About me

About me

Margaret Puckette is a compassionate and experienced coach for parents of a troubled child, teen, or young adult with a serious behavioral problem or addiction. Her book, “Raising Troubled Kids,” offers practical, clinically sound, and frank information on how to raise a troubled child and reduce stress at home.

“I draw on mental health research and current professional practices, social work experience, and wisdom gleaned from 100’s of other parents to help you manage a trying and stressful family situation–it is the type of information I desperately needed while trying to raise my own child. Professionals couldn’t tell me what to do, and they didn’t realize how important it was to help me, the parent.”

My Story

Life with a schizoaffective teen,” tells what happened in my life, and what I discovered about raising a child when her symptoms started around age 12.  I needed to parent her so differently than ‘normal’ children, but no one told me what she needed or showed me how.  Unknowingly, I made many mistakes that worsened my child’s condition.

As her condition worsened, I dove into the books, read everything I could, and questioned mental health professionals and other families. I also got counseling for myself.  I eventually learned to reach out for help to extended family members and friends and asked them to be part of her “team.” She is in recovery as an adult, and her family will be there for her for her lifetime.  I eventually started mentoring other parents as a volunteer, eventually becoming a professional family support partner and a family support group facilitator.

What happened to my family changed my life’s direction.  I became passionate about helping parents get ahead of their child’s illness, avoid mistakes, and give their child a better chance in life.

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


  • Member: Family Workforce Association – Alliance of parent peer professionals in Oregon, 2018
  • 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.

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

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