Who is Advanced Parenting for?
Hint: All Parents!
Our challenges shape us in ways that we expect and ways we don’t.
My own experience having cancer made me who I am today, a doctor who has a deep understanding of the way in a child’s condition can impact everyone in the family profoundly. Advanced Parenting: Advice for Helping Kids Through Diagnoses, Differences, and Mental Health Challenges, is a passion project born out of my personal experience combined with more than 10 years of supporting families as a pediatrician.
My hope is that it will help fill the gap for all those parents who walk out of doctors offices or school conferences and think what do I do now?
It’s time for at least one resource on the parenting shelf that acknowledges that most kids face something whether it’s food allergies, developmental delay, asthma, diabetes, ADHD, dyslexia, prematurity, constipation or one of 100s other things.
A story you might relate to
Recently talking with everyone in my community about the forthcoming book, there have been a lot of conversations that go like this.
Friend: How wonderful that you've made a resource for those parents, I'm sure maybe I might know some parents who have that sort of tragedy on their hands and will really need this support.
Me: Ah yes. But remember how you had that parent teacher conference where they suggested speech and occupational therapy for your son? Remember how you called me after trying to figure out what to do?
Friend: Yes, that was so helpful thank you. I just felt so confused after that meeting and we spun out all week as parents trying to decide what to do next. Was it really a big problem or was the school just giving us grief?
Me: That's the kind of advice in the book. Also remember how xxx could not get her son to take medication for that infection? Or how xxx could not figure out how to talk to her daughter about her dyslexia? These are the sorts of things in the book.
Who is this book for?
When I began considering writing Advanced Parenting, I thought about helping a family with a problem. Some challenges families face feel like problems - chronic allergies and asthma, a heart defect that needs a repair or a behavioral disturbance that needs to be controlled to prevent injury.
There’s another group of parents and caregivers who will find this book useful. Your child may struggle with anxiety, hyperactivity, autism, learning disabilities, or a genetic diagnosis. I need to make plain that viewing these conditions as “problems” needing “fixing” propagates stigma. Our society, including people like me, have a deeply ingrained ableism where we assume that people with disabilities are somehow “less than”. Just as racism or sexism, ableism leads to harmful stereotypes and systems of exclusion.
Some differences are part of who we are and some of our differences should be welcomed and embraced rather than fixed. We may still need a plan or support to navigate our own path forward when it deviates from the default standard plan, but we are seeking to live and thrive with the diagnosis rather than fix it.
You are not alone
Regardless of where you are, it’s important you understand that you are not alone.
It could be that the local doctors and the nearby school have no experience with a child like yours, and you may not know anyone who has ever had to do the things you now do. But, like in the story above, perhaps you’ll see that many if not most parents face a challenge that requires these additional advanced parenting skills.
It may be that you are facing growth hormone deficiency and another child has developmental delay and plagiocephaly (a flat head) requiring a helmet, but you both have to do research to process the ever-changing body of knowledge on the condition. You both have to help support your child coping and gaining skills and independence in their own care. You have to figure out how to work with the school, sports, and babysitters, and continue to support your other children if you have them. While on the surface these children may seem to be fighting very different battles, at a deeper level we are all facing similar dynamics.
For other families your challenge may be common, maybe something like asthma, but the way you are experiencing the challenge may not feel common. Maybe your child is struggling to cope with the trauma of a scary episode, or you struggle to reconcile the unpredictability of the condition with the rest of your life. Your experience of this common condition is unique to your family and often the standard advice or the fifteen-minute visits with your doctor doesn’t get to the place where you need the most help and leaves you feeling inadequately supported in making the best plan for your child. Advanced Parenting is intended to fill the gaps.
What would you like to know?
Any questions about the book? Any sneak peek content you’d like to see? Let me know in the comments, I really appreciate and value your feedback!
Please preorder and share with any friends or family who may be interested! Pre-orders are SUPER important for the success of new books and I want as many parents as possible to be able to learn from the information I share.
Thank you for your support and encouragement, I couldn’t have done it without you!