Parenting Through Illness: Help for Families When a Parent Is Seriously Ill

Parenting Through Illness: Help for Families When a Parent Is Seriously Ill

by Leigh Collins, Courtney Nathan


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781942493181
Publisher: Hohm Press
Publication date: 10/01/2016
Pages: 168
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.10(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Leigh Collins, LCSW teaches social work at California State U., Bakersfield. She received her MSW from Tulane in 1998, and is licensed in both Calif. and Louisiana. In New Orleans, she helped form the child & adolescent therapy program at Jewish Family Service, served as Director of Counseling at Country Day School, and developed several award-winning programs, helping families during divorce, and in teaching children nonverbal ways to express emotions. She has taught at American University in Bulgaria. She lives in Bakersfield with her husband and teenage daughter.

Courtney Nathan, LCSW owns and manages the Professional Development Network, offering affordable professional development to clinicians. She is a clinical social worker with 10+ years experience with adolescents and young adults. Having lost her own mother as a teen, Courtney is motivated to help other children to cope with a parent’s serious illness. Courtney earned her MSW from Tulane School of Social Work in 1993. She is married with two children and lives in New Orleans.

Read an Excerpt

At its heart, this book is about parenting. Although by nature a very personal and private matter, the effect of a parent’s serious illness on the family is far-reaching. Most children, particularly young ones, expect their parents to be able to solve any problem and to take care of them no matter what. Naturally, as a parent you want to meet the challenge, but a serious illness will probably entail some big changes in how you take care of your children. Just when you feel most vulnerable and grief-stricken, your children need you to be strongest for them. Just as your own fears of mortality threaten to overwhelm you, your children need you to assure them that you will survive. Before you can meet your children’s needs, you must first garner all your strength and resources.

Think of it this way: each time you board an airplane, you’re informed that, in the event of an emergency, you should provide yourself with oxygen before attempting to help others. When faced with a serious illness, you need to care for yourself first in order to be able to care for your children. In this book we explore why that can be extremely difficult, and we suggest ways to do it.

If you’re like most parents, one of your greatest fears is that something bad will happen to your children. Your instinct is to protect your children at all costs. Sometimes that’s not possible. If you’re reading this book, chances are something is now happening to you, and you have to cope with that reality.

When you learned that you had a serious illness, your initial thoughts were probably about what the illness would mean for you. Most people wonder how, and if, they can fight the illness, how it will affect their bodies and minds, and whether or not they might die. Thoughts about how the illness will affect the family often come later; that’s normal and natural.

Most parents know that their own death would be a huge crisis in their children’s lives. They also know that a serious illness, even if not potentially fatal, would change the lives of everyone in the family, at least temporarily.

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