Thursday, March 7, 2013

Tough Guys and Drama Queens Book Review

Tough Guys and Drama Queens: How Not to Get Blindsided by Your Child's Teen Years
By: Mark Gregston
     Parents of preteens and teens can move from scared to prepared with a new approach to parenting their adolescents.

     Parents of preteens intuitively know that no matter how good their kids are, there is turbulence ahead. Many feel lost and unprepared as they watch the damaging effects of culture collide with their child's growing pains and raging hormones.
     For the past 35 years Mark Gregston has lived and worked with struggling teens and knows what it takes to reach them. He says, "A parent's success has little to do with either the validity of their words or their intent as messengers, it's more about how they approach their child and engage with them."
The book is divided into three sections:
     *What's so different about today's culture *Why traditional parenting no longer works *A new model for parenting teens
     Foundational and practical, and written from the crucible of experience, Tough Guys and Drama Queens answers the questions that parents are asking, helping them become the parents their children need them to be.

     As the mother of 8 year-old twins, I was intrigued by the thought of what it will be like to raise teenagers in today's world and I hoped to gain some insight as to things I could do now, to help prepare us for the years ahead.  It is hard to think that in just a few short years, my children will be teenagers.  In the book, Gregston describes the cultural shifts that have taken place and how the world is much different than the world in which we grew up.  The issues facing our children are serious. 
     One of the things that really struck me was in Chapter 3, Overresponsible Parents, Irresponsible Kids.  "Parents who are quick to accept the responsibility of making sure their teen is happy, provided for, and protected from all potential harm, many times don't realize how their "overresponsibility" keeps the concept of responsibility from transferring to their child.  This transfer of responsibility is so important because if a teen isn't held accountable to take control of their life then they remain overly dependent on parents...The longer a parent holds onto repsonsibilities that should be gradually transferred to a child to help him or her grow up, the longer it will take for that child to mature."  This is something I struggle with even now, knowing how much responsibility to transfer to my children so that I am not one of those "helicopter parents" that hovers over their children and don't allow them the opportunity to grow and mature as they should.   
   I enjoyed Part 3 of the book, Parenting Practices That Really Work.  In this section, he gives practical tips that encourage spending time with your child and ways to interact to build even stronger relationships with your children. He says, "It's all about relationships.  If they don't have a relationship with you, they'll have one with someone else...If they don't spend time with you, they;ll spend it with someone else."  I want to be that person that my children are in relationship with.  I want to be that person they spend time with.  
     I will keep this book near-by on a shelf and refer to it again, I am sure.  I would recommend this book to any parent that is concerned for the welfare of their teen or so to be teen. 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review and I am not obligated to give it a positive review.  

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