Positive Parenting

Easy to Love but Hard to Raise

Real Parents, Challenging Kids, True Stories

Edited By Kay Marner and Adrienne Ehlert Bashista (DRT Press)

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This book grabbed my scattered attention and glued me to my chair. I breezed through the pages, reading story after story, all written by parents who are raising challenging children. Some have been diagnosed with ADHD and pediatric bipolar disorder, others with OCD and autism.

It didn’t take long for the parents’ words to hit home. “I felt judged, criticized, and discredited,” says one mom. “It’s an age-old story,” says another. “When children have problems, mothers, in particular, are believed to be entirely at fault.”

These are just two quotes from this remarkable book, which will land emotional punches to your heart and soul. Coeditors Kay Marner, a writer and blogger for ADDitude, and writer Adrienne Ehlert Bashista collected essays by parents of kids who are neurologically diverse. These moms have cried in their pillows, screamed out in frustration, failed, and succeeded.

I know how difficult raising a child with ADHD and other challenges can be, but rarely have I read a book that acknowledged the day-to-day difficulties in a way that gripped me. I, too, have wrestled with those struggles. Parents of challenging children are frequently scorned and accused of being bad parents who escape their difficulties by feeding their children psychotropic medications to tame their behaviors. Interestingly, the majority of parents in this book waited years before accepting the suggestions of doctors to start medication.

Give this book to family members, teachers, and others who don’t understand the rigors of raising a child with disabilities, the ones who say that a good spanking and setting better limits will “cure” the child of bad behaviors. The scales will drop from their eyes.