Two Homes, One Childhood : A Parenting Plan to Last a Lifetime
by Robert E. Emery

Overview - A paradigm-shifting model of parenting children in two homes from an internationally recognized expert.

A researcher, therapist, and mediator, Robert Emery, Ph.D., details a new approach to sharing custody with children in two homes.

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More About Two Homes, One Childhood by Robert E. Emery
A paradigm-shifting model of parenting children in two homes from an internationally recognized expert.

A researcher, therapist, and mediator, Robert Emery, Ph.D., details a new approach to sharing custody with children in two homes. Huge numbers of children are affected by separation, divorce, cohabitation breakups, and childbearing outside of marriage. These children have two homes. But their parents have only one chance to protect their childhood. Building on his 2004 book The Truth About Children and Divorce and a strong evidence base, including his own research, Emery explains that a parenting plan that lasts a lifetime is one that grows and changes along with children's--and families'--developing needs. Parents can and should work together to renegotiate schedules to best meet the changing needs of children from infancy through young adult life. Divided into chapters that address the specific needs of children as they grow up, Emery:

- Introduces his Hierarchy of Children's Needs in Divorce
- Provides specific advice for successful parenting, starting with infancy and reaching into emerging adulthood
- Advocates for joint custody but notes that children do not count minutes and neither should parents
- Highlights that there is only one "side" for parents to take in divorce: the children's side
Himself the father of five children, one from his first marriage, Emery brings a rare combination of personal and professional insight and guidance for every parent raising a child in two homes.

  • ISBN-13: 9781594634154
  • ISBN-10: 1594634157
  • Publisher: Avery Publishing Group
  • Publish Date: August 2016
  • Page Count: 336
  • Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds

Related Categories

Books > Family & Relationships > Parenting - General
Books > Family & Relationships > Divorce & Separation
Books > Family & Relationships > Life Stages - Adolescence

BookPage Reviews

How to grow a happy family

Let’s be honest: Parents barely have time to think or use the restroom solo. So a parenting book needs to be pretty compelling to justify using those precious few minutes when you’re not semi-comatose on the couch. These common-sense guides to building a healthy family are worth your time.

I loved The Awakened Family by Shefali Tsabary, in large part because it made me feel better about occasionally losing my cool with my own tween son. I mean, Tsabary holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology, and she sometimes yells at her daughter.

Tsabary explains that parents are reactive—whether that manifests itself in yelling, overindulging or hovering—because our parenting instincts are based on fear. “Whether you have inflated, grandiose ideas of your children and what they will accomplish in life, or whether you are frightened for them or disappointed in them, all of this ultimately is rooted in fear,” she writes.

She explains why we need to trust in our children’s potential and argues that the best parenting lies in being quiet and open.

“The reason our children turn away from us is that they sense our desire to talk is all about us—our need to manage our anxiety and exert control,” she writes. “By the age of ten, your children are very familiar with how you talk and what you say. They don’t need your words of advice or admonishment. What they need instead is for you to listen and attune yourself to them.”

In Two Homes, One Childhood, Dr. Robert E. Emery provides solid, reassuring advice for families coping with divorce. Director of the Center for Children, Families, and the Law at the University of Virginia, Emery is divorced and remarried himself, and has a successfully blended family. His advice is straightforward and empathetic, and emphasizes parenting as a partnership, even if the marriage is over.

“[G]ood parenting involves at least some degree of cooperation,” he writes. “After all, your seven-year-old will suffer if her bedtime is eight p.m. in one home and eleven p.m. in another. Your teenager will suffer if you ground him for three weeks for a horrible report card, but your ex tells him, ‘No problem. Have fun with your friends. You aren’t grounded at my house!’ ”

Emery’s focus is on keeping the kids out of your emotional “stuff” with your ex—perhaps easier said than done, but this smart, achievable playbook will help.

Psychologist Alison Gopnik is something of a superstar in the field of child development. In The Gardener and the Carpenter, she lays out her theory that caring for children is like tending a garden, with parent as gardener, encouraging a child’s natural curiosity. As Gopnik sees it, parenting most definitely isn’t like carpentry. “It isn’t a goal-directed enterprise aimed at shaping a child into a particular kind of adult,” she writes.

Gopnik dives deep into the relationship between child and parent, and lays to rest the notion that there is only one path to good parenting. Throughout the book, she traces the child-parent relationship through human evolution to help us understand how we got to this point—for example, overlaying a scene of cavemen hunting and gathering with one of her and her young grandson at the farmer’s market. She also provides simple examples of how we can be less carpenter, more gardener: contribute to the richness of a child’s world by providing a variety of playthings, from rocks to iPads, and a safe place in which to play. Then, unless the child wants you to join in, get out of their way.

In Raising Human Beings, noted psychologist Ross W. Greene describes parenting as a partnership with your child. “You may not be aware of it, but you started collaborating with your kid the instant he came into this world,” he writes. “When he cried, you tried to figure out what was the matter. Then you tried to do something about it.”

Using several families as case studies, Greene helps shift the way we think about parenting. His belief is that kids do well if they are able to, and good parenting means being responsive to the hand you’ve been dealt. 

“If your kid isn’t doing well—if he’s not meeting a given expectation—it’s your job to figure out why and to put poor motivation at the bottom of the list,” he writes. “Better yet, take poor motivation off the list completely.”

Greene lays out a practical approach to non-punitive parenting—one that seems sure to promote peace in your household.


This article was originally published in the August 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

BAM Customer Reviews