Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Allison Bottke on Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children

As one of the original Boomer Babes, who came out of “retirement” to do this exclusive interview, it gives me great pleasure to introduce Allison’s new non-fiction book, Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children: Six Steps to Hope and Healing for Struggling Parents.


I want to thank Connie for taking the time to read my newest non-fiction book and for sharing it here today on the Setting Boundaries April Blog Tour. You are helping to spread the word about a topic that desperately needs to be addressed—with a message already striking a chord in hearts around the nation.

Our country is in a crisis of epidemic proportion concerning adult children whose lives are spinning out of control—leaving parents and grandparents broken-hearted and confused. This painful issue is destroying individuals, families, marriages, churches, and communities. I believe in my heart that you are reading this message today for a very specific reason.

Do you know someone who has an adult child who is always in crisis? An adult child who brings chaos to virtually every situation? Could this painful issue be touching your life today? If so, there’s a truth I’ve come to embrace that has changed my life—it can change yours, too.

It’s taken me more years than I care to admit, but I no longer believe in “coincidences.” The truth I’ve come to embrace is that God is the Master of orchestrating “God-cidences.” He has a plan for who he wants us to meet, what lessons he wants us to learn, even what books he wants us to read. He even has a plan for the trials and tribulations of life.

When we begin to look at everything that happens to us throughout the day as “God-cidences” (and not accidental coincidences) it changes the way we view our world.

That said, my prayer is that you will see the following message and the book; Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children: Six Steps to Hope and Healing as a “God-cidence” placed into your life today for a powerful purpose. Perhaps it’s to help heal your family or the family of a loved one. Perhaps you are here to help us introduce this resource to a broader audience via additional media contacts you may have. Whatever the “God-cidence” may be, please know our primary goal is to bring hope and healing to families around the nation—thank you for helping us do that.

I pray you will view what you are about to read as a “God-cidence” meant just for you.

God Bless and Keep You,
Allison Bottke


Why do you think so many parents struggle with enabling their adult children?

ALLISON: We don’t understand the difference between helping and enabling, that one heals and the other hurts. We don’t realize that we handicap our adult children when we don’t allow them to experience the consequences of their actions.

How can we determine whether we are helping versus enabling our children?

ALLISON: Helping is doing something for someone that he is not capable of doing himself.

Enabling is doing for someone things that he could and should be doing himself.

An enabler is a person who recognizes that a negative circumstance is occurring on a regular basis and yet continues to enable the person with the problem to persist with his detrimental behaviors. Simply, enabling creates an atmosphere in which our adult children can comfortably continue their unacceptable behavior.

Why are you so passionate about reaching out to other parents?

ALLISON: Because I’ve been there—I still am in many ways. I’m a parent who has traveled this painful road of enabling. I understand what it feels like to have your heart break because of a choice our adult child has made.

What are some things that parents can do to break the cycle of enabling?

ALLISON: Follow the six steps to S.A.N.I.T.Y.: Stop blaming yourself and stop the flow of money. Stop continually rescuing your adult children from one mess after another. Assemble a support group of other parents in the same situation. Nip excuses in the bud. Implement rules and boundaries. Trust your instincts. Yield everything to God, because you’re not in control. These six things can start a parent on the road to S.A.N.I.T.Y. in an insane situation that is spinning out of control. However, a key issue in breaking the cycle of enabling is to understand whose problem it really is.

What does this book accomplish that other books on the topic do not?

ALLISON: Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children will empower readers with a no holds barred six step S.A.N.I.T.Y. format, stating in black and white the parental behaviors that must STOP, along with identifying new habits to implement if change is to occur. Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children will identify the false conceptions parents believe about themselves and their adult children and will counter each lie of captivity with the truth that setting boundaries is not only a good thing—but a vital part of hope and healing. True stories from other enabling parents and grandparents are woven throughout the chapters. Discussions with and observations from licensed psychologists and psychiatrists are also included.

What is the ultimate goal of Setting Boundaries?

ALLISON: While recognizing and identifying enabling issues must come before positive change can be made, it is the eventual peace and healing parents will feel as they gain power in their own lives that is the goal of this book. It’s a tough love book for coping with dysfunctional adult children, as well as getting our own lives back on track, Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children empowers families by offering hope and healing through six S.A.N.I.T.Y. steps. I walk parents through a six step program to regaining control in their home, and in their life.

ALLISON: I encourage your readers to tell me what they think about Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children. I really do want to hear reader feedback. They can reach me at: Please be sure to visit our web site at where they will find additional resources for helping them on their road to S.A.N.I.T.Y. Remember to tell a friend in need and help save a life!

Thank you, Allison, for joining us today. Remember, my friends, to post a comment so your name can be entered in the drawing!


Allison Bottke is a personal friend, gifted Bible teacher, author and speaker, but that’s not all, she’s has been in the trenches, as a mom who has been there. Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children opens with a section titled, “Why I had to Write this Book,” in which Allison bares her soul with what she has gone through with her son. This book will give you the tools to encourage, support, and equip you to deal with one of the hardest trials a parent can face: watching your adult child walk down the wrong path and realize you are helpless to fix it. Even if you don’t have adult children, I know that you have friends who are going through similar circumstances. This book, unlike others on adult children, gives you a true glimpse into the chaos of “enabling” your adult child, and then provides you with the godly perspective and practical tools to STOP the SANITY!

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Upcoming Interview with Allison Bottke

Before I leave for the Weekend of Hope in Stowe, Vermont, I will be coming out of "retirement" with Boomer Babes to do an exclusive interview with Allison Bottke on her new book, Setting Boundaries with Your Adult Children: Six Steps to Hope and Healing for Struggling Parents.

You won't want to miss this opportunity to win Allison's new book. Just leave a comment after the interview, and your name will be put into a drawing to be selected by my boomer husband, Mark. He's excellent at pulling names out of a hat! After all, that's how he decided to marry me (smile!).

The winner will be selected at midnight because bright and early the next morning we will be traveling up to Vermont.

When we return on Monday, May 5th (Cinco de Mayo), I will mail the book to the winner. Be sure to send me your e-mail address at because I'm not that good at pulling "addresses" out of a hat!

I look forward to seeing you all on Wednesday!


Thursday, April 24, 2008

The Elusive Cardinal

Did you ever want to take a picture so badly that you risked your life doing it?

Near my home is a gorgeous sanctuary where wildlife, an array of exotic flowers, and plants abound. There’s even a reflecting pool that seems to stretch into eternity.

In the spring, many of the high schools have their prom pictures taken at “Donegal Springs Garden” because there are bridges, walkways, and an abundance of benches and gorgeous backdrops. But I come to the garden to pray, reflect, and give thanks.

After an hour of being in paradise, I walked back to the car and spotted a cardinal on a leafless tree branch just three feet away. I remembered my camera in the car and gingerly opened the door to grab it. When I reached in the glove compartment, I sneezed, and the bird took flight.

Seasonal allergies were the culprit.

But that didn’t stop me, I followed that red-feathered creature all through the park: I climbed over rocks, forged through streams, and fell into a groundhog hole, only to miss the elusive red bird mocking, “You can’t catch me!”

I consoled myself by saying, “I didn’t want a picture of cardinal in spring anyway; I wanted one in the snow!”


To tell you the truth—at that point—any red bird would have done! I came home with scrapes, a bruised ego, and probably a few deer ticks.

The elusive cardinal escaped me this time, but I took the opportunity to look around me and find more beauty that I missed the first time because my eye was on just ONE thing—the cardinal!

How many times do we seek after the elusive thing and therefore miss the opportunity to find real beauty…all around us!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Celebration of Life Day!

April 12th is my “Celebration of Life Day,” which was the date of my cancer surgery 12 years ago! This year, I celebrated in quiet reflection by reading over some of my journal entries. I came across one dated March 30, 1996 (about one week after my diagnosis), where I wrote: “I never want to be this busy again. I want to spend more time with those that I love; I want to travel and do the things I’ve always wanted to do. I never want to miss a sunset!”

Tears streamed down my cheeks as I read those words, because guess what? Life has become that busy again! I wrote on Boomer Babes last week (before we took “spring break”) that I was juggling too many balls, and somehow I found myself back in the same place where I didn’t want to be.

I truly believe that the “black plague” of the 21st century is busyness and the need to SIMPLIFY is something we all need to do. I looked over my schedule and realized there are some things I don’t need to be doing.

Yesterday I took a long walk on one of my favorite trails in the Hershey area. The time alone and the pictures I took rekindled my soul. When I returned that evening, my husband said, “You’re like a different person when you come back from your nature hikes.”

I said, “You’re absolutely right! I do need to do more of that."

Spring is a time for new beginnings and to celebrate the life God has entrusted to us, and to explore our passions with new joy. I’ve cleared a lot off my calendar and scheduled in “Celebration of Life” days all through the week, not just ONE day of the year.

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to spring forward into my passions once again and to celebrate life every day!

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Thursday, April 03, 2008

Weekend of Hope!

There's no better time to celebrate spring than to enjoy a weekend in the crisp, clean air of Stowe, Vermont. It's a weekend for cancer survivors and their families to come together to celebrate the gift of life. There are workshops, keynotes, and fun activities for the entire family. This is a once-a-year event (May 2-4, 2008), but the inspiration you receive will last the rest of your life.

It was four years ago that I first attended with my husband and it not only started me on my healing journey from cancer, but allowed me to pursue my passion for writing. The friends I've made there have become friends for life. This year I will be presenting, "Writing to Heal" and "Writing to Publish." Last year, one of the workshop attendees informed me, she just got published in a magazine for cancer survivors. How exciting to know so many are sharing their stories of survival and allowing others to catch a glimpse of hope!

For more information on the Weekend of Hope, visit: