Joy Kieffer's Reviews > How to Connect with Your Troubled Adult Children: Effective Strategies for Families in Pain

How to Connect with Your Troubled Adult Children by Allison Bottke
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it was amazing

I had never heard of Allison Bottke before seeing a pre-release announcement on one of my writer's group pages. The title of the book got my attention, because I am a foster/adopt mom of adult children, a pastor's wife and also run a food pantry, so I deal daily with the drama of adult children who play havoc with their parent's dreams and goals. Every parent of a troubled adult child is crying out for a way to connect positively with their children who are adults, but don't act like it. Myself included.

Having lived through many of the same experiences as the author in the issues my own kids have faced, I feel well-equipped to give a balanced opinion of the advice in this book. Gratefully, I was able to handle things in my own children's lives in the very way she suggests, in large part due to my own experience in helping other parents who struggle with the same issues. As a result, the ones I was most able to help in this way have turned their lives around to a remarkable degree. But I have to tell you that it was tough. Their is no sugar-coating saying no to your child when you fear that it could mean their death.

That's the strong point of Allison's book, even if at times it seems she's beating a dead horse with repetition. But I also get that for a huge number of people who need this book the most, they haven't had the privilege of being raised in a Godly home, with very well-grounded teaching on how to handle this kind of issue. They haven't worked with countless other parents and seen the ramifications of enabling behavior. They haven't come to the conclusion that at a certain point the only way to save a person is to let them self-destruct, all the while trusting that God loves them more than we do. If He can save them, He will. If He can't, we have no prayer of doing so, anyway. Letting go of your hopes and dreams for your child gone bad, or who is dealing with mental and emotional illness, and facing the new reality is one of the hardest things a parent can do.

The advice Allison gives is solid. Her own examples and those of the many she has counseled and heard from help the reader connect with the stories and see that they're not alone (at all!) and visualize the good and bad results of possible scenarios in their own lives. As she points out repeatedly, there are no two children alike, and each of us will need to think through the strategies we need to implement in our own situation.

I appreciate that she emphasizes that the parent must ask themselves hard questions and be able to answer them truthfully before they can even begin to have a plan. Just as the child must be willing to see their problems and be willing to work on them, we parents must do the same, not only with our own problems, but what we are or are not willing to do to help their children.

While this book is titled adult children, there is nothing in this book that would not be helpful to the parents of teens or even pre-teens. Reading this could help them stop the problems before they become drastic.

We all go through periods or areas of denial when we have suspicions but not confirmation of problems. Imagine saving your child from the brain and organ damage of addiction before it becomes a life-long problem that you're forced to deal with. Imagine the difference of recognizing that your child is actually bi-polor when they've been treated for ADD all along, and being able to switch their medication, thus preventing suicidal episodes, drug addiction and any number of other things that escalate after age twenty for those children.

I do wish the book had more examples of success stories, but I am quite sure that Allison hears more from the people who are in distress. Those who are winning the battle simply want to put the past behind them and live in peace. I get that. I want that. If you take the advice she gives and apply it, you have a chance to get there. Whether or not your child turns around, or even if you lose them entirely, God does promise His peace that passes understanding. It's only when you've faced the impossibility of peace and turned to Him that you'll get that too. It is possible to live in peace while knowing that you may lose everything. I've learned this. But I also have to re-learn it daily.


I was provided a complimentary advance copy of this book from the author and volunteered for the opportunity to provide an honest, impartial review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all thoughts and opinions I have expressed are entirely my own.

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Reading Progress

January 2, 2019 – Started Reading
January 4, 2019 – Finished Reading
January 8, 2019 – Shelved

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