“Some experts say that depression and anxiety are the new normal … As parents, we cannot accept this.”
Messy Hope: Help Your Child Overcome Anxiety, Depression, or Suicidal Ideation by Lori Wildenberg is a powerful book to support families during difficult times
As a parent raising kids in today’s world, there are many things that keep me up at night with worry and fear. But there are also many things that give me hope. Hope is something our kids (and us parents) desperately need.
I’ve followed Lori Wildenberg for many years and consider her “an internet friend.” I first came across her in the Moms Together Facebook group, which I now help as a Mom Mentor. I’ve also read her books The Messy Life of Parenting and Empowered Parents. (You can read my review of The Messy Life of Parenting here.)
I do not make any compensation for this review or if you purchase any of these books. These opinions are all my own.
Lori has a great way of writing that brings in personal stories with knowledge. Messy Hope is full of stories from people of all walks of life. I loved reading emotional stories from so many people, not only because it helped me know I wasn’t alone, but also to see how hope and triumph can happen. Sometimes, in our struggles, we can feel so alone. The stories Lori tells, show us that we aren’t alone and that it is possible to overcome the struggles. These stories are also combined with research and practical tips for being the best parents we can be, while supporting our kids and helping them grow in their faith.
We are parenting through difficult times and I truly believe we need as many resources as possible to help us best parent in today’s world. Life is messy. Books like Messy Hope, provide us with support, and give us the help we often need in parenting.
Not only is every chapter full of wonderful and touching stories, but each chapter includes Scripture and concludes with Hope Busters, Hope Builders, Hopeful Truths, and a Prayer.
Some of the important topics covered include:
- Social Media
- The unexpected
- Negativity, positivity, toxic positivity
- Being an emotionally safe parent
- Emotional Intelligence
- Sibling comparisons
- Reframing our thinking
- Receiving help
Here are just a few of my favorite quotes from the book:
“We can be vessels of hope when others experience delay and disappointment.” Page 11.
“God parted the Red Sea. He made a way where there was no way. Hope springs forth in the impossible moments.” page 13
“God is teaching me that hard choices are places where hope can be discovered and creative thinking practiced. Bad choices and their consequences are opportunities for hope to shine. Times that include waiting are moments when God’s glory is most evident.” Page 17
“True hope is bold power and strength.” Page 20
“Our kids are growing up in a hard world. Yet, it does not have to be a hopeless one. We can arm them with hope for their future.” Page 34
“If we approach life being solution focused rather than problem fixated or view life through a realistic positive filter instead of a negative lens, our kids will have a more hopeful model to emulate.” Page 53
“Our kids need to know we love them. Not because of what they do or what they accomplish. They need love with no strings, regularly expressed and demonstrated.” Page 98
I recommend this book to any family facing the struggles of mental health and life in general. It’s a great resource for a family looking for practical and spiritual support. I also recommend this book to any family with young kids who may not yet be experiencing things like anxiety and depression. The better we can prepare for struggles that may come our way, the better equipped we will be to fight them.
By: Emily Scott, PhD
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