The 8 Seasons of Parenthood: How the Stages of Parenting Constantly Reshape Our Adult Identities

Barbara Unell, Author, Jerry Wyckoff, Author, Jerry Wyckoff, Joint Author
Barbara Unell, Author, Jerry Wyckoff, Author, Jerry Wyckoff, Joint Author Crown Publishers $24 (352p) ISBN 978-0-8129-3085-6
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Parenthood is truly not about how we raise our kids. Quite the opposite: Parenthood... is about the impact that our children make on us, an impact that gives definition and meaning to our entire adult life cycle."" With this original argument as their foundation, writer and activist Unell and child psychologist Wyckoff offer fulsome definitions of the eight season of parental life based on children's ages, from ""Celebrity"" (pregnancy) through ""Volcano Dweller"" (adolescence), ""Plateau Parent"" to ""Rebounder."" The authors' spirited introduction explains the book's thesis so crisply and comprehensively that there hardly seems to be a reason to read the ensuing chapters. Sure, there are some nuggets of good advice, case histories of struggling parents and piquant quotes from notables ranging from Bill Cosby to Kierkegaard; however, the text is so laden with cliches and belabored metaphors--""the sentimental journey of this season [Celebrity] takes on the rhythm of someone fitting a big Tupperware container into an already crowded fridge""--as to frequently render the authors' message unintelligible (and make the reader wonder what happened to the editor). Best to skip ahead to the book's last section, which provides information on starting a ""Circles"" group of same-season parents, copious notes and a helpful bibliography. (Apr.)
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