A review of "In The Best Interest Of The Child" by Stanton E. Samenow, Ph.D. ISBN: 0-8129-3189-0, $24.00, 228pg, hardbound.
Stanton Samenow's book, In The Best Interest Of The Child has some excellent ideas on ways to reduce the conflict and friction during separation and divorce. Although not a cure-all for difficult ex-spouse, it does equip you with tools and techniques to minimize divorce animosity and its attendant side effects on children.One useful section is Chapter 2, "The Child's Experience: Loss After Loss". Dr. Samenow provides some excellent insights into what children really think and feel during their parent's divorce. After reading some of the comments by (and about) children, it's easier to understand why it's so important to keep divorce issues out of the children's lives. Dragging them into the fray is bad for everyone, but doubly so for kids, who often have tremendous internal conflicts about what's going on between mom and dad.
Dr. Samenow covers the different types of child custody in some detail, an area that is often a sticking point for many divorcing couples. In addition, Dr. Samenow touches on legal representation, including collaborative family law, which is gaining in popularity and will probably be much more common (and accepted) in the future.
Dr. Samenow also provides a short section on mediation and negotiation and a much longer section on what to do when mediation fails. Unfortunately, this mirrors the real world all too well- mediation only works when both parties truly want to resolve the issues they face. Mediation is of little use when one or both of the parties are determined to "get everything", or when they're more interested in destroying the other parent.
Chapter 9 is titled "The Seven Deadly Errors Parents Make and How to Avoid Them", and it has suggestions and tips for each error. The errors, by the way, are:
Denigrating the Other Parent
Making Your Child Compartmentalize His or Her Life
Competing For Your Child's Affection
Aligning Other People Against Your Ex
Exposing Your Child To Adult Issues, and
Prematurely Introducing Your Child to a New Love Interest
These are all serious problems, and Dr. Samenow has done his homework on each of them. Although you cannot control the way your spouse behaves, you can control how you behave, and following Dr. Samenow's advice on "The Seven Deadly Errors Parents Make" will benefit you in the long run. It will also benefit your children even more.
Based on price (low) as well as content (definitely useful), we rate In The Best Interest Of The Child as a 3-star resource (on a scale of 1 to 5).