Raising a child is overwhelming, thrilling, exhausting, terrifying, and joyous--and all at the same time. In addition to the adjustments that any new parents must make, lesbian mothers face numerous special questions and concerns. From "coming out" to your child to coping with the pressures of trying to be a lesbian super-mom, this wise and reassuring book offers information and support for women forging a new path in what it means to be a family. The authors are uniquely qualified for the task as expert developmental psychologists who are also coparenting two young daughters. With clarity and wit, they offer helpful advice on what kids need to know, and at what age; how to help them respond to questions and teasing from peers; ways to foster sensitivity in relatives, teachers, and others; how to talk to teens about their own developing sexuality; how parenting affects couple relationships; and much more. Chapters are packed with the insights and experiences of lesbians who have come to be parents in a variety of ways. Also included are listings of useful web sites, publications, and other resources.
Table of Contents
I. Introduction and Overview
Introduction: Why Write This Book?
1. Lesbian Mothers: Who We Are
2. Dos and Don'ts for Lesbian Mothers
II. The Lesbian Family in Interpersonal Relationships
3. From Couple to Family
4. How to Help Our Children Better Understand Our Family
5. Dealing with Others: Family, Professionals, and People in Our Children's Lives
6. Helping Our Children Deal with Others
7. Dealing with Schools
8. Religion and Spirituality
III. Child Development and Lesbian Mothers
9. Gender Development, Boys Will Be Boys, Girls Will Be Girls, and Men in Our Children's Lives
10. Sexuality and Our Children
11. Homophobia and Diversity
IV. Special Circumstances
12. Divorce and Lesbian Breakup
14. Alternative Insemination and Adoption
15. Future Directions and Concluding Thoughts
Appendix: Parenting Books; Resources
Suzanne M. Johnson, PhD, and Elizabeth O'Connor, PhD, received their doctorates in developmental psychology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. They live on
Long Island, New York, with their two daughters. Dr. Johnson has been a researcher and professor for 13 years, and is currently Associate Professor of Psychology at Dowling College. Dr. O'Connor, a stay-at-home mom, is a researcher and writer focusing on child development, adult relationships, and families.
Winner--Best Parenting Book--ForeWord Magazine's 2001 Book of the Year Awards
"At last, a practical book on lesbian parenting, including 'dos and don'ts,' sound advice, enlightening anecdotes, and plenty of resources. For Lesbian Parents addresses issues particular to lesbian mothers as well as situations universal to all new parents. A 'must read' for lesbian mothers and moms-to-be, as well as all those lucky enough to have such a family in their lives."
-Lesléa Newman, author of Heather Has Two Mommies
"This book will help make a tremendous difference in the lives of lesbian parents. Personally, I couldn't put it down! I've read a lot of books on gay and lesbian parenting, and this one is truly incredible. I expect to turn to it time and time again as a valuable resource in parenting my own child."
-Kelly Taylor, Founder and Editor-in-Chief, Proud Parenting Magazine
"Johnson and O'Connor's extensive background in developmental psychology enables them to offer deep insight into a variety of childrearing issues, concerns, and questions."
-Sharon A. Cuff, MA, MSW, CSW
from the publisher's website