The Co-Parents' Handbook by Karen Bonnell

The Co-Parents' Handbook

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Clinical nurse specialist Bonnell joins forces with mental health counselor Little to produce a dense but engaging divorce manual that focuses on families with children.

In this guide, the authors forgo tirades against exes and instead present a road map so that “co-parents” undergoing a divorce can turn a very difficult transition for kids into one that “expands their sense of family.” The book generously employs bullet points, italics, boldface text, and text boxes throughout 11 chapters that provide a wealth of information for parents in the divorce trenches. It concludes with a helpful, succinct rundown of “Highlights in Review.” A single worksheet (“Your Co-Parenting Goals”) focuses readers’ attention on “what’s really important”; in it, parents are encouraged to “keep your most preciously held values front-and-center, even when life is tumultuous and stressful.” The intentionally inclusive text (“Our goal is to support family—not define family”) incorporates voices from a wide range of family configurations. One section offers ideas for difficult relationships but notes that extremely challenging issues, such as addiction or incarceration, are “beyond the scope of this book” and suggests options, such as “Child specialists, parenting coaches, counselors, or family therapists.”  Topics include the practical (“Online Family Calendars”), the emotional (“What About Birthdays?”), and the intense (“Introducing new Romantic Partners”). The book is chock full of helpful hints and useful scripts, and motivated readers will find much support to help them here. Some readers, though, may be overwhelmed and discouraged by the sheer amount of text. Overall, however, Bonnell and Little ably provide assurance that “what divorce breaks apart—strong co-parenting rebuilds.”

A solid, positive guide for families experiencing the potentially devastating tribulations of divorce. 

Pub Date: July 25th, 2014
ISBN: 978-1-5043-3318-4
Page count: 254pp
Publisher: BalboaPress
Program: Kirkus Indie
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