Tuesday, October 25, 2011

My interview with Lisa Greene, co-author of Parenting Children with Health Issues

As I've mentioned here before, my 4-year-old son has some ongoing health issues, including a variety of developmental delays.  And he doesn't like to eat, so a couple of weeks ago he had a feeding tube placed so that he can get the calories he needs and start to grow again.  We spend a lot of time at different doctors and therapists, and sometimes we lose track of good parenting skills and fall into some bad habits in the midst of all of the appointments.

So, when I had the opportunity yesterday to speak with Lisa Greene, co-author of Parenting Children With Health Issues, I was very excited. And the conversation was very informative, and I wanted to share a bit about it here with you.

Lisa is the mother of two children with cystic fibrosis, both of whom were diagnosed at birth. If you know anything about cystic fibrosis, you know that it's a lifelong disease that requires constant attention and care.  So, when Lisa found herself at her wits end while trying to care for her then 2 year old son and newborn daughter, she realized that she needed some help and some parenting advice. Fortunately, shortly after that, she found out about a Love and Logic class at a church near her home, and what she learned there helped her immensely with her parenting.

Years later, Lisa wrote a letter to the people at Love and Logic, suggesting that they add resources to their program for parents with children with chronic health problems.  Little did she know that she would soon find herself co-authoring this book! Here's a bit about it, from the Parenting Children With Health Issues website:

Foster W. Cline, MD is a well known child psychiatrist and co-creator of the popular Love and Logic parenting approach. Lisa C. Greene is the mother of two children with cystic fibrosis and a parenting educator.
Together, they have adapted Love and Logic's powerful- yet simple- parenting tools to the special challenges of raising children with chronic illness, medical conditions and other special needs. Resources include an award-winning book, audio, video, live and web-based support. Their message is "You can do it!"

 You'll discover how to:

- Motivate children to make wise choices about food and medication.
- Promote responsibility without nagging, lecturing or bribing.
- Answer your child's tough questions about their special needs.
- Empower your child to make wise self-care decisions.
- Avoid power struggles and other common parenting traps.
- Handle refusal to take medication and do medical treatments.
- Avoid the dangers of over-protection or helicopter parenting.
- Prepare your child for the transition to independence.
- Navigate sibling, family and couple relationship challenges.

During my conversation with Lisa, she offered me some great advice on our feeding issues, power struggles with Ethan, talking to Vivian about Ethan's health challenges and caring for myself and for my marriage.  And that was all just in a brief conversation- I can't wait to spend more time with these materials and learn more.  I tried one of her tips for mealtimes both last night and this afternoon, and it worked like a dream!

If you're in the Seattle area, Lisa does teach free workshops at Overlake Hospital, several times per year. You can find information on those at this link.  The Parenting Children With Health Issues website has so many other resources, including free materials as well, so if you're parenting a child with any sort of special needs, you should definitely stop by the site and check it out.

Disclosure: I will be receiving a copy of the Parenting Children With Health Issues DVD to review. I was not compensated in any other way for this post and all opinions posted here are mine and mine alone.