The Unofficial Guide to Adoptive Parenting
Release Date:21 Nov 2014

The Unofficial Guide to Adoptive Parenting

The Small Stuff, The Big Stuff and The Stuff In Between

Jessica Kingsley Publishers

This is not just another book about adoptive parenting. This is the real stuff: dynamic, messy, baffling adoptive parenting, rooted in domestic life.

Award-winning columnist and adoptive parent Sally Donovan offers savvy, compassionate advice on how to be 'good enough' in the face of both day-to-day and more bewildering challenges – how to respond to 'red mist' meltdowns, crippling anxieties about new routines and, most importantly, how to meet the intimidating challenge of being strong enough to protect and nurture your child.

Full of affecting and hilarious stories drawn from life in the Donovan household, The Unofficial Guide to Adoptive Parenting offers parents a refreshing counterblast to stuffy parenting manuals -- read it, weep, laugh and learn.

RELATED TOPICS: Family & Childhood Studies

When Sally Donovan asked me to read the draft of her second book I was both delighted and anxious.

Delighted because I've come to know Sally - first through Twitter, then personally - and I have a high regard for her ability to tell it how it is, to support others and to write so engagingly. Anxious because I loved her first book , No Matter What, so much. When she told me that her second book was a guide to parenting adopted children I must admit to thinking that this had been done before by so many others and that it wouldn't come close to the power of her first book.

I needn't have worried. The Unofficial Guide to Parenting Adopted Children is brilliant; it's Sally at her best and a must-read for all those involved in adopting children from care. Sally takes us through the reality of modern day adoptive parenting in a frank, hard hitting and ultimately uplifting way. She pulls no punches, but what is so good about this book is the hope that it offers. Sally takes us in to her world, and provides the reader in a very matter-of-fact way sound advice from her own experience and research into therapeutic parenting. Any adopter reading this will know that they are not alone, that they can forgive themselves for not being the perfect 'elite' parent, and that with love, knowledge, support and determination very damaged young lives can be transformed.

Some may worry that this 'warts and all' description of 21st Century adoption will put others off from adopting. I don't. Because Sally shows us that it is so worthwhile; it's probably the most impactful and all-consuming voluntary effort than anyone ever makes in our society. The risk to successful adoptions is the lack of support for adoptive families, not supportive books like this.

– Hugh Thornbery, Chief Executive, Adoption UK
In this new book Sally Donovan communicates powerfully the messy lived experience of daily family life with her two adopted children. In her hopeful, intelligent, moving, witty and psychologically sound reflections adoptive parents will gain a lot of comfort. This book will be an invaluable resource for both parents, extended family and friends and professionals. – From the foreword by Dr. Vivien Norris, Consultant Clinical Psychologist, DDP Practitioner, Certified Theraplay® Therapist and Trainer, The Family Place

If we had had this book to refer to many years ago it would have helped us to parent our children more easily. It is not a text book and it is not prescriptive. It is a practical guide, easy to read, full of helpful advice and strategies to try for children where traditional parenting methods fail because our children have not had a traditional childhood experience. It is a must read for all adoptive parents.

Read from it, get ideas from it, but above all smile at it and use it to help you smile again with your family.

– From the foreword by Sue and Jim Clifford OBE
Even at this early stage in my own adoption journey...reading this book was a great way of re-reminding myself of some of the things I should be either doing or considering doing. This is a warts and all book, and probably funnier for it (and it is often funny). Probably the best recommendation I can give this book is to say that I will be keeping it close by so that I can get to it when I need it. Not only that but I will also be picking up a couple of extra copies for my family members too, to help with their understanding of the reality of our wonderful situation. – Scott Vine,
Sally Donovan gives us a book that is honest, real and down-to-earth. The satisfaction and the pain of parenting traumatized children is here along with many practical suggestions for therapeutic parenting. Writing from the perspective of an adoptive parent of two children this book has the compassion and reassurance that can only come from having been there. Thank you Sally for helping us to understand what it is like; for showing us that therapeutic parenting can work even though the journey is a long one and for the wisdom that says give it a go and if you don't always follow the model that is okay too. – Dr. Kim S. Golding, Clinical Psychologist
Sally Donovan seems to write as naturally as the rest of us breathe. – Adoption Today magazine
Sally Donovan and her husband Rob adopted two children from local authority care in 2002. Sally is a writer, blogger and commentator on adoption. In 2013 she was awarded the British Society of Magazine Editors Business Columnist of the Year and in 2014 she won the Professional Publishing Association Business Media Columnist of the year for her regular columns in Community Care magazine. She now sits on a UK Government advisory group tasked with improving post-adoption support. She is also author of the classic memoir No Matter What: An Adoptive Family's Story of Hope, Love and Healing, published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
Introduction, 1. It's All About Us: Shaping Up to be a Therapeutic Parent, 2. Establishing the Basics, 3. This is Meant to be Fun, 4. Leisure Time, 5. Repetitive Strain, 6. The Hard Stuff, 7. Brothers and Sisters, 8. The Outside World, 9. Life Story Work, 10. Self-care, 11. Practical Techniques
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