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Five Days
"A brilliant meditation on regret, fidelity, family, and second chances that...
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Ben and Billy seem to relate best to one parent. Is this always the case in family life?

Created: 05/03/13

Replies: 15

Posted May. 03, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
admin

Join Date: 10/11/10

Posts: 369

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Ben and Billy seem to relate best to one parent. Is this always the case in family life?

Ben and Billy seem to relate best to one parent. Is this always the case in family life?


Posted May. 06, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 138

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RE: Ben and Billy seem to relate best to one parent. Is this always the case in family life?

I have three children. For the two oldest they related best to either myself or my husband at different points in their life. When they were young, my son related best to his father through sports, etc. and my daughter related best to me. But as adults, that's fluctuate. My youngest son has always related best to me.


Posted May. 06, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
caroln

Join Date: 04/14/11

Posts: 16

RE: Ben and Billy seem to relate best to one parent. Is this always the case in family life?

Both children related to the stronger of the couples - don't you think? The were the dependable, more caring partner.


Posted May. 06, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
rebajane

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 138

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RE: Ben and Billy seem to relate best to one parent. Is this always the case in family life?

I would agree with that, caroln


Posted May. 06, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
barbluvstennis

Join Date: 07/16/11

Posts: 14

RE: Ben and Billy seem to relate best to one parent. Is this always the case in family life?

I am not sure that either parent could be labled stronger, as Richard certainly waffled in terms of the strength of his convictions. I think if I had to label each of them it would be their ability to empathize more..

.....I would have liked to have known how Dan behaved before he lost his job...A job loss for a male is a very emasculating event. Perhaps, Laura was fundamentally unhappy at her core, from past experiences in childhood...


Posted May. 07, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
mystinamarie

Join Date: 12/19/12

Posts: 33

RE: Ben and Billy seem to relate best to one parent. Is this always the case in family life?

Ben and Billy were both mentally ill, so they gravitated towards the parent with more empathy and compassion for their needs. I think this is natural for any human relationship, not just a parent-child one. We gravitate and relate to those who fill certain needs. We have friends we go to for a shoulder to cry on, or we have friends we shop with, etc.


Posted May. 08, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Hulananni

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 19

RE: Ben and Billy seem to relate best to one parent. Is this always the case in family life?

I think the relationships within a family change as the family changes. One child leaves home. One child dies. One parent has a new job. Life is not static ..... not even in fiction.


Posted May. 09, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
terriej

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 88

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RE: Ben and Billy seem to relate best to one parent. Is this always the case in family life?

I think a child always gravitates toward one parent, but that parent changes during the phases of a child's life.


Posted May. 09, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lisag

Join Date: 01/12/12

Posts: 298

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RE: Ben and Billy seem to relate best to one parent. Is this always the case in family life?

I think some children are more drawn to one parent or the other, at different times, but others seem to feel one or the other is a better fit. Kids so often share traits given to them by one parent, so it's pretty natural that parent will make him/her feel more comfortable. Then, you have the kids who seem to get along with neither, and rebel, but I'm no psychologist so can't say if that means anything about their feelings for parents.


Posted May. 09, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
kathleenb

Join Date: 09/14/12

Posts: 13

RE: Ben and Billy seem to relate best to one parent. Is this always the case in family life?

I didn't like either of my parents so I wouldn't really know. lol. But it appeared that Billy and Ben found in Richard and Laura a more sympathetic parent. Laura's daughter was rebelling againt both parents but definately didn't approve of her father. I do think from my experience with friends that it is common interests and empathy that determine what parent a child is drawn to.


Posted May. 13, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
judyw

Join Date: 06/13/11

Posts: 22

RE: Ben and Billy seem to relate best to one parent. Is this always the case in family life?

All to often, children only relate to one parent. I've observed it many times within my circle of acquaintances. This is rather sad. A parent should have a great, albeit different, relationship with each child. I am one of 4 children and each of us would tell you unequivocally that "I was the favorite child"!


Posted May. 13, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Navy Mom

Join Date: 04/12/12

Posts: 100

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RE: Ben and Billy seem to relate best to one parent. Is this always the case in family life?

Gee, I didn't think Ben was mentally ill?? I don't think parents relate only to one parent. I have four sons, and they relate to me in one way and to their dads in another way. I think it is just different ways of relating because of different personalities. I think in this book Dan and Richard's wife were extremes and that is why the kids didn't relate well to them.


Posted May. 14, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
marymargaretf

Join Date: 09/05/11

Posts: 18

RE: Ben and Billy seem to relate best to one parent. Is this always the case in family life?

I agree with Navy Mom. Different situations in a family demand different patterns. I think that determines who is best for the situation at the time. Dad is great for some things and Mom is best for others.


Posted May. 14, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
Suzanne

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 107

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RE: Ben and Billy seem to relate best to one parent. Is this always the case in family life?

"Gee, I didn't think Ben was mentally ill??"--Navy Mom

I'm so glad to have read this as I thought I'd have to go back into the book to see what the mental illness Ben had was all about! I felt he was just fine. He had some issues with his first love, but didn't we all at that age?

Both Richard and Laura had compassion and people always gravitate toward that. How lucky if both parents have empathy.


Posted May. 16, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
laurieh

Join Date: 04/04/12

Posts: 7

RE: Ben and Billy seem to relate best to one parent. Is this always the case in family life?

I think it goes in stages. Sometimes, I am more needed by my daughter and my husband, my son. Other times, vice versa.


Posted May. 20, 2013 Go to Top | Bottom | link | alert
lynna

Join Date: 04/24/13

Posts: 14

RE: Ben and Billy seem to relate best to one parent. Is this always the case in family life?

My husband and I have three daughters who are now in their thirties. They are each very different individuals. As they were growing up, they would each relate to us in different ways at different times. Just as they were each unique, my husband and I are very different, and we were each able to meet special needs at different times. We had different and special relationships with each of our girls, but not "best" with any one of them. I would say we were closer in some ways to one, and in other ways to another, and it balanced out pretty evenly. It certainly helps if the parents have patience, a sense of humor, good listening skills, compassion, empathy, and the desire to communicate, not to mention lots of love! But I don't know if this is "always the case" in family life.


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