Sunday, August 31, 2008

Review of Setting Boundaries With Your Adult Children

The author of Setting Boundaries With Your Adult Children has lived the nightmare that the book is about; she has an adult son that has failed to grow up and take responsibility for living a productive life. Instead, he has been involved in drugs, in and out of jails, and has tried to shift the blame and responsibility for his life choices onto the author and her husband. From the pain she experienced going through this, she learned the lessons she writes about in the book.

When a parent has a problem adult child, there are certain steps that must happen in order for things to change. The first is that the parent must accept and take responsibility for enabling the child. This could consist of paying their way rather than having them get a job, providing legal help, cashing in retirement funds so that their child can avoid consequences, or a myriad of other ways parents enable rather than help their child. Once the parent accepts their enablement and the consequences of it, they are ready to let the child face the consequences of their choices, even when it causes pain and embarrassment to the parent and the family.

Allison Bottke has formed a group to help parents in this situation. Called Sanity Supports, it serves as a safe place for parents to come and share their anguish, as well as having a support group to help them make the tough decisions and stick by them. The website for this group and the principles shared in the book is . Sanity is the acronym she uses for the six-step program she lays out. These steps are:

S = Stop enabling, stop blaming yourself, and stop the flow of money
A = Assemble a support group
N = Nip excuses in the bud
I = Implement rules and boundaries
T = Trust your instincts
Y = Yield everything to God

The book is written from a Christian standpoint, and while there is much valuable information for everyone, it's unclear how those of other religious faiths or those who are agnostic would receive the book. However, this is Bottke's experience, and separating God from the other steps she took is not possible. In addition to the six-step program, there are also valuable resources throughout the book. She lists many other books and authorities that parents in this situation can research. This book is recommended for those parents who are facing this difficult life situation.

No comments: