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Out of Touch : When Parents and Children Lose Contact After Divorce - Geoffrey L. Greif

Out of Touch

When Parents and Children Lose Contact After Divorce

Hardcover Published: 2nd June 1997
ISBN: 9780195095357
Number Of Pages: 256

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The breakdown of the family has moved in recent years to the forefront of national consciousness. All manner of social ills, from poor academic performance to teenage drug use and gang crime, have been attributed to high divorce rates and the collapse of the traditional two-parent family. Targets of particularly harsh criticism are parents who lose all contact with their children after a divorce. So-called "deadbeat dads" are denounced in political speeches and ridiculed on billboard advertisements; mothers who lose touch with their children are stigmatized as emotionally unstable or lacking maternal instincts. Everyone seems to understand the importance of children being raised by two-parent families and the damage that can occur when one parent loses contact completely. What is significantly less clear is why this loss of contact occurs and what can be done to prevent it.
In Out of Touch, Geoffrey Greif explores these issues with clarity, compassion, insight, and an evenhandedness rarely encountered in an arena far more susceptible to acrimonious debate than sympathetic understanding. Setting out to find the reality beneath the catchall categorization of out-of-touch parents as deadbeats, substance abusers, child mistreaters, or criminals, Greif focuses on those parents who tried and, for a vast array of reasons, failed to maintain contact with their children. It is their voices, in a discussion dominated up till now by the custodial parent, that we most need to hear, Greif argues, if we are to uncover ways to avoid such failures in the future. Rather than offering dry statistics and abstract generalizations, Greif lets us hear these voices directly in 26 in-depth interviews with estranged parents and with children caught in the crossfire of painful divorces. Extending over a period of two to ten years, these interviews, and Greif's perceptive analyses of them, reveal the whole spectrum of logistical, emotional, and legal difficulties that keep parents and children apart. From the ordinary problems of visitation rights and child support to the more complex and troubling issues--bitter court battles, accusations of sexual abuse, domestic violence, children rejecting a parent, child kidnapping, and many others--Out of Touch vividly and often heartbreakingly presents all the ways that fathers and mothers, even with the best intentions, can lose contact with their children. But the book does more than tell the stories of failed relationships. Its concluding chapter offers a series of specific and extremely helpful suggestions for families--parents, children, grandparents--who find themselves in danger of complete estrangement. Greif outlines how families can employ support systems, communication skills, mediation, and many other strategies to overcome the most difficult obstacles that occur after a divorce. It is here that the lessons gleaned from the broken relationships of the past become invaluable advice for the future.
Informed by fresh perspectives, moving personal accounts, and a clear-sighted approach to a tangled issue, Out of Touch is a timely and deeply important book about both the forces that drive parents and children apart and the understanding that can keep them together.

Industry Reviews

"Geoffery Greif's Out of Touch is a powerful book that captures the complexity of a common and many-sided domestic drama. Greif manages to evoke empathy for all involved, mothers, fathers and children, while effectively illustrating the different issues each confronts. The narratives are vivid enough to detail the many twists and turns that lead one parent to 'lose touch,' and Greif's analysis is rich enough to stand alone. Together, complemented by insightful policy recommendations, they make for a book that anyone who has personal or professional interest in what happens to families after divorce will want to read."--Theodore Cohen, Ohio Wesleyan University "In Out of Touch, Dr. Greif continues as the harbinger for single parents.... I found the concrete self-help actions based on 180 responses and the interviews conducted to be most helpful both as a social worker and a single parent. He also astutely provides children caught between parents with 10 helpful suggestions of how they might get back in touch with their parents or at least themselves."--Susan C. Tebb, Professor at the School of Social Service, Saint Louis University "Geoffrey Greif's Out of Touch is a powerful book that captures the complexity of a common and many-sided domestic drama. Greif manages to evoke empathy for all involved, mothers, fathers and children, while effectively illustrating the different issues each confronts. The narratives are vivid enough to detail the many twists and turns that lead one parent to 'lose touch,' and Greif's analysis is rich enough to stand alone. Together, complemented by insightful policy recommendations, they make for a book that anyone who has personal or professional interest in what happens to families after divorce will want to read."--Theodore Cohen, Ohio Wesleyan University

Prefacep. v
Divorce and How Parents Lose Contactp. 3
When Fathers and Children No Longer Visit: Feelings of Inadequacy and Rejectionep. 32
When Fathers and Children No Longer Visit: The More Acrimonious Casesp. 55
When Mothers and Children No Longer Visit: Feelings of Rejection and Betrayalp. 78
When Mothers and Children No Longer Visit: When Others Raise Concernsp. 112
The Children's Viewsp. 127
Absent Parents, Law, and Social Policyp. 159
When Contact is Reestablished: Where to Go from Herep. 169
Prevention and Resolution: Advice for Parents and Childrenp. 189
Notesp. 221
Referencesp. 229
Indexp. 237
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780195095357
ISBN-10: 0195095359
Audience: General
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 2nd June 1997
Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 24.08 x 16.2  x 2.92
Weight (kg): 0.54
Edition Number: 1

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