Parentless Parents

Parentless Parents reveals how losing a parent influences one’s own style of parenting.
— Tara Parker-Pope, New York Times

For the first time in U.S. history, as the average age of women giving birth has increased significantly, millions of children are at risk of having fewer years with their grandparents than ever before. While grandparents are living longer, they’re not living long enough to compensate for these staggering delays. Parentless Parents is the first book to examine how this sweeping demographic shift is affecting every member of the American family.

Allison Gilbert, herself a parentless parent, details her personal story, and with uncommon honesty, shows how raising her children without her mother and father impacted her, her son and daughter, even her marriage. Gilbert also reveals the groundbreaking findings of the Parentless Parents Survey, the first ever conducted, an investigation of more than 1,300 parentless parents from across the United States, and a dozen countries. Gilbert’s work demonstrates that being a parentless parent shapes everything about the way mothers and fathers raise their children – from everyday parenting decisions to the relationships they have with their spouses and in-laws.

Without her parents, Allison Gilbert felt alone in the challenges of motherhood, and set on a quest to find creative ways to keep the memory of her parents alive for her children. Ultimately, Gilbert shares the empowering and creative strategies she’s learned, and the myriad ways parentless parents can find the support and understanding they need.

Reviews

This book on an unaddressed subject fills the need, with empathy and hope.
Library Journal   (read full review)
A groundbreaking book
The Journal News
An important look at how the lack of grandparents affects families. Parentless parents know this, deeply. Now everyone else can, too.
Hope Edelman, author of The AfterGrief and Motherless Daughters
Down-to-earth advice.
Publishers Weekly   (read full review)
Allison Gilbert offers an invaluable resource to anyone trying to find greater happiness as a parentless parent. By deftly exploring this difficult issue with uncommon sensitivity, insight, and just-right humor, Allison shows us how loss often has the unrivaled power to create a deeper appreciation of life and family.
Gretchen Rubin, author of The Four Tendencies and The Happiness Project
Allison has written a must-read book. In one section, she writes about food and how it connects us with people we love most, especially our parents. Being a foodie, I know that what we eat, and how we prepare it, brings us closer to family. Allison captures this tenderness, and I am forever touched by this book.
Mariel Hemingway, health advocate, co-author of Running With Nature, and co-executive producer, in collaboration with Oprah Winfrey, of “Running From Crazy,” a documentary about the Hemingway family
What a blessing this book is! I applaud Allison for her generosity, humor, candor, and intelligence. Beautifully written and thoroughly researched, Parentless Parents will surely offer comfort and guidance to so many moms and dads.
Robin Romm, author of The Mercy Papers and editor of Double Bind
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