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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Sharon Lynne said...

Thank you for posting this interview! This book will help many people. I already have the book and I'm reading it now.

I hope you have a great trip!

Connie Pombo said...

Thanks, Sharon! You won the book! Now you have one to read and one to share. Allison gave me one to give away, so just e-mail me at with your mailing address--okay?

Our trip to Vermont was awesome! It was so refreshing. We just got home this evening, so I will post some pics soon!



Greg C said...

It does sound like a wonderful book. I have several family members who are struggling with this and are at the end of their ropes. They have given and given and finally realized that it was the wrong thing to do. I fear it is too late for some of them to recover.

Connie Pombo said...

It's so easy to fall into the trap of giving to our adult children. It's like the frog who slowly got "cooked" and didn't notice the temperature kept rising! We as parents--especially baby boomers--need to realize what we're doing before it's too late!