Book Excerpt from Parenting Through the Storm by Ann Douglas

Excerpt from the introduction to Parenting Through the Storm: How to Handle the Highs and Lows and Everything In Between by Ann Douglas (HarperCollins Canada, January 2015), a guide to parenting a child with a mental health, neurodevelopmental, or behavioural challenge.

The storm sets in suddenly and without warning. Dark clouds cluster on the horizon and the sky is electric with change. Nothing feels the same, and yet you can’t quite pinpoint what’s different. Your child looks the same. Your surroundings appear the same. And yet the inner compass that guides all your parenting decisions feels like it’s spinning out of control . . .

Welcome to the club—a club you had no intention of joining, but that you find yourself a member of nonetheless: a club made up of parents who are living with the pain and worry that go along with loving a child who is struggling with a mental health, neurodevelopmental, or behavioural challenge.

Those of us who are members of this club have certainly paid our dues, looking for help for our children and searching for answers to our questions—questions like “Why my child?”—which may not have answers at all.

It can make for a very lonely journey.

There may be times when you feel like you’re all alone: that no one else could possibly understand what your family is going through. The numbers, however, tell quite a different story. Nearly one in five Canadian children and teenagers is affected by a mental, emotional, or behavioural disorder that is serious enough to cause them problems at home, at school, in the community, or in their relationships with friends.

That means a lot of kids are hurting—and a lot of families are hurting along with them.

The first step to easing that hurt is to break the silence—to reach out and connect with other families who truly understand. You’ll find advice on forging those types of connections throughout this book—connections that will lend you the strength and wisdom you need to find the help your child needs.

The second step is to look for ways to make things better for your child, yourself, and your family, starting right now. That, in a nutshell, is what this book is designed to do: to launch you on your journey to a better place by giving you the knowledge you need to start making a difference for your child today.

Excerpt from the introduction to Parenting Through the Storm: Handling the Highs, the Lows, and Everything In Between by Ann Douglas (HarperCollins Canada, January 2015). All rights reserved.



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