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They're Your Parents, Too!: How Siblings Can Survive Their Parents' Aging Without Driving Each Other Crazy Hardcover – January 26, 2010

4.6 out of 5 stars 32 customer reviews

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Religious parenting and adolescent struggles
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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Russo is so insightful, so psychologically acute and compassionate that she held me rapt for the whole book...They're Your Parents, Too! is the first book of it's kind I have ever read and I am extremely grateful to Russo for giving us her wisdom and the help of the experts whose voices guide us through what is an extremely difficult passage for us all." –Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, University of Washington and author of Prime: Adventures and Advice on Sex, Love, and the Sensual Years

 "Francine Russo has written a stunning book about one of the most complex but ignored times of human transition—the sibling relationships when parents are in decline and then die. Taking over often becomes a sibling struggle—and therein lies the core of Francine Russo's uplifting book." –Pauline Boss, Professor Emeritus, University of Minnesota and author of Ambiguous Loss 
 
 “I wish Francine Russo had been my tutor as I faced my own mother’s decline and death. All the issues that came up for my brother and sister and me are addressed so accurately and compassionately in this book. This is a manual that shows us how to negotiate a healing path through our parents’ final challenge, and prepares us for our own.” –David Richo, PhD., author of When the Past is Present and How To Be An Adult
 
“This book by Francine Russo will be enormously helpful to siblings struggling with the  many challenges posed as their parents grow older.” –Robert N. Butler, M.D. President and CEO, International Longevity Center, Founding director of the National Institute on Aging
 
“Interesting, relevant, insightful! Anyone who reads this book will find something that opens a window to new thinking about themselves and their relationships. Russo has really done her homework.  I’m recommending this to everyone I know who’s having sibling issues around their parents—and that’s practically everyone I know.” –Harriett Balkind, founder of SNOETY.COM (SECRETS NO ONE EVER TOLD YOU ®)
 
“Even I, who practice mediation for a living and am able to help people with their difficult conversations, found it extremely difficult to start my own family’s discussions about caring for our mother without help from outside. Now I am committed to helping families find ways to have such conversations, using Francine Russo’s useful and engaging book as a springboard.” –Brigitte Bell, Brigitte Bell Mediation, Evanston, IL

“More than a how-to book, this groundbreaking work illuminates a difficult stage of life."–Library Journal

About the Author

Francine Russo is a widely recognized journalist who covered the boomer beat for Time magazine for nearly a decade and authored the “Ask Francine” column. She has also written for The Atlantic, The New York Times Magazine, Redbook, Family Circle, Ladies Home Journal, Self, Glamour, and The Village Voice. A mother of two and stepmother of three, she has a Ph.D. in English and lives in Manhattan.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Books; 1st edition (January 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0553806998
  • ISBN-13: 978-0553806991
  • Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #376,278 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By CJ Moore on March 14, 2010
Format: Hardcover
So glad we were told about this book. "They're Your Parents, Too!" is a sensitive, practical, serious, yet also humorous, book. The author, Francine Russo, was familiar to us from many years of reading her articles in Good Housekeeping, Village Voice, Time, etc., and her great column in Time, "Ask Francine" which helped me, my colleagues, family and friends, on elder business and social concerns. In this new book, Ms. Russo does a fantastic job of focusing on the issues many of us in the baby-boomer generation are facing. For me, as a sibling having an elderly parent, this book taught me to see and feel issues from my parent's perspective, and, most importantly, from my siblings perspectives. Through her case studies and excellent professional resources, Ms. Russo has "zeroed-in" on the issues that cause many of us to alternatively feel guilty, self-righteous, inadequate, and confused, as she provides solutions, in a very encouraging way. I also like the catch-phrases lessons {e.g. "You can keep the damn jack"}, to remember the messages, and to laugh at ourselves for our pre-conceived ideas, and how they can be so wrong. We highly recommend this book for siblings who have aging parents, clergy, mental health professionals, guardians, caregivers, and everyone in the field of gerontology.
Thanks, Ms. Russo, for your help through this terrific book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am 76 and took care of all four of our parents over a period of 15 years. If only I had had this book! It nailed all the problems and gave useful advice on how to deal with them, especially if you are the one "on location." I am about to purchase a copy for each of my 4 children, because the time is coming for my husband and myself. I hope they don't stay in such a state of denial as they are now and read it and think about it.
The hurt and anger regarding care of a parent is almost unavoidable. But if at least one sibling has read a book like this, that person may very well be able to negotiate a better outcome.

One thing that this author suggests often is an intermediary of some kind, social worker, pastor, others. In the 70s and 80s when this was happening to us, there was no one. Our pastor was helpful, but didn't have any real insight. The best resource proved to be the support groups for Alzheimer's caretakers. It would seem that our aging population has brought about assisted living residences and other facilities that didn't exist back then.
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Format: Hardcover
Francine Russo ...has given caregivers one of the best books on sibling issues I've read....I'd recommend this hopeful and healing book to any family having misunderstandings over parent care. Russo is realistic in that many families are broken from the beginning and that these demons from the past are bound to come back, magnified, once parent care begins. If you never felt you got the love you deserved from a parent because your sibling "hogged the spotlight," you are likely to find yourself acting out in ways that are going to throw a kink in the machinery of elder care.Russo offers some suggestions that can help adult children work through, or if necessary around, these issues. Will reading this book transform every family into the Waltons? Probably not. But Russo's book does give many valuable tips to help you and your siblings understand the roles you play in caregiving and appreciate each other's viewpoint. It won't replace family counseling, but it's a great tool.

Carol Bradley BursackMinding Our Elders: Caregivers Share Their Personal Stories
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By Anne on February 21, 2010
Format: Hardcover
My siblings and I are just starting out on this journey. After reading this book, I had some very practical ideas of ways we can get organized and approach our parents about planning for their future needs. The book is full of helpful suggestions on ways siblings can work together at this difficult time of life - whether they get along or not. It also contains lots of tips on ways siblings can share the burden. The anecdotes and personal stories throughout make it easier to relate to and understand the advice that Ms. Russo culls from lots of experts. I highly recommend it and plan to purchase copies for my siblings.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Today, many of us find ourselves smack dab in the middle of a pretty rugged situation. Our parents are aging, often mentally or physically incapable of caring for themselves, they need guidance and care, unfortunately so do we, our own kids and our work responsibilities. Throw into this mix distant and obstinate siblings and you've got one explosive situation. This book is an invaluable guide to those who are going through this situation. However it's an even more essential tome for those who MIGHT be going through this in the near future. If they read this book in-time perhaps they can spare themselves some of the misery I and others have gone through.

Worf
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
My only wish is that I read this book before my Dad died and I had such terrible issues with my only sister. It is chock full of sound advice, understanding
of the different players in every family without any condemnation. I couldn't recommend it more highly. I read the Kindle version and it was very well formatted.
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