Psychoanalytic Reflections on Parenting Teens and Young Adults explores the rich, multi-layered parent-child interactions that unfold during the period of separation and launching. While this is a necessary transitional time, parents inevitably experience feelings of loss and longing for the past as well as hope for the future.
With honesty, humor, and originality, the book brings together the voices of psychoanalysts, speaking frankly, and not just as professionals, but also as parents grappling with raising young adults in today’s fast-paced world. The contributors reflect on the joys, regrets, and surprises as well as the challenges and triumphs they experience as their children reach the threshold of young adulthood. They address a wide range of topics relevant to parents and practitioners alike-indeed to all those who are closely involved with the growth and maturation of today’s youth. Offering both a broad perspective and an intimate look at present-day parenting dilemmas, the chapters focus on five main areas of interest: raising youth in the digital age, developmental difficulties, evolving gender norms, social concerns and, finally, the building of resiliency.
Psychoanalytic Reflections on Parenting Teens and Young Adults offers an alternative lens to consider the complex challenges parents face in raising today’s teens and young adults, replacing the customary notion of "failure to launch" with the concept of "holding on with open arms." The explorations in this book advance the idea that in the end, these struggles are essential for growth, buoyancy and wisdom. It will appeal greatly to psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic psychotherapists, as well as family therapists.
"How does my therapist do it? Every patient has wondered how their therapist, sometimes idealized, sometimes scorned, manages her love life, raises his children. This useful and unusual collection pulls back the curtain on that second question. With warmth, depth, and beautiful writing we learn what a psychoanalytic sensibility offers parenting in the digital age."-Sherry Turkle, Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology, MIT; Affiliate Member, Boston Psychoanalytic Society.
"This is a rare and special book, first hand reports of parenting in the face of how hard it is to become a person in the unsettling changes of our modern world. Some are happy and others painfully anguished, but all are touchingly wise. In these personal stories, nothing is "as if" or second hand. All have the evocative power of good fiction, yet all carry contributions advancing understanding as valuable as any academic text…perhaps more so, since here insights come in vivo rather than ex cathedra. Conceptually educational and helpful? Absolutely. Emotionally powerful and moving? Definitely. Their memories linger on."-Warren S. Poland, author of Intimacy and Separateness in Psychoanalysis.
"This is a book not just for parents, not just for clinicians, but for all of us. In moving, personal, well-written essays, highly trained psychotherapists and child development specialists allow themselves unusual vulnerability. They reveal that even with all their clinical sophistication, they were neither perfect parents nor graced with perfect children. Paradoxically, we are reassured when we see that even "the experts" reveal the same uncertainties, sorrows, worries, joys and hopes familiar to parents everywhere. Highly recommended."-William S. Meyer, MSW, Departments of Psychiatry and Ob/Gyn, Duke University Health System, USA.
Preface; Introduction Anne J. Adelman Part I Parenting In the Digital Age Chapter 1 What Is Lost, What Is Gained in the Digital Age Anne J. Adelman Chapter 2 Growing Up in a World of Cell Phone Technology Christie M. Platt Part II Developmental Concerns Chapter 3 Holding On with Open Arms: Adult Children Living at Home Michelle Flax Chapter 4 It Is Hard to See the Forest When the Trees Are Too Loud: Notes on Autism Parenting Nancy J. Crown Chapter 5 Mastering the Fear of Life-Threatening Food Allergies: Matt’s Story Lizbeth A. Moses Chapter 6 Parenting My Disabled Sister Devra Adelstein Chapter 7 Parenting through Enactments of Loss Karen Earle Part III Unbound: New Definitions of Gender Chapter 8 Personal Essay: Mapping Modern Grief Mary Collins Chapter 9 Transparenting: Journey without a Map Irene Smith Landsman Chapter 10 Gay Fatherhood and the Homosexual Imaginary: Reparative Fantasies, Parenting Across the Gender Divide, and Good-Enough Narratives Noah S. Glassman Part IV Social Topics Chapter 11 Raising Children Cross-Culturally Hemda Arad Chapter 12 Book versus Booze Elizabeth Trawick Chapter 13 "Likening" the "Other": Identifying and Dis-identifying in Adoptive Parenting Billie Pivnick Part V Building Resilience Chapter 14 Personal Essay: Shining Through Kerry Leddy Malawista Chapter 15 No Going Back to Before Ann V. Klotz Concluding Remarks Anne J. Adelman