Monday, May 14, 2012

"Hope for Parents of Troubled Teens"

This book review was first published on 11 Apr 2012 at "Panorama of a Book Saint" here.

TITLE: Hope for Parents of Troubled Teens
AUTHOR: Connie Rae
PUBLISHER: Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 2012, (227 pages).

This book gives excellent practical tips on a wide range of issues. It aims to bring hope and healing to families struggling with bringing up their children who are moving from adolescence to adulthood. It is common knowledge that parenting teens can be challenging. Instead of approaching the book on the perspectives of why teenagers are treating their parents this/that way, the book focuses on this main question:

"How can I help this child find his/her way?"

This question defines the overall mood of the book. Redemptive. Re-conciliatory. Rewarding. In twelve chapters, the author deals with acknowledging the children for who they are, their idiosyncrasies, the stages of the children's growth, husband/wives and parent/child differences, knowing our teens and our relationship with God, sex matters, peer pressure, communications, rebellion, drugs, and many more. Every chapter contains good practical advice that is not only clear but highly applicable. Even the most difficult issues are not sidelined. Instead, the author writes with understanding and with intentionality.

I appreciate the way the author patiently deals with the 'getting to know your adolescent' through 8 tasks. She then anchors the entire relationship with a nice analogy of how God, parents, and children are positioned. Using the example of Archer-Bow-Arrow, God is like the Archer who determines the direction, the purpose, the strength, and the timing of the activity. The parents help to support the bow by creating an optimal environment for the children to flourish. The children are like the arrows. This reminds me of Ps 127:4 about the joy of having many children like a man with arrows in his hands.

Packed with lots of good tips and parenting advice, this book provides lots of references to the many counseling materials, quips, and wisdom. Most importantly, the ideas in the book are not only enjoyable to read, they are doable. Each chapter ends with some doable activities and a prayer for God to help one accomplish the challenging tasks ahead. The ten guidelines for tackling rebellious behavior is certainly worth the price of the book.

I highly recommend this book for anyone, not just parents. This is because any challenges with teenagers are not limited to parents. Teachers, friends of parents with teens, counselors, pastors, teachers, and students all have something to learn from in this book.

Rating: 4.5 stars of 5.


This book is provided to me free by Bethany House Publishers without any obligation for a positive review. All opinions offered above are mine unless otherwise stated or implied.

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