As a woman in long recovery I have a “before and after” story of how parenting relates to my recovery. I was a step parent before I found twelve-step programs—thank goodness for Steps 6 to 9--and I was a step-parent again after years of recovery—and therapy. And so, I got to see how working a program of recovery affects everyone in a family.
Parenting is hard--no-matter-what--but the difference was startling.
In Dan Mager’s new book, “Roots and Wings—Mindful Parenting in Recovery” I see so much that I wish I knew back then. I’m also so moved that we are now including this work to recognize that being a recovering parent is also part of “In all our affairs.”
Dan’s book is a gem. It’s designed for parents in recovery, but it’s applicable to all of us. It’s helpful as we are learning about mindfulness, and it’s helpful to doing the “inner-child” work that comes with Alanon, ACOA or CODA recovery.
I’ve also found that looking through the lens of Mager’s “Roots and Wings” that it can help us who are looking back to make peace with our past behaviors. And reading this book may be a very useful part of making an amend to parents.
Mager is a social worker and psychotherapist, and he’s worked in a wide array of behavioral health and addiction treatment settings. He also has a helpful column at Psychology Today magazine—where he provides practical and very accessible ideas and tools for everyone trying to grow and change.
“Roots and Wings” is an excellent combination of theory and practical advice. Mager frames parenting as a form of service and shows us how that is a natural fit as we learn recovery as service as well. For many of us –especially in earlier recovery—we are learning to be parented (or re-parent ourselves) at the same time we are being parents to our children. Not an easy task but Mager’s wisdom and practical steps and stories are a hand’s-on guide to carry that out.