Parenting Through Illness: Help for Families When a Parent is Seriously Ill – Leigh Collins



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Parents get sick. Their lives change radically, and quickly. This book offers immediate, practical and experienced advice for adult family members and others responsible for the wellbeing of children when one parent has a serious illness.

The authors are both clinical social workers with years of training and time spent with children and families in crisis. They establish a clear and authoritative voice, while keeping a tone of encouragement throughout. With its matter-of-fact language, the book is organized to make it easy for parents to turn to the sections they most need, when they need them. Collins and Nathan keep their readers focused on the child in every situation, while always supporting reasonable boundaries in positive self-care for the adults who serve them. The authors remind us that the task of parenting is hard enough, even when Mom and Dad are healthy, energetic and emotionally strong. Add a diagnosis of cancer, heart disease, or a debilitating accident to the mix, and parenting can quickly become overwhelming. They acknowledge that anyone faced with a serious health crisis will be challenged daily to decide on treatment options, to reorient priorities, and to deal with the many stages of grief that humans suffer when confronted with survival issues. They help us remember that one member's illness will affect the entire family system, and explain how. The book is unique: -It deals with any kind of serious illness, not just cancer. -It explains how children of different age ranges commonly react to a parent's illness, or other family crisis. -It suggests specific language in talking to children of different ages. -A full chapter is devoted to advantages and disadvantages of using information technology, rarely covered in other books on this topic. -Based on extensive qualitative research. -Includes excerpts from interviews with parents and children coping with illness in the family. Both authors rely on their training, but also on early life experience in which they encountered traumatic family events. As a teenager, Courtney Nathan lost her mother to breast cancer. Leigh Collins suffered a terrible accident as a young child, and was confined in hospital for many weeks. Their book reflects a dedication to other families who face such life-altering circumstances. The book has received wide endorsement from medical doctors and social service personnel who know the urgent need for this information for their patients and clients.

Additional information

Weight0.45 lbs
Dimensions8.4 × 5.4 × 0.7 in