Raising troubled kids is the hardest parenting job of them all.


Raising your troubled child will change your life forever. You’ll be a stronger, wiser person who knows what matters in life. You’ll never again waste time worrying about little things. You’ll be an extraordinary parent, and be rewarded by your child’s recovery.

This website is dedicated to helping parents and caregivers of troubled children, teenagers, and young adults with a mental disorder or other serious behavioral problem.

Need Quick Answers fast?  This sums up the absolute basics parents need.

Search the blog for on-point articles on different diagnoses or challenging behaviors. Previous readers’ comments are especially valuable.

This straightforward book (link) is full of compassion and clarity from parents and mental health professionals on how to turn a difficult family life and child around.  We “get it.” It’s not easy and it takes time.  There’s no quick fix when it comes to the brain, just hang in there.


Get personal guidance and coaching and caring and support.

Margaret Puckette is a Certified Parent Support Provider and coach, who helps parents raising a troubled child, teen, or young adult. She is a parent who understands the need for a new approach to home life, and offers realistic guidance for improving behavior and reducing family stress.


It took me 20 years of committed study and involvement with 100’s of parents and experts to gather the facts and wisdom that truly help parents, regardless of their child’s behavioral problems.

My experience showed me that parents need to know what to do and how to manage every day, for themselves and their children.





This month’s featured post


Question:   My daughter’s therapist keeps telling me what to do, or that I’m not doing the right things at home.  But my son is the one with the problem, why all this focus on me?

   You could be the problem or the therapist could be the problem.  You are working hard to manage a difficult situation, and you clearly care about your daughter because you are bringing her to therapy, but your own stress in the office may look like you’re the one with the behavior problem.

My guess is that the therapist is trying to tell you how to change your parenting or communication style to reduce your daughter’s stress and better manage her issues.  This is a hard message to take when you know you’re doing everything you can, and you’ve been put through a lot by a difficult child.

Someone who doesn’t know me is telling me I’m not good enough?  What?

How can you tell it’s the therapist with the problem?

One problem I’ve seen with therapists is that they simply don’t know how to talk to parents about parenting issues without sounding like they are making presumptions and blaming the parent for the child’s problems.  Everyone loves to blame the parents.

Some therapists put themselves in the child’s shoes, which is inappropriate.  That’s why they got into child therapy in the first place, they love children!  Yet pro-child therapists put their emotional biases in the mix to protect your child from you.  This ridiculous attitude is changing, thankfully. The mental health profession has begun to realize how critical the family is for the child’s treatment.

Another problem is when a therapist doesn’t have children, or doesn’t have troubled children.  They feel too confident in their abilities and don’t know what it’s like living with a troubled child 24/7, so they make assumptions and make you feel like you need to defend yourself.

The worst situation is when a therapist embarrasses you or blames you in front of your child.  That’s grounds for firing them!  You may indeed need parenting guidance, but you should never have someone undermine your authority.

A good therapist or doctor will show compassion for a stressed parent, listen to their side of the story, and help the parent feel understood and believed.  Then they will take the time to explain exactly what the parent might do differently at home and why.

You should leave every meeting feeling better about yourself and child.

Try giving this therapist a chance first, and ask him or her if you can meet them without your daughter, and request that they fully explain their advice.  Let them know that this has been hard for you and you’ve felt blamed, and that you need their support.  Then listen carefully.  If you’re still not convinced of their point, ask them if there’s a book or a website or support group for you (it can be easier to accept advice from other parents who’ve “been there” learned from their mistakes).  If you feel that you can’t work with this therapist, consider finding someone who takes a better approach to you and your situation.

You and your child have to “click” with a therapist or doctor, or they can’t help you.

Parent to Parent Guidance

Parent to Parent Guidance

Margaret Puckette is a Certified Parent Support Provider, and helps parents with tailored advice for raising their troubled child, teen, or young adult. She is a parent who understands that parents and families need realistic practical guidance for maintaining their lives without stress. Margaret has coached and mentored families for over 20 years. She is an author & speaker, and believes parent & family support is essential. Mentally healthy parents with the right skills raise mentally healthy children.

You Can Handle This.

You Can Handle This.

You are not alone. Your situation is no one's fault. Behavior disorders are disabilities!
Troubled children need a very different parenting approach than 'normal' kids.

Care for yourself first, then set new goals:
1. Physical and emotional safety for all
2. Acceptance of the way things are
3. Family balance, meet the needs of all
4. One step at a time, one day at a time

Practical Guide for Parents

Practical Guide for Parents

A guide with practical steps for reducing stress at home and successfully raising a troubled child. You use the same proven techniques as mental health and other professionals. It starts by taking care of your wellbeing first, then taking an entirely different approach to parenting.
Amazon $14.99, Kindle $5.99