PART-TIME FATHER by Edith & Estelle Rubin Atkins


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A sympathetic, sometimes piteous, summary of the predicament of the divorced father striving to remain a father though he is no longer a husband. The authors, therapists, take it on faith that most divorced men want, sometimes desperately, to provide for and remain close to their children, even though the number of men cited annually in the courts for non-payment of child support might indicate otherwise. At any rate this book--more a pat on the back than a prescriptive manual--is directed at those men who feel deprived when their children no longer live under their roof. Don't overcompensate, the authors warn; don't try to expiate guilt feelings with lavish gifts; don't succumb to the compulsion to ""do things""--you're a father, not a social director. Since the two thorniest issues in divorce are money and visiting rights, if the woman insists on linking the two, the man who is unemployed or in genuine financial distress may be--quite unjustly--evicted from his children's lives. Remember that children of divorced parents always feel divided loyalties--which the feuding parents often exploit. The authors repeatedly remind the man who may be deeply immersed in his own misery that children are ""the spoils of war""; their need for reassurance is overwhelming; above all, they should know that the break-up is not their fault. Without evading any of the painful realities, Atkins and Rubin manage to be both sensible and soothing--though some feminists may object that in most instances it is the divorced mother who is the more burdened parent in need of support and counsel.

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 1975
Publisher: Vanguard