“When Your Adult Child Breaks You Heart” is a wonderfully practical, well-organized and straight forward book intended to help parents of adult children with severe problems and who are causing major problems for themselves, their parents and others.
The authors Joel L. Young and Christine Adamec have written extensively on similar topics and know their subject well. This book was published in 2014.
The authors set the tone by explaining that most parents are not to blame for their child’s difficulties and they are determined to help parents stop blaming themselves. The authors believe that mental illness and substance abuse are the core of most problematic behaviour.
They reassure parents by saying that if you can’t think what terrible thing you did to doom your adult child, than you probably didn’t do any terrible thing at all. They provide exercises for parents to help them realize the limitations of their influence over their child.
They recognize that parents of these children are psychologically traumatized by their previous encounters with the police or courts, and when sensing new problems, their anxiety can turn into panic and depression.
They try to mitigate concerns such as :
- if I try hard enough I can help my child;
- I must sacrifice to support my child;
- no-one amongst our family or friends has ever acted so badly; and
- if my child loved me he or she would not act this way.