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Overcoming Toxic Parenting

Better Parents Make a Better World

Not even one of us has had ideal parents. Neither have we been perfect parents. There is room for improvement and it’s never too late, according to author Rick Johnson.

His new book, Overcoming Toxic Parenting, helps readers identify what toxic parenting looks like, how they may have been a victim without realizing it (there is a lot of denial among abused children) and how to be better parents.

I felt a little guilty when I started reading this… if I took it out in public I’d have kept it in a brown paper wrapper. Why? Because I’d never want anyone to think I was claiming my parents were toxic. And I certainly didn’t want to be identified as a toxic mom.

“Toxic” is a little too strong for what some of us have experienced, but there are relatable nuggets for everyone throughout this book. For instance, I realize I had a “helicopter mom.” What’s worse is I became a bit of one myself. It’s so hard to let your kids fall flat on their kiesters, and sometimes I just swooped in before they hit the ground. Anyone with me? My kids are grown and I’m still working on this one.

I was never neglected or abused (and hopefully my kids would say the same), but a study Johnson cites reveals that nearly two-thirds of people surveyed had endured one or more adverse childhood experiences. That’s a lot of folks who have junk to overcome.

The majority of Overcoming Toxic Parenting deals with specific ways to heal, move forward and recover from a messed-up childhood as well as to not repeat those mistakes as a parent.

Steps to Overcome Toxic Parenting

Some of his guidance includes:

  • Dealing with grief and anger.
  • Learning to forgive (yourself and others).
  • When/how to confront abusers.
  • Identifying what children need to thrive.
  • Protecting kids from child molesters.
  • How to create a healthy parenting strategy.

I will admit I didn’t think this book was written for me, but when I started reading I was proved wrong. While my parents were not abusive or alcoholics, they did get divorced. That takes a toll that lasts forever. You may also gain bits of new understanding into your spouse as you read this. Unresolved issues from your past (big or small) will certainly rob your joy, now is the time to deal with it.

This book has solid research but is compelling and not dry. Read it to gain insight into your past, your spouse and yourself as a parent. Better parents make a better world. This book is a fabulous tool if you want to move in that direction. (Great resource for therapists, too.)

*Rick Johnson is a moving and talented speaker. (I’ve been in his audience a few times.) Book him for your event at this link.