Family Mirrors: What Our Children's Lives Reveal About Ourselves

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9780395442616: Family Mirrors: What Our Children's Lives Reveal About Ourselves

The acclaimed author of Sisters in which parents can work through the "unfinished business" of their childhood, continuing the process of growing up as they help their children grow up. Both warm and authoritative, Family Mirrors makes a unique approach to growth and change accessible to every parent.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

A highly personal exploration of how children mold parents and parents mold children, and how together they continually re-create the family. Fishel wrote about her relationship with her sister (Sisters, 1979) as a starting point for examining such relationships in general. Now she uses a similar technique--employing her experiences with her two young sons plus interviews with and questionnaires from parents to talk about how families are formed and re-formed and how the individuals within them change when a child is born. As mothers ``mirror'' facial expressions to babes in arms, so do children mirror to parents their own pasts. Fishel categorizes four types of parents--the ``Traditionalist,'' the ``Rebel,'' the ``Compensator,'' and the ``Synthesizer''--by how they deal with the past. She devotes separate chapters to three critical issues--separation, anger, and self-esteem--and to strategies for breaking painful or ineffectual patterns. Full of appealing personal anecdotes, the book is informed by family- systems theory and by a rather eclectic, often uncritical reading list plus interviews with professionals (including sister Anne, now a clinical psychologist). The informal style is comfortable but occasionally leads to some mushy, overly romantic thinking. A good book for parents who want sympathetic company and some direction on the road to self-discovery. Introducing each chapter are poems on parenting from various writers; they alone make the book worthwhile. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

The mirrors of the title suggest the ways that families carry on modes of interaction through generations, parents repeating with their offspring variations of their own experiences as children. In her examination of parent-child relationships, Fishel ( Sisters ) adheres to family systems theory, searching multigenerational diagrams (genograms) of family characteristics and difficulties for clues to current family problems. The wisdom of such eminent psychologists as D. W. Winnicott, Margaret Mahler, Selma Fraiberg and Bruno Bettelheim is interwoven with observations by current family therapy practitioners and anecdotes culled from parental support groups in this accessibly organized, fluidly written study. Warmly positive although occasionally reductive, Fishel's close look at complex family ties includes concrete suggestions for parents to discern and take charge of often unconscious--and frequently unwanted--behaviors with their offspring that are their own parents' legacies.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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