The Three A’s of Difficult Parenting

chaosHave you wondered what to do about your son or daughter? Are they driving you crazy with their behaviors and choices? Do you feel like you’re always off-balance trying to keep up with the next outburst or crisis?

Maybe you know they’re flirting with danger – alcohol, drugs, disordered eating, self-injury, promiscuity to name a few. Maybe they are struggling with depression, bipolar, suicidal thoughts or another mental illness. Maybe they told you they’re gay.

What can you do? Here are three A’s you could follow. I did and they were the key to regaining sanity and wellness.

Admit.  Acknowledge that there is a problem and that you’re powerless over it.This is where you begin.  Open your eyes.Wake up.Stop denying.Face the truth. Yes, it’s scary, but you can do it.

Act.  Take action to get help for yourself and for your child (if they’re under 18). No matter how old they are learn all you can about their “issues”. Become an expert.Seek out a professional (counselor, psychiatrist, psychologist, etc.) or take them to one.Go to the library or bookstore and do research on the internet.Find a support group and start going.Don’t just sit there, do something.  Don’t let the shock and pain you’re in paralyze you.Don’t isolate.  Instead, reach out for help. Take care of yourself and get strong. There’s a lot of help available.

Accept.  Face the situation.It is what it is.You can’t make it go away.You can’t change or fix your child.Take one day at a time.Give your child back to God and trust Him with their life.Let go and let Him work.Stop enabling.Detach with love.It takes a lot of courage.

It’s not easy, but with God’s help and the support of others you can do these things. If I did, you can, too. Start small with baby steps and keep going. Before you know it sanity and wholeness will return.

 This Scripture verse has encouraged me many times:

“The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses His people with peace.” (Psalms 29:11)

A book that has helped me on my journey is Parents With broken Hearts by William Coleman

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