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Navigating Intimacy: A Critical Look at Hold On to Your Kids and Rebuilding

——Hold On to Your Kids by Dr. Gordon Neufeld & Rebuilding by Bruce Fisher

In today’s fast-paced and technology-driven world, parenting has become more challenging than ever before. Parents constantly struggle to strike a balance between their children’s independence and ensuring their emotional connection. This delicate issue forms the foundation of two highly influential and thought-provoking books, “Hold On to Your Kids” by Dr. Gordon Neufeld and “Rebuilding” by Bruce Fisher. Both authors shed light on the complexities of modern parenting and offer unique insights into building and maintaining healthy relationships with our children.

Dr. Gordon Neufeld, a renowned developmental psychologist, delves deep into the concept of attachment in his groundbreaking book, “Hold On to Your Kids.” Neufeld argues that in our increasingly peer-oriented society, children are becoming increasingly attached to their friends rather than their parents. This shift, he believes, can negatively impact their development and well-being. Neufeld provides a comprehensive analysis of the issue, drawing on his extensive research and years of experience working with families. He offers practical strategies to help parents regain their vital role as the primary attachment figures in their children’s lives.

On the other hand, Bruce Fisher, through his book “Rebuilding,” explores the aftermath of divorce and its impact on both parents and children. Fisher acknowledges the profound emotional toll that divorce takes on families, but he also sees it as an opportunity for rebuilding and growth. He outlines a systematic and compassionate approach to healing, highlighting the importance of understanding the stages of grief and the power of self-reflection. Fisher’s work seeks to guide parents through the complex process of rebuilding their lives while effectively nurturing their children’s emotional well-being.

While Neufeld focuses on the fundamental issue of attachment, Fisher addresses the consequences of a significant life transition. Both authors, however, share a common goal of strengthening the parent-child bond and providing practical tools for navigating the challenges of contemporary parenting. Through their unique perspectives and research-based approaches, Neufeld and Fisher encourage parents to examine their beliefs, behaviors, and habits, ultimately empowering them to foster healthier and more meaningful connections with their children.

In this comparative study, we will critically analyze the core concepts, theories, and strategies proposed by Dr. Gordon Neufeld in “Hold On to Your Kids” and Bruce Fisher in “Rebuilding.” By examining their distinct viewpoints on parenting, attachment, and rebuilding after divorce, we aim to evaluate the practicality, effectiveness, and applicability of their approaches. Furthermore, we will explore the extent to which their ideas can complement or enhance one another, ultimately uncovering valuable insights into how parents can navigate the complexities of modern family life and nurture resilient, emotionally connected children.

Brief Summary of Two Books

Hold On to Your Kids by Dr. Gordon Neufeld

“Hold On to Your Kids” by Dr. Gordon Neufeld, a renowned psychologist, explores the importance of parental attachment and connection in raising children. The book argues that in modern society, attachment between parents and children is increasingly threatened, leading to a host of challenges such as behavioral issues, peer orientation, and disconnection between generations.

Dr. Neufeld emphasizes the critical role parents play in guiding their children’s development by being their primary attachment figures. He explains that when children are primarily attached to their parents, they are more likely to feel secure, become resilient, and develop a healthy sense of self. However, due to various societal factors, such as increased peer influence, parental busyness, or technological distractions, attachment to parents is becoming diluted.

The book offers practical advice and insights to help parents regain and strengthen their attachment with their children. It delves into important concepts such as counterdependence and peer orientation, highlighting the negative impacts of excessive peer attachment and the need for parents to reclaim their rightful place in their children’s lives.

Dr. Neufeld further explores the vital role of discipline, setting boundaries, and establishing authority within the parent-child relationship. He emphasizes the need for parents to guide, direct, and attach meaningfully to their children, fostering healthy development and connection.

Through numerous case studies and examples, the book highlights the detrimental effects of insecure attachment and provides strategies to address issues such as aggression, disobedience, and emotional instability. Dr. Neufeld also encourages parents to cultivate their own support networks, emphasizing the importance of community and intergenerational relationships.

“Hold On to Your Kids” ultimately offers a compelling argument for the invaluable connection between parents and children. It reminds parents of their crucial role as the ultimate influence in their child’s life and offers practical guidance to reclaim and strengthen that bond, promoting children’s healthy development and well-being.

Rebuilding by Bruce Fisher

“Rebuilding” by Bruce Fisher is a compelling self-help book that provides guidance and strategies for individuals going through the process of recovering from a breakup or divorce. Fisher draws upon his extensive experience as a therapist specializing in divorce recovery, offering practical advice and emotional support for readers navigating the challenging journey of rebuilding their lives after the end of a significant relationship.

The book is divided into various stages of divorce recovery, starting with the initial shock and pain of the breakup and progressing towards finding personal growth, healing, and eventually moving on. Fisher explores common emotional reactions and challenges faced during each stage, providing insights into the psycho-emotional aspects of divorce and shedding light on the complex dynamics involved.

Key concepts explored in “Rebuilding” include understanding the stages of grief, establishing healthy boundaries, and developing effective coping mechanisms. Fisher emphasizes the importance of self-care, encouraging readers to focus on their personal well-being and to forge a new identity outside of their previous relationship. Practical advice on dealing with common obstacles such as handling shared assets, co-parenting, and dealing with negative emotions is also provided.

The book also delves into the significance of building a support network, seeking therapy if needed, and engaging in various activities that promote personal growth and self-discovery. It provides exercises, worksheets, and journaling prompts to assist readers in their journey of healing and rebuilding.

Throughout “Rebuilding,” Fisher maintains a compassionate and understanding tone, acknowledging the pain and challenges associated with divorce while inspiring readers to embrace the opportunity for personal transformation. Ultimately, the book aims to empower individuals to rebuild their lives, regain their self-worth, and create a brighter future for themselves after a significant relationship ends.

Comparison between Two Books

Similarities in Intimacy

Both Hold On to Your Kids by Dr. Gordon Neufeld and Rebuilding by Bruce Fisher highlight the importance of intimacy in relationships and emphasize its significance in building and maintaining healthy connections with others.

Firstly, these books stress the notion that creating a strong bond and attachment is fundamental to healthy relationships. Neufeld emphasizes that children need secure attachments with their parents or primary caregivers in order to navigate the world confidently and develop into resilient individuals. Similarly, Fisher highlights the need for emotional closeness and connection in adult relationships as a foundation for rebuilding trust and creating a fulfilling partnership.

Moreover, both books recognize the impact of technology and societal influences on intimacy. Neufeld discusses how excessive screen time and technological distractions can interfere with parent-child relationships, promoting detachment and weakening the intimacy between them. Fisher also acknowledges the negative impact of external factors such as infidelity or betrayal on the intimacy within adult relationships. Both authors assert that addressing and overcoming these external influences is crucial for restoring and nurturing intimacy.

Furthermore, Neufeld and Fisher both emphasize the importance of vulnerability in promoting intimacy. Neufeld discusses the significance of vulnerability and emotional availability in parent-child relationships, encouraging parents to empathize with and understand their children’s emotional needs. Fisher also argues that vulnerability is essential for rebuilding trust and creating intimacy in relationships, urging individuals to open up and share their emotions honestly with their partners.

Additionally, a key similarity is the focus on active communication and effective listening as essential components of intimacy. Neufeld emphasizes the importance of attuned and empathetic listening, as it allows parents to establish deep connections with their children and understand their needs. Similarly, Fisher emphasizes the need for active listening and clear communication in order to rebuild trust and intimacy in adult relationships.

Overall, both Hold On to Your Kids and Rebuilding underscore the significance of intimacy in relationships. They highlight the importance of attachment, vulnerability, active communication, and overcoming external influences to foster and maintain healthy connections with others.

Divergences in Intimacy

Hold On to Your Kids by Dr. Gordon Neufeld and Rebuilding by Bruce Fisher are two books addressing different aspects of human relationships. While both emphasize the significance of connection and bonding, their focus diverges when it comes to the concept of intimacy.

Hold On to Your Kids primarily explores the parent-child relationship and emphasizes the importance of preserving and nurturing strong bonds between parents and their children. Dr. Neufeld argues that in recent times, society has been experiencing a cultural shift that weakens the attachment between parents and their kids. He stresses the need for parents to be the primary influencers in their children’s lives and advocates for keeping them close, both physically and emotionally, in order to foster healthy development. The intimacy discussed in this book revolves around building deep connections between parents and children based on trust, security, and unconditional love.

On the other hand, Rebuilding by Bruce Fisher focuses on the process of rebuilding and healing oneself after the end of a romantic relationship. This book is primarily directed towards adults who are going through a breakup or divorce, offering guidance and strategies to cope with the emotional aftermath. While Fisher acknowledges the importance of intimate relationships in a person’s life, his concept of intimacy differs from that of Dr. Neufeld. In Rebuilding, intimacy refers more to emotional vulnerability, self-discovery, and the ability to open up to others, rather than the parent-child bond. The book encourages readers to reflect on their past relationships, understand their own needs and desires, and eventually engage in new relationships with a deeper understanding of themselves.

In summary, the divergence about intimacy in these books lies in the context in which it is discussed. Hold On to Your Kids focuses on the parent-child relationship and emphasizes the critical role of parental intimacy, trust, and connection in a child’s development. Rebuilding, on the other hand, centers around adult romantic relationships and focuses on personal growth and self-awareness as the foundation for intimate connections with others.


“Hold On to Your Kids” explores the challenges of parenting in a modern society and emphasizes the importance of maintaining a strong connection with children in order to counter the influence of peers. This book focuses on fostering healthy parent-child relationships and provides guidance on how to handle issues related to peer orientation.

On the other hand, “Rebuilding” is a book that focuses on the process of recovering from a breakup or divorce. It offers practical steps and strategies for rebuilding one’s life after the end of a significant relationship. The book also addresses the emotional aspects of moving forward and finding happiness again.

The choice ultimately depends on your personal interests and needs. If you are a parent looking for insights into parenting and maintaining a strong bond with your children, “Hold On to Your Kids” might be more suitable. On the other hand, if you’re going through a breakup or divorce and are seeking guidance and support, “Rebuilding” could be the more appropriate choice.

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