For Lesbian Parents : Your Guide to Helping Your Family Grow Up Happy, Healthy, and Proud book cover
1st Edition

For Lesbian Parents
Your Guide to Helping Your Family Grow Up Happy, Healthy, and Proud

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ISBN 9781572306639
Published May 31, 2001 by Guilford Press
248 Pages

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Book Description

Raising a child is overwhelming, thrilling, exhausting, terrifying, and joyous--and all at the same time. In addition to the adjustments that any new parents must make, lesbian mothers face numerous special questions and concerns. From coming out to your child to coping with the pressures of trying to be a lesbian super-mom, this wise and reassuring book offers information and support for women forging a new path in what it means to be a family. The authors are uniquely qualified for the task as expert developmental psychologists who are also coparenting two young daughters. With clarity and wit, they offer helpful advice on what kids need to know, and at what age; how to help them respond to questions and teasing from peers; ways to foster sensitivity in relatives, teachers, and others; how to talk to teens about their own developing sexuality; how parenting affects couple relationships; and much more. Chapters are packed with the insights and experiences of lesbians who have come to be parents in a variety of ways. Also included are listings of useful web sites, publications, and other resources.

Winner--Best Parenting Book, ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Awards

Table of Contents

Part I. Introduction and Overview

Introduction: Why Write This Book?
1. Lesbian Mothers: Who We Are
2. Dos and Don'ts for Lesbian Mothers

Part II. The Lesbian Family in Interpersonal Relationships

3. From Couple to Family
4. How to Help Our Children Better Understand Our Family
5. Dealing with Others: Family, Professionals, and People in Our Children's Lives
6. Helping Our Children Deal with Others
7. Dealing with Schools
8. Religion and Spirituality

Part III. Child Development and Lesbian Mothers

9. Gender Development, Boys Will Be Boys, Girls Will Be Girls, and Men in Our Children's Lives
10. Sexuality and Our Children
11. Homophobia and Diversity

Part IV. Special Circumstances

12. Divorce and Lesbian Breakup
13. Stepfamilies
14. Alternative Insemination and Adoption

Part V. Conclusion

15. Future Directions and Concluding Thoughts

Parenting Books

About the Authors

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Suzanne M. Johnson, PhD, is Professor and Chairperson of Psychology at Dowling College. She lives on Long Island, New York, with coauthor Elizabeth O'Connor and their two daughters.

Elizabeth O'Connor, PhD, is a researcher and writer focusing on child development, adult relationships, and families. She lives on Long Island, New York, with coauthor Suzanne M. Johnson and their two daughters.


"At last, a practical book on lesbian parenting, including 'dos and don'ts,' sound advice, enlightening anecdotes, and plenty of resources. For Lesbian Parents addresses issues particular to lesbian mothers as well as situations universal to all new parents. A 'must' read for lesbian mothers and moms-to-be, as well as all those lucky enough to have such a family in their lives." --Lesléa Newman, author of Heather Has Two Mommies

"Enriched with practical and theoretical advice, first-hand experience, and professional knowledge, this book will help make a tremendous difference in the lives of lesbian parents. Personally, I couldn't put it down! I've read a lot of books on gay and lesbian parenting, and this one is truly incredible. I expect to turn to it time and time again as a valuable resource in parenting my own child. It is important that this book finds its way into lesbian-headed households, classrooms exploring diversity issues, and therapy offices all over the country. It is a comprehensive tool that provides a better understanding of the unique issues and concerns of lesbian parents and their children." --Kelly Taylor, Editor-in-Chief,Proud Parenting Magazine(formerly Alternative Family Magazine)

"This is an essential handbook for lesbian parents and those considering parenthood. Johnson and O'Connor's extensive background in developmental psychology enables them to offer deep insight into a variety of childrearing issues, concerns, and questions. The book is also a 'must' read for psychologists, social workers, and other professionals working with our growing population of lesbian parents." --Sharon A. Cuff, MA, MSW, CSW

"Lesbian mothers are surely pioneers, with few resources to turn to for guidance on the unique issues they and their children face. Reading this book will help lesbian parents feel less alone. Couple issues, child development, schooling, sexuality, gender, and religion are all addressed. Perhaps most important, the book offers invaluable advice and tips on helping children cope with homophobia in the wider world."--Arlene ("Dear Ari") Istar Lev, CSW-R, CASAC, family therapist, Choices Counseling and Consulting