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When Our Grown Kids Disappoint Us: Letting Go of Their Problems, Loving Them Anyway, and Getting on with Our Lives Paperback – June 3, 2004
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About the Author
A graduate of Smith College, Jane Adams holds a Ph.D. in social psychology and has studied at Seattle Institute of Psychoanalysis and the Washington, D.C. Psychoanalytic Foundation. She has been an award-winning journalist, a founding editor of the Seattle Weekly, and an adjunct professor at the University of Washington. She is the recipient of the Family Advocate of the Year award from “Changes,” an organization devoted to improving relationships between parents and adolescent children.
Top Customer Reviews
If you feel guilty, or critical, or even just frustrated with your grown-up kids, you'll find this book reads like a tall glass of cold water on a really hot day.
What I found particularly helpful:
The statistics and research that indicate that MANY young adults have MORE problems than ever before, which made me realize that parents are not alone in their struggles. The author notes cultural and social pressures that can lead children from strong families down the wrong path (although she is clear that sometimes parents DO make mistakes and that the root cause of problems may be a combination of factors).
An emphasis on a broad look at the many forces that can cause problems, from peer pressure to societal changes.
A STRONG focus on living in the HERE and NOW, rather than obsessing about past mistakes.
Lots of real life examples, showing how parents dealt with truly difficult situations.
No "one answer fits all" solutions. Instead, the author's style is brisk and open, inviting the reader to think about the issue, rather than arrive at definite answers.
This is an easy read and I got through it in one day, although I think several sections deserve rereading. I intend to keep it on my bookshelf and turn to it again, for inspiration, advice and comfort.
I also intend to read other books on the subject, as I want to get different viewpoints and perspectives.
If your kids and their issues are keeping you up at night, read this book. You'll feel much better in the morning.
But the truth is that lots of our children have lots of problems, and "When Our Grown Children Disappoint" covers what must be nearly every miserable one of them - from drug addiction to never-ending dependency, from sexual acting-out to dangerous irresponsibility, from physical illness to mental. One way or another, many of our kids are - as our parents would rightfully put it - "ruining their lives." Gently, and with great humor, Dr. Adams, helps us keep these tragedies from ruining our own lives. In the process, in this beautifully written book, this longtime author shows us how to "separate, thereby restoring helth and peace to suffering parents.
I know at least three women who have entered therapy because they can't handle their grown children. One college graduate won't leave home or get a job. Another has been on drugs and a third was diagnosed as mentally ill. When I say, "Can't you just detach?" they say, "You have no kids -- just a dog. It's harder than you think."
So I was happy to read the same message from Jane Adams, a social psychologist who's an expert. Take care of yourself, she urges parents. Set limits. We can only save ourselves.
Parents who do too much are pleasing themselves, not the children. Their addiction, says Adams, is to the belief that anything can be fixed. In reality, "Parenthood is one long exercise in relinquishing control -- or the illusion that we ever had it. Postparenthood is about acceptance."
Not all acceptance is about criminal activity or mental illness. Adams should be commended for recognizing that sometimes there's nothing to be shocked about. Most cults, she says, are fairly harmless, and sexual orientation is not a choice. Don't waste time trying to force changes.
The style and structure of the book resemble an informal support group. Adams's style uses a lot of "We" sentences: "As parents, we..." After awhile, I found myself irritated, especially when I read something alone the lines of,. "As we get older, we are willing to accept lower-paying, less competitive jobs..." Who's this "we?" I certainly do not fit this pattern, nor do my contemporary-age friends.
You'll find many stories from real parents with out-of-control adult children. While they held my attention, I kept waiting for more commentary. We (see, I'm doing it now!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Absolutely a must read if you are not on the same page with your adult, grown children! It helped give us insight into a very difficult subject for most families, especially... Read morePublished 3 days ago by StephanieNDavid
Should have paid more attention to publication year. Material is a bit dated.Published 5 days ago by MARLA
Outstanding read for all parents of troubled adult children. Thanks, Jane!Published 2 months ago by Jerri Anne Johnson
Which is worse, this smug book jacket, or the look on the face of the young woman I know who, when visiting home, opened an Amazon package for her self-centered mom, and had to... Read morePublished 3 months ago by BookBuy