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Raising an Emotionally Healthy Child When a Parent is Sick (A Harvard Medical School Book) Paperback – December 21, 2005

4.8 out of 5 stars 10 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

“A must for any parent dealing with a serious illness. Its wisdom, insight, and commonsense advice are also invaluable to the spouse, partner, brother, sister, or friend supporting one who's facing the demands of raising children while struggling with illness.”
--Soledad O'Brien, anchor, CNN, "American Morning"

Two Harvard Medical School psychiatrists help you prepare for the special parenting challenges that come with illness. Based on the Massachusetts General Hospital's acclaimed PACT program (Parenting at a Challenging Time), Raising an Emotionally Healthy Child When a Parent Is Sick helps you:

  • Communicate with your child about the illness
  • Understand each child's unique temperament
  • Organize a family support system
  • Maintain a daily routine and reestablish normalcy
  • Prepare for hospital visits
  • Answer tough questions about death and dying

“This book helps you deal with the twin challenges of illness and raising children. Whether you are feeling confident or overwhelmed, Rauch and Muriel's logic and caring advice help you understand your child's perspective and respond in healthy ways. In doing so, you'll nurture everyone's hope and happiness in hard times.”
--Wendy S. Harpham, M.D., FACP, author of When a Parent Has Cancer and Happiness in a Storm

“Drs. Rauch and Muriel . . . provide sophisticated, developmentally appropriate advice, practical suggestions, and simple wisdom clearly and without jargon. I highly recommend their book.”
--Gerald P. Koocher, Ph.D., professor and dean, Simmons College, School for Health Studies, and president, American Psychological Association, 2006

About the Author

Paula K. Rauch, M.D., is founder and director of the PACT program at Massachusetts General Hospital, where she also serves as chief of the Child Psychiatry Consultation Service. She is an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Anna C. Muriel, M.D., M.P.H., is on the PACT staff at Massachusetts General Hospital and an instructor in psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Education; 1 edition (January 11, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071446818
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071446815
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #100,443 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Nancy Rappaport on January 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
I am an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and had the joy of having Paula Rauch as a supervisor when I was learning child psychiatry. She is so talented at supporting families and children who can be overwhelmed when a parent that is sick. Anna Muriel and Paula Rauch provide a sensitive, accessible, touching and practical book for clinicians to recommend to their patients, for families and for those of us who are looking for comfort.
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Format: Paperback
My husband was recently diagnosed with stage 3 cancer and is being treated at Mass General where the author, Dr. Paula Rauch works. Within the first week of diagnosis, a friend put me in touch with the author, and the organization she founded called "Parenting at a Challenging Time" (PACT).
Having her, and her book as a resource for ALL my questions on how to talk to my daughter, how to handle the school and how to talk about cancer was so invaluable, especially the first overwhelming months.
Friends have been great, but they don't know what to say when I'm not sure about whether I should let my daughter have a mental health day from school. Dr. Paula has seen it all before and has such an easy way of explaining herself and has so many of the answers I am looking for. The book has an easy to read style.

Early on, Dr. Paula explained to me the name of her organization, "Parenting at a Challenging Time". I thought it was kind of a mouthful! She explained: it's her goal to get to families/kids early in the illness to give them emotional support and understanding. She told me why this was SO crucial.
She feels that helping kids/families go through this experience as if they are on bumpy road, and each time a big bump is there, there are people or coping skills, or hugs to get them through so they can continue down the path, emotionally healthy. She feels if kids do not get that support right away, that the experience becomes what she calls, a traumatic one; one that causes the child to turn inward, and one where they learn no coping skills and do not continue on an emotionally healthy track.
I think what Dr.
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I'm just half way through this book, which I purchased half-heartedly, expecting it to only inform me of things I already knew! But already I've learnt so many practical steps to help my children cope with my degenerative illness. After my husband passed away and then I learnt I had an incurable disease, my world was shattered and I've felt so hopeless watching the effect on our children as I go in and out of hospital. I felt overwhelmed with the responsibility to help them deal with their emotions as I'm struggling to deal with my own. It's such a wonderful help to be able to learn from other's experiences, particularly that of parents who went through what I'm going through, mixed with the view of professionals, which adds weight to the advice given. Already we are experiencing the benefits from this little book, and have drawn closer together as a family and are becoming better at communicating our feelings rather than them coming out in extreme behaviour. Just the fact that this book gives me comfort hearing that others know exactly how frustrated I feel makes my load easier to bare! I would definitely recommend this book to anyone trying to cope with an illness whether it be terminal or not, whilst trying to know how much to tell children and at what age, whether they be your children or grandchildren or just nephews, nieces or even close friends! It is well worth the money!
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Format: Paperback
We found this book at the Mass. General Hospital's patient library when my husband was first diagnosed with cancer. It proved to be essential reading. It covers the various scenarios a sick parent might encounter, such as lengthy hospitalizations, isolation units, and even death. And then it covered the ways in which children, in their various stages of development (infant through young adult) might respond, and how best to help children through it all.

With the aid of this book we were able to parent our children, with reasonable success, through a very dark five years. We had the advice we needed, even in the middle of the night when no cancer support group is awake. And it was still useful in those terrible days after my husband died.

I cannot recommend this book enough. Clear, concise, easy to read, helpful and informative.
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Best book I've seen on the topic! It is written in very short sections, that are easy to scan and read only the ones relevant to you. It is general enough to cover a range of illnesses and gave some very practical advise. It sounds as if the authors were writing from experience. A must read if you (or a spouse) have a chronic illness!!
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