From Publishers Weekly
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.)
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. Parenting Children with Mental Health Challenges is a good supplement to the many diagnosis-specific titles by medical and psychiatric specialists. Vlock includes resources to help connect parents with groups, maintain their own mental health, and keep their own healthy relationships throughout the struggle and stigma they may be feeling. If the “real life” sections are too heavy, readers can focus on the lists of books, online resources, crisis hotline numbers, and suggested ways to be a good advocate and consumer. Copyright 2018 Booklist Reviews.
Advance Praise for Parenting Children with Mental Health Challenges: A Guide to Life with Emotionally Complex Kids
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