PARENT BURNOUT by Joseph & Mark Kiefaber Procaccini


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A well-ordered attempt to chart the precarious course of burnout and recovery for overcommitted, overzealous parents. Chiefly at risk, we're told, are those who look forward to parenthood the most, give it their all, and develop few alternative resources. They're divided into two categories: Style ""C,"" or Controller, and Style ""D,"" Developer. Style C parents like early infancy, when the child is totally dependent and totally controllable. Style D types are frustrated by the infant's lack of responsiveness, but begin to flower as the child gets older and more overtly capable of being developed. By and large the first group are seen to be more vulnerable to burnout, since they try to exert complete control over that which is not completely within their control. The authors, who stumbled on the concept of parent burnout after conducting burnout workshops for professionals (where responsibilities to children often proved the crux of the problem), discuss expectations of self and children as causative factors. If you expect, for example, never to get angry, always to be available to your family, and to have ideal children, you're setting yourself up for an emotional fall. Some ""traps"" accelerating the burnout process include poor time management, lack of money, and interfering grandparents. After taking a ""Parent Burnout Index,"" we proceed to a six-week recovery plan that includes self-affirmation: learning more about parenthood; consulting a mentor (usually someone with children just slightly older than yours); joining a small-group organization; and offering yourself to a friend in similar straits as a mentor. Somewhat facile apropos of practicalities--but for attitudinal help, rather good.

Pub Date: Feb. 11th, 1982
Publisher: Doubleday