How To Raise Your Adult Children

March 14, 2012 by staff 

How To Raise Your Adult Children, Dr. Fred Schloemer has written a gem of a book in “Parenting Adult Children: Real Stories of Families Turning Challenges into Successes” The premise of the book is simple: Louisvillian Schloemer is a career psychotherapist who, like most of us mental health types, has learned more from our clients than they have from us.

The brilliance of the book is that the families about whom he writes are not composite or fictional cases, as is often the case in self-help books, but, as the title says, real stories of real families who have courageously allowed their stories to be told. Schloemer is wise enough to tell their stories and get out of the way.

I picked up the book as a psychologist but couldn’t help but read it as a parent, thinking both of my relationship with my aging parents and my four growing children.

Each chapter focuses on a different family confronting a common challenge associated with the difficulties of turning “emerging adults” (those aged 18-35) into “fully hatched” (emerged) adults.

Topics he covers accurately reflect societal conflicts that play out between family members, including substance abuse, premature death and grandparents as parents. In each story, Schloemer shares conversations with families that helped them get “unstuck” and realize how to navigate difficult situations, ideally without losing a relationship with their adult child, but at least without losing their own integrity. This, of course, is easier said than done.

The book thus contains many practical lessons on living wisely, not told as a boring textbook, but as interesting tales of others’ lives that ask you to step inside the book and get to know real people.

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