BETWEEN GENERATIONS: The Six Stages of Parenthood by Ellen Galinsky

BETWEEN GENERATIONS: The Six Stages of Parenthood

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A patchwork description of how parents change as their children grow older; it's long on labels and short on analysis. After interviews with 228 parents and extensive reading in the area of adult development, Galinsky found, not surprisingly, that parenting stages tend to parallel children's needs and concerns; these progressions she's dubbed the imagemaking (pregnancy), nurturing, authority, interpretive, interdependence, and departure stages. Certain themes, however, recur so regularly--expectations not fulfilled, control and lack of it, relationships with grandparents, separation--that they might have formed a more revealing framework for analysis. Instead, parent after parent describes his or her current thoughts, feelings, and worries (especially worries); and Galinsky supplies the headlines: Sharing/Withholding, A Changing Relationship Between Parent and Child, Support/Lack of Support. Each headline could apply to almost any of her stages, but Galinsky offers little commentary on the continuity of parenting. Most lacking is perspective--parents were asked to talk about their present states of mind, not how they solved previous problems; and the developmental model Galinsky tries to apply requires longitudinal information, or at least a long-range authorial point of view. More Passages, no gains.

Pub Date: Jan. 9th, 1980
Publisher: Times Books