We can fool ourselves into thinking that we have our lives well planned out. It was that way for me, being a product of the 1950/60’s: I’d go to college, meet my prince, get married, have children and live happily ever after. As much as I thought I knew what to expect, my life was riddled with surprises. But the last was the most unexpected, compelling me to write Fifth Child, a non-fiction book about the anguish and consequences of a drug-addicted child, which resulted in parenting her child almost since birth.

My husband and I are cast into a shockingly large demographic. Grandparents raising grandchildren is a growing phenomenon in our country because of our shifting economy, unmarried teen mothers, alcohol abuse and illegal drug use. Close to 10 million grandparents comprise the club. We had already raised four children. Jaime was our third child, and Brady is her son, who began calling us Mommy and Daddy when he was three. Readers may be amazed to find calamity overcoming a so seemingly traditional family. But as events and family history unfold, disturbing pitfalls and unfortunate genetic vulnerability reveal fault lines that can sabotage people from any walk of life.

"The Addict's Mom Sharing Without Shame" Video is so important whether addiction has touched your life or not. It's powerful. Please click on the link below to watch the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHNZbbePiKg

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Tough Love and its Original Definition

Tough love is a great tool when dealing with an addict child. In my experience it's as important as recovery from co-dependency. Tough love was originally aimed at teens because of the defiant behavior they can exhibit. With addiction, tough love can be enforced by parents even with children out of their teens, as was our case. At whatever age a person begins to abuse drugs is the age they remain throughout the usage and so a parent is usually dealing with a younger acting child than the actual chronological age.
Phyllis and David York originally developed tough love in 1979, both were trained family therapists and substance abuse counselors experiencing difficulties in raising their own teenage daughters. The basic idea behind using their approach was 'helping teens with unconditional love.' In other words, to love a troubled teen enough to firmly and consistently set firm, clear limits and boundaries with them. The founders of tough love have helped parents by establishing the importance of loving your teen unconditionally, while at the same time not liking the way they act or behave.
Unfortunately, the original principles of tough love have often been misinterpreted over the years and are sometimes presented in ways that were not intended by its founders. In its original form tough love was never intended to describe the drill sergeant type of discipline seen in some programs, such as boot camps for troubled teens. These tough approaches are not the same as this original approach that was based on loving your teen enough to take a firm, consistent stance while expecting them to be responsible for the decisions they make.

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