Difficult: Mothering Challenging Adult Children through Conflict and Change Hardcover – February 2, 2022 by Judith R. Smith

> > > SKU: 9781538138885


[280 pages]

PUB: February 02, 2022


5 in stock



Author: Smith Judith R.

Package Dimensions: 0x0x788

Number Of Pages: 280

Release Date: 02-02-2022

Details: Product Description
Told from the perspective of mothers who’ve lived it, Difficult focuses on mothering challenging adult children.

Difficult brings to life the conflicts that arise for mothers who are confronted with the unexpected, burdensome, and even catastrophic dependencies of their adult children associated with mental illness, substance use, or chronic unemployment. Through real stories of mothers and their challenging adult children, this book offers readable, provocative, and, at times, shocking illustrations of the excruciating maternal dilemma: Which takes precedence—the needs of the mother or of the distressed adult child? Difficult addresses a family situation which too many keep secret. The book allows readers to see that they are not alone. It includes resources for getting help: finding social support, staying safe, engaging in self-care, and helping the adult child.

Judith Smith speaks empathically to parents, acknowledging and illuminating the embarrassment, shame, and helplessness that women can feel when their adult children’s problems puncture their own feelings of self-worth. In the absence of sufficient supports and affordable housing for persons with mental illness or substance misuse disorder, mothers feel that they have no choice – “if not me, then who?” Unpaid and unrecognized maternal caregiving work continues to limit women’s quality of life, even, into their later years. Smith addresses this as a societal issue which requires structural solutions.

Difficult is for parents, concerned family and friends, health and mental health professionals, and policy makers. The book provides resources for women to find social support, stay safe, and engage in self-care.

“This fine book will be profoundly helpful to all the women who needed it yesterday. At last, we have a book on the subject of difficult children that is profoundly sympathetic with and empathic toward mothers. It is excellent cultural therapy.”  — Mary Pipher, Author
Reviving Ophelia and
Women Rowing North

“Any mother with difficult children who reads this will undoubtedly no longer feel so alone.  It is a book of despair and of hope – anger and love.” — Nancy R. Hooyman ,Professor and Dean Emeriti, University of Washington School of Social Work

“Difficult: Mothering Challenging Adult Children through Conflict and Change” is an important and much-needed book. Professor Smith examines the many ways that mothers are profoundly affected by the struggles, sorrows, and needs of their adult children. I’ll be recommending it widely not only to parents, but to my colleagues.
Difficult explores a neglected area of research and guidance that families, psychologists, and physicians, can learn from. –Joshua Coleman, Ph.D., Psychologist and Author of
Rules of Estrangement: Why Adult Children Cut Ties and How to Heal the Conflict

“As a mother who lived with and lost an adult child with substance use issues,
Difficult made me realize that so many mothers struggle as I did, and that there is not one right answer for everyone.” — Eve Goldberg, mother and founder of BigVision.org

“We all know parents who are struggling with their difficult grown children. They would do well to read
Difficult, a wise and insightful book. Judith Smith tells the hard family stories and offers both compassion and hope. — Jane Isay, author of
Unconditional Love: A Guide to Navigating the Joys and Challenges of Being a Grandparent Today

“My father, my grandmother’s only child, was wrapped around her apron strings and purse strings that were tangled up to define a dependency that manifested chronic abuse. I wish a had
Difficult to read as I helped save my grandmother; more, I wish she had
Diffcult to read, to help prevent her abuse; most, I know
Difficult will help many mothers, today.” — Philip C. Marshall, Elder Justice Advocate, grandson of Brooke Astor, NYC philanthropist

“I am someone who has lived in fear in my own home, afraid

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