By Wendy Border Gauntner
I have chosen to share this with you because I know how it feels. I know what it’s like to experience the juxtaposition of deep and abiding love for a child and not have that love reciprocated through easy, peaceful obedience. I have endured long, exhausting days of arguing, meltdowns and volatility. I have struggled to keep my composure and have wept with my son as he purged the deepest wounds that have broken the family chain of a thousand generations.
In her own version of Roadmap to Holland, Wendy learns that there is a precarious balance between honoring a child’s difficult past and the present task of developing a confident, well-adjusted child in today’s world.
Lee and Me: What I Learned from Parenting a Child with Adverse Childhood Experiences is one mother’s heartwarming story of personal experiences and lessons learned while raising her son who was adopted from Korea.
Part memoir, part instruction manual, part humorous inclusion in a club no one advertises, and part guide to regaining one’s own center in the midst of all the chaos, you will learn about:
• Early experiences, such as adoption, and potential effects on brain development and behavior;
• Working within the school system to create a positive educational environment through effective advocacy for your individual child;
• Therapeutic parenting strategies for complex needs;
• Assessing alternative therapies and interventions;
• Acknowledgement of the emotional impact of child behaviors on parents, and the differences between pampering and self-care;
• Mindful awareness of your own thoughts about your parenting situation, and how to address them.
Exhausted, frustrated and desperate parents — of adoptive, foster and stepchildren, or any child who has had a history of early separation or trauma – will find themselves laughing, crying and knowing they are not alone.
I ended up liking this book quite a bit. At first I found it hard to relate because I don’t have a child who needed this much attention and love, but I found myself drawn into her story. The authors “realness” was attractive. I could relate to wanting and striving to be the perfect mother, to do it all right. The feelings and emotions that she shared fit all mothers who are doing their best and yet feeling like failures.
Mrs. Gaunter had a lot of ideas on how and where to find help for you child. She shared her struggles with finding the right therapies and the right situations for her son. I think for someone adopting an older child these would be very helpful.
Overall I would give this book 4.5 stars.