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Easy to Love but Hard to Raise: Real Parents, Challenging Kids, True Stories Paperback

ISBN-13: 978-1933084152 ISBN-10: 1933084154

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Easy to Love but Hard to Raise: Real Parents, Challenging Kids, True Stories + Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid: A Survival Guide for Ordinary Parents of Special Children
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 344 pages
  • Publisher: DRT Press (February 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933084154
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933084152
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #196,594 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

...This remarkable book 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 [and dads] have cried in their pillows, screamed our 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 these 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.

-- --Terry Matlen, MSW, a psychotherapist and consultant specializing in adults with ADHD, ADDitude Magazine

There's no college course, no training, you're just dumped into the deep end with only instincts to guide you. Easy to Love, but Hard to Raise: Real Parents, Challenging Kids, True Stories is a discussion of parenting and the dread that many parents face as something goes wrong and being clueless on what to do. Parents share their stories with plenty of wisdom on how to overcome the pressures of being a parents, and how every child is different. "Easy to Love, but Hard to Raise" is a fine assortment of wisdom that any parent should embrace. --Terry Matlen, MSW, a psychotherapist and consultant specializing in adults with ADHD, ADDitude Magazine

There's no college course, no training, you're just dumped into the deep end with only instincts to guide you. Easy to Love, but Hard to Raise: Real Parents, Challenging Kids, True Stories is a discussion of parenting and the dread that many parents face as something goes wrong and being clueless on what to do. Parents share their stories with plenty of wisdom on how to overcome the pressures of being a parents, and how every child is different. "Easy to Love, but Hard to Raise" is a fine assortment of wisdom that any parent should embrace. --Midwest Book Review: Small Press Bookwatch

In Easy to Love but Hard to Raise parents raising children with challenging and invisible mental and behavioral disabilities find an outlet to share their personal stories of overwhelming frustration as well as treasured moments of small triumph. While resources on invisible childhood disabilities are vast the collection of new studies, treatments, and discoveries continues to grow each year resources that focus on the parents who rear these children are harder to find. Told in first person by a collective of parents, these personal essays pinpoint the difficult experiences that are unique to parents of children who exist in a world of alphabet soup where a child can be labeled with a litany of confusing disorders that require treatments that are rarely uniform and straightforward. While the disabilities range from the well-known ADHD, Asperger s syndrome, and autism to the lesser-known diagnosis of sensory integration dysfunction, the focus of all these essays is on the experience of parenting these children, not on the disability itself. For this reason, the book functions effectively as a support network for parents. Divided into six chapters, the stories in this collection cover a diverse assortment of issues. Each narrative is perceptive and well written, pinpointing sensitive, often intangible issues that will ring true for other parents seeking solace and a sense of community. A number of the essays, for example, touch on the emotional challenge of reconciling the haphazard reality of raising a difficult child with the sentimental image of mothering as intuitive and natural. These parents lack the comfort of knowing that the inevitable challenges of parenting tantrums, disobedience, tears can be met with firm, tried, and true parenting methods. Coming to terms with a reality vastly different from the norm is a running theme throughout this book. Each chapter also features a Tell Us More Q & A section where an expert is interviewed and provides insight into the particulars of a parent s story. An authority on ADHD, for example, provides answers as to why children with the disorder tend to have trouble making friends. Short, to-the-point answers provide a much needed outside perspective that sheds light on the reasons behind behavior that appears befuddling. Also interspersed throughout each section is a first-person account by Eve a representative of Everyparent, whose short, pithy anecdotes are gleaned from real parents and are meant to serve as a unifying point of experience. Both these sections offer further nuance and depth to the collection... ... an essential addition to the library of any parent raising a child with special challenges and will serve as an instrumental point of reference for caregivers and experts alike. --Foreword

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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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I am so happy that I stumbled upon this book and the related blog and Facebook page!
Deb and Bill
It will allow you to feel like you are not alone and others know exactly what you are going through.
Exceptionally Blessed
I highly recommend this book to anyone parenting a child with an 'invisible' disorder.
NanaHG

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By LuvMyLab on January 18, 2012
Format: Paperback
I was fortunate enough to be able to get a copy of Easy to Love but Hard to Raise a little early. Having a daughter who has been diagnosed in the last year with ADHD, ODD and anxiety disorder has definitely made me feel quite alone in the world of parenting. My friends with neuro-typical kids don't face the same challenges, and many family and friends still subscribe to the stigma of over-diagnosed ADHD and medication.

The stories in this book are from real parents who have faced real challenges, but love their kids with every ounce of their being. These stories make me laugh, they make me cry, they make me proud of these kids and for some who have grown, the things they've been able to accomplish in their lives.

Since my daughter's diagnosis, some things have gotten easier in our house, while new challenges present themselves all the time. When I need a few minutes to reset my brain and gain a little perspective, I know I can turn to Easy to Love but Hard to Raise and find a whole group of parents who love their kids as much as I love mine, and through their joys and their heartbreaks, I can find my way again.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Carmen Havens on January 19, 2012
Format: Paperback
This book has been my saving grace lately. When I feel alone in dealing with my child's diagnosis, I pick up this book for an ounce of support in an otherwise nutty day. In my community, few seem to have much knowledge or even awareness of Sensory Processing Disorder. My daughter is a "sensory seeker" and has a hard time staying still and using self-regulation skills. She also has some trauma after a dog bite when she was two, so the SPD compounded by the trauma causes her sensitive system to go from 0-60 in a split second, depending on the trigger, how tired she is, if she needs food, etc. She has become increasingly frustrated over not being understood, so she struggles with self-control and keeping her explosive outbursts in check. Socially, she is seen as "different", so she is sensitive to rejection. BUT...other than her dad and I, few see or "get" what has led up to her frustration. Besides occupational therapists, few are skilled at truly understanding SPD (soon to be officially listed in the DSM IV on the autism spectrum), so my husband and I have gotten the looks of "must be poor parenting" (judgment), schools respond in a strictly behavioral approach without any understanding of neurological delays. So many out there lack empathy and compassion for parents of special needs kids because the diagnosis is often "invisible". Unfortunately, when we don't see a child's diagnosis properly, we fail to "see" the child, too, all that is bright, witty, skilled, talented, charming, and often gifted. In our case, we've had adults label our child as "rude" or "mean". When I read books like this one, I feel NORMAL again. Not just alone, but reading similar stories helps create a new normal for my life, for our family life, and I suddenly feel re-newed and empowered to face judgment, to educate others, to advocate for my child. I love this book and highly recommend it! It's a life-saver!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Lynn Dunn on January 16, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I gave this 5 stars without having read it, BUT let me tell you why.... I follow Easy to Love.... On Facebook and have been looking forward to the release of this book. I would have per-ordered it, but I need the Kindle version. I find that the support and comraderie of her site is so uplifting that I know having this book will provide some of the same. I also belong to a 'mom's of kids with special needs support group' and would love to have this at one of our get togethers.
Come on Kindle version!!!!!! :)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By hypermom on August 7, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My kids are now 14 and 18 and it's been a long, tough, lonely road. I wish this book and it FB page was around earlier when I cried myself to sleep nearly every night. Things are much better at my house now, but this would've given me hope a lot sooner, and confidence that I was doing this right.

I recommend this to all parents whose kids have a diagnosis. Doctors should hand it out as at that special moment when they confirm what the parents have known all along. Parents should reread it at the start of every school year, while making medication changes and when they get that "look" from someone in the community. My book is dog earred and wilted from crying and laughing at the same time. I'm saving it though as I have a sneaking suspicion that I may need it as a grandparent some day.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Meredith Mull on October 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
I love Easy to Love but Hard to Raise more than words can say. It's not just a parenting book or a book for parents with special needs kids. It is a book that every parent can identify with. The stories from parents and Question & Answers from professionals are the biggest part of the book and it is truly the book's heart. Some of the stories will make you laugh, some will make you cry, and some will have you nodding your head in agreement. If you have a child that has some behavior issues, feeding issues, sleep issues, school issues, etc. you will relate to this book. The stories from parents don't necessarily give advice, but they do tell their own story, what they've been through, and how they did it. Most parents love to hear other parents stories and some even take their advice. You won't regret reading this book!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Diane on October 4, 2012
Format: Paperback
Raising a child is difficult, no doubt. I am pretty sure we all go into parenthood with some appropriate amount of armor, artillery, and nervousness. We read the books, go online, and even pepper Mom and Dad with "what was I like when I was a baby?"

When your child is younger, you connect with others - daycare parents, neighborhood parents, whoever. You swap stories and feel a bond of commiseration as you slog through sleepless nights and poopy diapers.

When your child is diagnosed with any multitude of acronyms, however, the game changes. We were never given the playbook to deal with our child's outbursts. It becomes difficult to manage what comes your way. Perhaps your child is not invited to playdates anymore. Maybe you need to leave a daycare facility for "behavioral issues". Or the calls from the school start coming more frequently. Suddenly, you feel alone, fighting against the current of "normality".

This is where this book is a helpful guide. It helps you understand that we all have been there with our "Alphabet Soup" diagnosed kids. Written from the perspective of parents, these stories resonated with me. From the meltdowns to the judgments, from the frustrations to the successes - this book has it all. Especially all the "bad stuff" that we parents don't want to admit -the yelling, the crying, the doubting. Acknowledging that parenting a special needs child is not all "unicorns and rainbows" makes the book so much more relatable.

There are six sections of this book, divided by different issues. Overall, I teared up reading many of the passages because they were so powerful. I was able to relate more emotionally to some of the essays due to personal experience. In some aspects, I fear our future because we still have a lot forward to.
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