Parenting Children with Mental Health Challenges: A Guide to Life with Emotionally Complex Kids
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers
ISBN 10: 1538105241
ISBN 13: 978-1538105245
Parenting Children with Mental Health Challenges: A Guide to Life with Emotionally Complex Kids offers overwhelmed readers guidance, solidarity, and hope. The author, a “mental-health mom” who’s survived indignity, exhaustion, and the heartbreak of loving a child with multiple mental-health disorders, writes with frankness and occasional humor about the hardest parenting job on earth. Drawing on her own experiences and those of other parents, plus tips from mental health professionals, Vlock suggests ways of parenting smarter, partnering better, and living more fully and less fearfully in the shadow of childhood psychiatric illness.
Addressing the many hurdles children and families must face, including life on the home front, school, friendships and relationships, and more, the book shows readers that they’re not alone—and they are stronger than they think. With its combination of easily digestible, to-the-point suggestions, clear action items, and first-person parent/kid stories, its aim is to make mental-health parents feel stronger and better, while actively seeking positive outcomes for their kids and families. With rates of mental health diagnoses among youth on the rise, this invaluable resource will help parents through the trying times with support, understanding, and guidance.
Readers who feel overwhelmed by the numerous and ever-present challenges of parenting a child with mental health issues will find opportunities to feel connected, supported, and hopeful in this book. Vlock has been living with these challenges since her four-year-old started talking about suicide. Her willingness to share her experience along with the stories of other parents, input from psychiatric experts, and "open mic" time with children who live with a range of mental health struggles will help others navigate life at home and in public., Booklist
Vlock brings her personal experience as the mother of two children with mental health challenges to a realistic, empathetic guide targeted at ensuring her parenting peers “don’t try taking this trip solo” and “feel stronger and better,” rather than isolated and overwhelmed. She presents her material in multiple formats suited to different circumstances, including bulleted action lists, factual info boxes, resource guides, q&as with experts on specific topics, and personal narratives from herself and others, creating a “read what you need” volume that can come off the shelf in moments both of introspection and of crisis. Vlock avoids jumping into clinical and diagnostic material; she uses her family’s stories for illustrative purposes rather than full-blown memoir and recounts distressing case studies compassionately but without sensationalism. Chapters about daily management of behavior and emotions at home, school, and out in public are spot-on, and Vlock’s advice on working with educators and clinicians is practical. Her advice feels both relatable and reliable, coming from personal experience—her own as well as that of other parents—and from mental health professionals. Parents in the same boat as she will find this a valuable addition to their self-care toolbox., Publishers Weekly
Empathetic and practical, this important book offers much-needed advice from a mother with years of personal experience in coping with mental health issues in her children. Replete with her own stories as well as those of many other parents experiencing similar or related problems, and not shying away from the most heartbreaking problem of suicidal behavior as well as capturing the daily struggles, this book is a must-have for any parent whose child or adolescent has troubling and serious emotional or mental challenges.-- Christine Adamec, Coauthor of When Your Adult Child Breaks Your Heart: Coping with Mental Illness Substance Abuse, and the Problems that Tear Families Apart (Lyons Press, 2013)
A must read if you are feeling lost or in need of help in parenting a child with mental health challenges. This book contains useful resources to get help, therapeutic options based on recent research and anecdotes from parents who have been there and done that in discovering the most effective approaches to mental health parenting.-- Douglas Haddad, Award-Winning Educator and author of The Ultimate Guide to Raising Teens and Tweens
Parenting Children with Mental Health Challenges by Deborah Vlock is a gutsy, no-nonsense read about just what it's like to parent a child with special needs. Vlock tells it like it is, which is not only refreshing, but vital for anyone who loves a child with a mental illness. Vlock's meaningful book teaches about the good, the bad and the ugly that come with a mental illness diagnosis - and offers tips, techniques and hard-earned wisdom that will, no doubt, help many parents. And in turn, help children who live with mental health challenges.-- Deborah Serani, PsyD, Professor at Adelphi University and author of Living with Depression
About the Author
Deborah Vlock, PhD, was once a scholar and teacher. Before she began living, and writing about, a life shaped by disability and parenting, she published a number of scholarly articles and the book Dickens, Novel Reading, and the Victorian Popular Theatre (1998). She has also published essays and short stories in glossy magazines, literary journals, and online media sites, and she blogs (occasionally) at psychologytoday.com. Visit her at www.deborahvlock.com.