In the next century, 50 million American children will go to sleep without being able to say good night to their fathers. The Divorced Dad's Survival Book offers both hope and help for noncustodial fathers who want to stay connected with their children before, during, and after divorce. David Knox, a psychologist and father, is passionate in his premise that dads are not replaceable. But don't expect tips on ex-spouse bashing. Instead, the author's purpose is to minimize conflict with the ex-spouse and "to encourage fathers to continue being fathers and to emphasize that this goal is always worth pursuing no matter what legal or personal obstacles alienation from their spouse may bring."
Knox offers fathers a hefty how-to list: understanding a child's perspective on divorce, creating an optimistic view of divorced fathering, mediating differences with a former spouse, answering the tough questions kids ask, and coping when you fall in love with a new partner and your children don't. These challenges are explored with insightful self-assessments and practical descriptions of what to do--and not do--when your kids are with you and when they are with their mother. One chapter, written by the author's partner, offers a fresh view of being a divorced dad's valentine.
This supportive and strategic advice is weakened by Knox's stereotyped description of how fathering differs from mothering--one that is bound to ruffle even nonfeminist feathers. Yet the book succeeds in creating a model of loving, equal parenting that can triumph over the trials of divorce. --Barbara Mackoff