Sunday, April 6, 2008

Setting Boundaries With Your Adult Children by Allison Bottke

I am honored to share with you from Allison Bottke a bit about her new book, Setting Boundaries With Your Adult Children. I am no where near this stage in my life, but I have found the words in this book to be sound and encouraging. I have many students who also share their struggles about their children with me and so I hope to pass this book on to them. The following is a question and answer with Allison that I think you will find informative and interesting.

The book comes out of your own personal experience with your son. Please tell us about that.

ALLISON: For years I really thought I was helping my son. I wanted him to have the things I never had growing up. I love my son, and I didn’t want him to hurt—but sometimes pain is a natural result of the choices we make. For a long time I didn’t understand the part I was playing in the ongoing drama that had become my son’s life—I didn’t understand that I didn’t have to live in constant chaos and crisis because of his choices. When I chose to stop the insanity and start living a life of hope and healing my life changed. It’s a feeling I want other struggling parents and grandparents to experience. I want other parents to know that change is possible when we choose to stop the destructive cycle of enabling. And we can stop it. I know, because I’ve done it.

Why are you so passionate about reaching out to other parents?

ALLISON: Because I’ve been there—I still am in many ways. I’m a parent who has traveled this painful road of enabling. I understand what it feels like to have your heart break because of a choice our adult child has made.

What does this book accomplish that other books on the topic do not?

ALLISON: Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children will empower readers with a no holds barred six step S.A.N.I.T.Y. format, stating in black and white the parental behaviors that must STOP, along with identifying new habits to implement if change is to occur. Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children will identify the false conceptions parents believe about themselves and their adult children and will counter each lie of captivity with the truth that setting boundaries is not only a good thing—but a vital part of hope and healing. True stories from other enabling parents and grandparents are woven throughout the chapters. Discussions with and observations from licensed psychologists and psychiatrists are also included.

Is Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children applicable to readers who many not share the same faith journey as you?

ALLISON: Absolutely. As a Christian, I write from that perspective. I personally believe that a focus on God or on your Higher Power is vital in this healing process. However, the book is written in such a way as to appeal to people of all beliefs and denominations.

From the opening pages, you are very candid in your own struggles to set boundaries with your adult son, in a section titled “Why I Had to Write This Book.” Why did you feel the need to be so open so quickly?

ALLISON: There are many good books available on boundaries. Most of them are written from the perspective of a psychologist, therapist, counselor, or theologian. Never in my years of searching for help did I find a book on boundaries written by a parent in pain who had walked in my shoes. I wanted readers to quickly understand that this book was different.

You say that enabling our children is “a nationwide epidemic with catastrophic consequences.” What has led you to believe this?

ALLISON: There is clearly an epidemic of major proportion plaguing our nation today. This has become obvious to me as I travel the country sharing my God Allows U-Turns testimony and outreach. Seldom does a week go by when I am not approached by someone in deep pain concerning their adult child. It’s not just audience members in conflict with this troubling issue, but fellow authors, speakers and entertainers, some quite well known, who are living in the throes of familial discord concerning out-of-control adult children. It’s happening all over the country to people from all walks of life.

ALLISON: I encourage your readers to tell me what they think about Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children. I really do want to hear reader feedback. They can reach me at: Please be sure to visit our web site at where they will find additional resources for helping them on their road to S.A.N.I.T.Y. Remember to tell a friend in need and help save a life!

I have a review copy that I would like to give one of my readers. I really want this book to go to someone who can use it. It's a bit worn around the edges, but all the wonderful content is still there! I'm going to do this a bit differently. Please use the contact form to let me know if you'd like to be entered to win this book. Please only enter if you feel this book will have value to you. I'll take submissions for a week and contact the winner next Sunday.

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