Book Review: Recovering My Kid

Recovering My Kid
Recovering My Kid

I like books.  I especially like books that teach me things.  Call me a nerd if you wish, but I read books the same way I watch television.  If I am not getting anything from it, I am not interested.  Not to say I don’t read fiction, I do.  However, given I have a short attention span (still not admitting I have ADD!) a book or show really has to grip me – unless I am learning.

I was recently asked to review ‘Recovering My Kid’ by Joseph Lee, M. D. I was skeptical at first, but as I read I was fascinated by the wealth of information and  tools to help any parent suffering through the addiction of their child.

Below you will find my favorable review.  The book is available on Amazon and Hazelden.

Recovering My Kid: Review

There are three parts which consist of forty-five chapters in the helpful book “Recovering My Kid” by Joseph Lee, M.D.  The first part is ‘Frameworks for Emotional Objectivity’, the second is ‘Frameworks for Leadership’ and the third, ‘Frameworks for Understanding Mental Health.’ The book really takes a hard look at how parents can help or hurt when a child is in the throes of addiction and/or alcoholism.

What is wonderful about this book is the broken down parts.  Also, at the end of each chapter there is a ‘bottom line’ and thought-provoking questions either for journaling, discussion with a partner or a group dynamic.

Frameworks for Emotional Objectivity

This part will fascinate anyone who wants to know the emotional turmoil of dealing with an addicted child.  The chapters cover different aspects of emotional baggage, enabling and codependency.  As a mother in recovery with an addicted child, I found myself highlighting parts of this chapter.  Guilt is a bullet point as Dr. Lee discusses how it can hinder any parent with the best intentions.  Dr. Lee gives examples of emotional objectivity along with enabling behaviors that could be misconstrued as helping your child. There is also a focal point on how leaning too far to the rigid, disciplinary side can hinder a child’s development and sabotage the child’s recovery.

Frameworks for Leadership

Boundaries and consistency are the main focal point of this section.  Let’s be honest, without boundaries and consistency, you’re raising a spoiled time bomb that could detonate at any moment.  Dr. Lee even asks the painful question: ‘Do I kick my kid out of the house?’ and discusses what your bottom line is. Having (and sticking to) a bottom line is paramount when handling an addicted child.  It is so easy to get drawn across that makeshift line in the sand and make any work up until point a waste of time.

Frameworks for Understanding Mental Health

While the first two sections of this book are packed with useful information and key questions for reflection, the final section is paramount because people cannot deal with something they do not understand.  Imagine being thrust into a situation without any education on it and being told, “Okay, handle this.” You’d probably scratch your head while your eyes darted around in a panic. Part three is the key to grasping the “how and why” of your child’s mental development and keeping a clinical mind while in an emotional upheaval.

In summary, addiction is a rough road for anyone involved.  There are several lines parents cross while they try to assist their child because it is so brokenheartedly painful.  ‘Recovering My Kid’ gives clear-cut information and steps to help through the process.

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