Parenting Children With Mental Health Challenges : A Guide to Life With Emotionally Complex Kids
by Vlock, Deborah

Written by a mother, expressly for other parents, this work supports parents as they help their kids manage life with mental illness. It offers insight into the various life “hurdles” every mom or dad must guide their children over—but which loom higher and more frightening when a child’s emotional disorder is thrown into the mix.

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 Visit her at

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.

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