have children. Her interviews with so many who have been divorced and separated for years from the spouse or partner with whom they have children makes it tremendously clear how inadequate our language is the complicated stages of connection and separation, the coming together and unraveling over decades that often accompanies what we so briefly describe as divorce and separation. The lack of research on this important topic is startling. Judy Osborne's awareness of the of grief and acceptance, the many forms of co-parenting with respect with its tides of closeness and distance, is fascinating and eye opening. It is a joy to read such challenging yet hopeful work combined with careful research filled with such wisdom and compassion. Eleanor Alden StepWisdom: Knowledge from the Ages for Successful StepFamilies
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Format: Hardcover
Most books about divorce and children are all about what is sure to go wrong or get worse. Judy Osborne has a unique, hopeful and optimistic vision, based on many years of experience as a family therapist, of how divorced or separated parents can cooperate, stay connected as parents, stay connected to former in-laws and even enjoy being grandparents together. She vividly describes how marriages, and relationships between formerly married people change over time and the painful times in a divorce do not necessarily have to continue. Her vivid stories and her insights about feelings in families can help parents, and even the grandparents in a family where the parents are divorced, to stay in touch with each other in positive ways and focus on the fact that they are still a family. This is a useful book for parents and one that I hope will change our culture's gloomy vision of what it means when parents don't stay married, to a child-centered and, and even a happy, picture of a family that has reconfigured.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a persuasive book. Judy Osborne writes to introduce and make attractive a particular use of "kinship". She convincingly describes how children and adults benefit when their divorced parents shift from adversarial or indifferent into a new relationship, that of kinship. Using her personal experiences and those of families she worked with/interviewed, she explores new territory and open new possibilities. I have a former husband, myself, and in reading this found some subtle shifts which seemed possible, and even worthwhile. I recommend for those trying to make sense of parenting after divorce.
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