Family Re-union: Reconnecting Parents and Children in Adulthood

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Simon and Schuster, 2002 - Family & Relationships - 280 pages
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All our lives, we seek affirmation and love from the people closest to us -- our parents and, later, our grown children. But too few of us get it. As adults, many of us feel that our aging parents still treat us like kids. As parents, many of us are sad that our adult children seem to have little use for us.

When Robert Kuttner and Sharland Trotter were writing "Family Re-Union," many new empty-nesters told them, "I hope I have a better relationship with my kids than I did with my parents." "Family Re-Union" offers insights on how adults and their parents can cultivate new adult- to-adult lifelong connections and become deeper friends. It is the first book to explore this challenge over the entire life course -- from a teenager's departure for college to the impending death of an aging parent.

Kuttner, a well-known journalist, and Trotter, a clinical psychologist, conceived the book when their son had just gone off to college and their daughter was a junior in high school. The message of "Family Re-Union" is deepened by the unusual circumstances of its writing: a year into the work, Sharland Trotter learned she had cancer.

As Sharland deals with her illness and invites her family into her journey, the book takes on additional relevance for all those facing their own mortality -- whether prematurely or at the natural end of a long life span -- and seeking to repair family relationships. But "Family Re-Union" will prove indispensable for all adults, from the twenty-five-year-old who finds her parents overbearing, through the forty-year-old hoping to have a better relationship with his son than he had with his father, to the seventy-year-old trying to reconnect with amiddle-aged daughter, and all steps in between. These are life stages we all encounter, and "Family Re-Union" offers hope that, no matter what our personal circumstances, it is never too late to create loving, respectful family ties.

 

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Family re-union: reconnecting parents and children in adulthood

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A basic tenet of systems theory is that if one part of a system is altered, a ripple effect causes all parts of the system to change. Kuttner (Everything for Sale) and therapist Trotter make ... Read full review

Contents

Regret and Reunion
1
Children as Adults Parents as People
16
The Psychology of Families
36
Parents Growing Up
58
The New Extended Family
89
Fractured Families Whole People
109
Family Complications
126
Revisiting Our Families
150
From Parents to Grandparents
175
Life Reflection and Reunion
195
fpiiogue Terminal Candor
215
Acknowledgments
255
Sources and Resources
268
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About the author (2002)

Sharland Trotter, Ed.D., until her death in 1997 was a practicing clinical psychologist and research fellow at Radcliffe College as well as former editor in chief of the American Psychological Association Monitor.

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