About me

About me

Margaret is an author, support group leader, and Certified Parent Support Provider who has been supporting families for over 20 years. As a parent who struggled, she is passionate about helping others with troubled children of all ages.

Margaret Puckette is a compassionate and experienced coach for parents of a child, teen, or young adult with a serious behavioral problem or addiction. She draws on personal experience as a parent, social worker, and support group leader. Her book, “Raising Troubled Kids,” offers practical, clinically sound, and honest information on how to reduce stress at home and holistically improve family and child wellbeing.

“My goal is to gather information and wisdom for parents to help them manage a trying, upsetting, and stressful family situation–it is the type of information I desperately needed while trying to raise my mentally ill child. Professionals didn’t tell me what to do, and friends offered inappropriate advice or criticism that crushed my spirit.”

Parents need support for raising a troubled child, but as importantly, for supporting the entire family with the 100’s of other tasks they are responsible for.

Mastering your “X-treme” parenting job is not easy or quick, but have hope.
It’s worth the effort, and you can start making a difference today.

My Story

Life with a schizoaffective teen,” tells what happened in my life,and what I discovered about raising a very troubled child. I needed to parent her so differently than other parents, but no one told me what she needed or showed me how.  Unknowingly, I made many mistakes that worsened my child’s condition.  Research and asking questions of mental health professionals helped, but I also needed my own counseling to work on my problems. It was hard work but it paid off.  I started mentoring other parents as a volunteer, eventually becoming a professional family support partner for two organizations and a long-term support group facilitator.

Child and Family Mental Health Work and Advocacy

  • Family Coach, I specialize in helping parents and caregivers like me, with children with serious behavioral disorders and addictions, ages 5 to 25+.
  • Certified Parent Support Provider – conferred by the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health
  • Support group facilitator since 1999 for parents and family members of a child, teen, or young adult with a serious behavioral disorder.
  • Family Partner, Trillium Family Services, Portland, Oregon – I started a program to support families as a peer; revised documents to use family friendly language; and trained staff on what parents needed, practical advice and support for raising their child… but also self-care and family balance.
  • Family Partner, Wraparound Oregon, Portland Oregon – I mentored and coached families of youth with mental disorders who were involved in the juvenile justice system.


Conference Speaker

Children’s Mental Health Conference Portland Oregon, 2011, 2012
Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, Portland Oregon 2010, 2011, 2012
Family to Family, Portland State University, 2009
American Association of Children’s Residential Centers, San Diego, 2008
American Association of Children’s Residential Centers, Tampa Florida, 2006

Guest lectures

Portland State University – post graduate classes in the School of  Social Work
Portland State University – undergraduate class, Social Studies
Oregon Health Sciences University – graduate class for psychiatric nurse practitioners, School of Nursing
George Fox University –post doctoral class, Department of Clinical Psychology
Oregon Health Sciences University – Presentation for child and adolescent psychiatrists

Media experience

  • Oregonian interview on the subject of violence and mental illness, 2013
  • Oregon Public Broadcasting interview on the subject of teens and mental illness, November 2011
  • KATU-TV interview on the subject of bullying in schools, 2012
  • Clear Channel FM 107.1 interview on the subject of bullying and child behavior, aired 2012
  • KOIN-TV News interview on the subject of depression in children, 2012
  • Oregonian stories covering my support groups, here and here


  • Family adviser for the child and adolescent clinical psychiatric program at Unity Hospital, Portland OR, 2016 – 2017
  • Letter of Commendation – Oregon Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, for “contribution to the well-being of adolescents and families with serious emotional and mental health issues.” 2012
  • Volunteer for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, ongoing
  • Chair, Benton County Mental Health Advisory Board, OR, 4 years
  • Member, Commission on Children and Families, Benton County, OR 4 years

Online publications

DrLaura.com:  “Typical Parenting Mistakes: 9 Ways We Make Things Worse“, 2017

Parentingbookmark.com:  “Strengthening Families Living With a “Black Hole” Child“, 2017

Wellness.com:  “Life With a Schizoaffective Teen“, 2017

ProfessorsHouse.com:  “Is my Teen ‘Normal’ Crazy or Seriously Troubled?“, 2017


“The Oregon Council of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry commends Margaret Puckette for your contribution to the wellbeing of adolescents and families with emotional and mental health issues.  Your book “Raising Troubled Kids” has helped many parents and is helpful to families internationally.  The members of OCCAP look forward to work together with you, and to learn even more from you in the future.”

–Marvin Rose, MD, President, 2012



Contact me:

Your views help other readers.

Parent to Parent Guidance

Parent to Parent Guidance

Margaret Puckette is a Certified Parent Support Provider, and partners with parents for successfully raising their troubled child, teen, or young adult. She believes parents and families need realistic practical guidance for home and school life, not just information about disorders. Margaret has mentored families for over 20 years. She is an author & speaker, and believes mentally healthy families raise mentally healthy children.

You Can Handle This.

You Can Handle This.

You are not alone. It's 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

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