SATURDAY PARENT: A Book for Separated Families by Peter Rowlands
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SATURDAY PARENT: A Book for Separated Families

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A thoughtful and thought-provoking took on a subject generally handled in passing as part of a larger topic: the plight of the non-custodial parent. Psychologist Peter Rowlands, himself a ""Saturday parent,"" offers above all the conviction that it matters whether children get to see and relate to the absent parent: absence of such contact will impoverish the child's wealth of adult contact, leave doubts as to whether the departure had something to do with the child, and shroud the absent partner in morbid mystery. Realistically, the book assumes that the father will most often (in more than four out of five cases) be the one to leave, though one chapter specifically addresses the problems of the female Saturday parent (e.g., her disinclination to trust the ex-husband with the children's health, which leads to second-guessing and hard feelings). There are specific tips for short and long visits with the kids (younger ones may thrive on repetitive activities, but beware of boredom once they reach the age of ten), and even a few suggestions for ""newcomers"" in the child's life: dad's new partner, new siblings, etc. The book's careful attention to relationships is not matched, however, in the legal arena: there are some general steps to follow if you are being denied access to your child, but there is very little on how to include the terms you want as part of the original settlement. Still, a handy little book that does much to alleviate guilt and confusion while helping to build strong parent-child relationships.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1980
Publisher: Seabury