Parenting Children with Mental Health Challenges: A Guide to Life with Emotionally Complex Kids

Deborah Vlock. Rowman & Littlefield, $33 (184p) ISBN 978-1-5381-0524-5
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. (Nov.)
Reviewed on: 09/17/2018
Release date: 11/01/2018
Portable Document Format (PDF) - 198 pages - 978-1-5381-0525-2
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