Friday, November 30, 2012

Book Review & Giveaway: Easy to Love but Hard to Raise

Have you finished your Christmas shopping yet? Well, today I’m trying to help you out a little bit with that. I have a book that is perfect to give to your extended family members who maybe need a little insight about special needs. Or, you can keep it as a nice gift for yourself as a reminder that you are not alone.

I was contacted by DRT Press about the new book, Easy to Love but Hard to Raise: Real Parents; Challenging Kids, True Stories, edited by Kay Marner and Adrienne Ehlert Bashista. They didn’t give me a big, fat check to say nice things about them, but they did send me a shiny, new copy of this book in paperback. I was cool with that because I love books, and may even have a slight problem with them - you should see all the books in my office…
You, my friends, now have a chance to win a copy of Easy to Love but Hard to Raise for your very own! It’s like a little bit of Christmas from me to you (courtesy of DRT Press). J

The editors set the tone for the book when they gave their acknowledgements:
…to all the parents of children who are oh-so-easy to love, but so hard to raise. May you find hope, community and kindred spirits in these pages.

You know you are in for something real when you see a statement like that.
There are stories written by 32 parents that describe situations they’ve had with their children. Between these anecdotes are brief Q & A sections with 25 experts that discuss related issues. This is a unique approach and it provides a nice contrast in content.

Rather than focusing on my favorite moments from the diverse stories shared within its pages, I find myself more drawn to the intent of the book.
I really appreciated the Foreward written by Dr. Edward Hallowell. Here is an excerpt taken from page xi:

Some kids are easy to love. Some kids just sail through childhood getting love wherever and whenever they need it. But then there are the kids who live in alphabet soup. They are not so easy to love. They can be difficult, distant, disobedient, defiant, dangerous, even delusional. They can leave a parent crying herself to sleep every night, they can leave a parent feeling guilty for having negative feelings, they can leave a parent despairing that the child will ever find a way in the world, they can deplete the store of love every parent starts off with.
But they can’t deplete it for long. That’s what’s so amazing about these parents. They keep on going. They never give up. They give their all, and then they find more all to give. They are paragons of the best of the human spirit. And they earn this praise in the hot and dusty arena of the struggle to raise a child who can seem, at times, impossible to raise.    

Yes. He gets it.

With the Introduction from Kay Marner, we realize the true meaning of this book. It is this intent with which I write my blog. These words could have just as easily come from me and they speak the truth of what many of us parents in the trenches seek to do by reaching out to others.
No, I’m not a parenting expert, but I am an expert on my child and the complex and contradictory emotions that come with raising her. In time I’ve learned that there’s value in sharing these emotions. Expert advice is not the only thing struggling parents need. We also need to know we’re not alone; to know that other parents are going through similar experiences, making similar mistakes, and searching for similar answers. We need something experts can’t give us: we need each other.

There’s really nothing more to say, is there?

If you want to learn about how other parents are dealing with ADHD, SPD, OCD, PDD and other diagnoses, than you should definitely take some time to read this book. The parent perspective is a refreshing change from the dry, scientific “experts” that we all read in our spare time between the various daily crises, adventures and attempts to sleep.
One thing is certain, if you hadn’t already figured it out: you are not alone.

Thank you to DRT Press for giving me a chance to read this book, and also for allowing me to give away a copy to my dear readers. To learn more about this book, visit or   
*UPDATE as of 11/30/12 12pm Pacific*
There have been some technical difficulties with the giveaway widget since I posted this 12 hours ago. I started out with Rafflecopter and had a couple of entries, but ultimately I had to trash that one. I have to apologize to those that entered via Rafflecopter - I have no idea who you are...sorry. You will need to re-enter with the new widget. I replaced the old widget with a new one from PunchTab that seems to be doing better, unless you are on Internet Explorer. So far, it does not appear to work in IE at all and will not get past the "loading" screen. You will need to use Chrome or some other browser to enter the giveaway. SORRY for all of the issues this time around.

I’ll announce the winner of the giveaway next week! Good luck, everyone!

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