Out of Touch : When Parents and Children Lose Contact After Divorce
Why do parents stop having contact with their children after separation and divorce? How does this falling out of touch affect them and their children, and what can noncustodial parents do to maintain contact? This book offers a new perspective for parents who are "out of touch" by exploring what the loss of contact means in their lives as well as the lives of their children. Greif presents the portraits of parents pushed away by the other parent or by their children after painful and emotional divorces. He discusses the emotional, legal and public policy issues involved for divorced parents and their children.
- Hardback | 256 pages
- 162.1 x 240.8 x 29.2mm | 597.18g
- 02 Jun 1997
- Oxford University Press
- Oxford, United Kingdom
Back cover copy
Setting out to find the reality beneath the catchall categorization of out-of-touch parents as deadbeats, substance abusers, child mistreaters, or criminals, Greif focuses on those parents who tried and, for a vast array of reasons, failed to maintain contact with their children. It is their voices, in a discussion dominated up till now by the custodial parent, that we most need to hear, Greif argues, if we are to uncover ways to avoid such failures in the future. Rather than offering dry statistics and abstract generalizations, Greif lets us hear these voices directly in 26 in-depth interviews with estranged parents and with children caught in the crossfire of painful divorces. These interviews, and Greif's perceptive analyses of them, reveal the whole spectrum of logistical, emotional, and legal difficulties that keep parents and children apart. From the ordinary problems of visitation rights and child support to the more complex and troubling issues - bitter court battles, accusations of sexual abuse, domestic violence, children rejecting a parent, child kidnapping, and many others - Out of Touch vividly and often heart-breakingly presents all the ways that fathers and mothers, even with the best intentions, can lose contact with their children. But the book does more than tell the stories of failed relationships. Its concluding chapter offers a series of specific and extremely helpful suggestions for families - parents, children, grandparents - who find themselves in danger of complete estrangement. Greif outlines how families can employ support systems, communication skills, mediation, and many other strategies to overcome the most difficult obstacles that occur after a divorce. Itis here that the lessons gleaned from the broken relationships of the past become invaluable advice for the future.
"Geoffery Greif's Out of Touch is a powerful book that captures the complexity of a common and many-sided domestic drama. Greif manages to evoke empathy for all involved, mothers, fathers and children, while effectively illustrating the different issues each confronts. The narratives are vivid enough to detail the many twists and turns that lead one parent to 'lose touch, ' and Greif's analysis is rich enough to stand alone. Together, complemented by insightful policy recommendations, they make for a book that anyone who has personal or professional interest in what happens to families after divorce will want to read."--Theodore Cohen, Ohio Wesleyan University
About Geoffrey L. Greif
Geoffrey L. Greif is Associate Dean and Professor at the School of Social Work at the University of Maryland at Baltimore.