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Books For Parents of Teens 


STOP the Rollercoaster



5 out of 5 stars Solutions for The Troublesome Teenage Years, May 27, 2004

Sue Blaney has turned her real-life experience and research into an action plan. When her oldest child was in junior high, she met with six other Acton, MA women and together they created a discussion/learning group to encourage support and to examine issues they were facing with their teens.

Please Stop the Rollercoaster is an excellent choice for parents who want to minimize their stress and gain insight from experts and real-life parents. If parenting is the most important job a parent can ever have and life is a school, then this is a textbook for "how to survive the teenage years."

The contents include:

Why You Need a Parenting Program
How To Use This Guide
Adolescent Development
Parenting: Our Changing Roles and Relationships
Improving Communication
Friends, Culture, and Risk Behavior
Personality Type and Brain Development
Personality Type and Brain Development
School, Parental Support, and Self-Esteem
The Myth of Perfection

Each section has quotes, exercises, issues to examine and discuss, take-aways (identify what you have learned and what was relevant to you), and a "window" into the adolescent world (quotes from teenagers.) There is also additional support through a website listed in the book.

In the first chapter, Adolescent Development, we find a brief discussion about how a teenager is changing dramatically. This is followed by a question and then there is room for you to note changes you are observing. After turning the page you will find an "overview and objectives" section. This tells you what you will be learning in the chapter and this is followed by a page of instructions like: "Complete the letter/vision exercise on page 12." This is then followed by an informative section on "a view of adolescence." Finally, here is a section called: "A Glimpse into Their World." There are quotes from teenagers and lots of quotes from various books you might also want to read if you have time.

"Don't worry so much if you don't have the answer to a question I may have. Just keep helping me find the answers." ~Charlene, 17

The first chapter deals with physical and cognitive development, self-discovery and identity, development and gender, mood swings, spirituality, ethnicity, conscience and fears.

Then, last but not least... there is a section called: Issues to Examine and Discuss and the Take-Aways section.

So, this is pretty comprehensive and the author takes this subject very seriously all while presenting the topics in an enjoyable fashion. You will also find humorous comic strips sprinkled throughout the book.

If you are trying to talk to your kids about various issues, like alcohol and drugs, there are informative sections that give the facts. This book does not judge or give "rules" for parenting. It presents the facts and then asks you to fill in your ideas. For example, "What is your stand on teen drinking?" There is some pretty interesting information on what teenagers think about sexual activity. You probably did hear some of this in the news. Wouldn't you rather warn your teenagers about date rape drugs and other situations before they occur? This book makes perfect sense.

Chapter 5 was quite a fun read for me with my interest in psychology. It deals with personality type and brain development. There are tests you can take online, but this book gives a good section that will allow you to quickly analyze yourself or a teens personality. It is interesting how my best friends are actually the same personality type as I am. This was all very enlightening. It might also help you figure out eveyone's personality and it just fascinating. I had a good laugh when reading about my own personality. Imagine the fun you can have with this chapter.

Since School is such the important topic, an entire chapter is devoted to School, Parental Support and Self-Esteem. You will find info on the Gardner's Theory of Multiple Intelligences (musical intelligence vs. linguistic intelligence, etc.), how your teen can improve their grades, self-esteem and many more pertinent issues.

Wow, this is one interesting book. I'm very impressed. You will not only understand your teen, you will start to even understand yourself in a deeper way. Sue Blaney has created a gift for parents that will enable them to deal with the main issues of the teenage years.

Highly Recommended!

~The Rebecca Review


You Don't Have to Learn Everything the Hard Way: What I Wish Someone Had Told Me


You Don't Have to Learn Everything the Hard Way


Heart-to-Heart Talk , November 7, 2004

Decide for yourself the kind of life you want. You have to live your own adventure in life, but you don't have to reinvent the wheel. ~Aunt Laya

Aunt Laya Saul has finally written the book she wishes someone had written for her when she was a teenager. Not only did she make painful mistakes, she learned a great deal in the process. Through her own journey to adulthood, she learned how to recognize opportunities and avoid dangers.

All the topics are divided into small chapters so this book is very easy to read and many of the chapters are two to three pages. She discusses how each of us has challenges and gifts and how we can plug into our intuition and trust our instincts. She also covers topics like:

Defining Boundaries
Gaining a New Perspective
Expecting the Unexpected
Choices that Change Your Life
Dealing with Failure and Regret
Pain and Suffering as Part of Living
Alcohol and Drug Abuse
Preventing Abuse
Life and Death
You and the World
Family and Friends
Live Your Dreams

Aunt Laya Saul has a true love for quotes and this book is filled with inspirational moments, stories and wisdom gained from experience and reading. She has a talent for taking difficult issues and making the solutions seem very logical and desirable. Aunt Laya is on your side and she quickly summarizes each issue and then presents the negative and positive results of each choice you could make. The index is well organized and you can quickly locate issues like peace, compassion, anxiety, frustration, love, jealousy and many others.

Through reading this book you can avoid dangerous situations and learn how to nurture healthy relationships. I liked her ideas about replacing fear with excitement and how to approach change one breath at a time. "You Don't Have to Learn Everything the Hard Way" is a encouraging book that can be enjoyed by teenagers and adults of any age. These are issues that follow us throughout our lives. There are also notes about additional reading materials and resources, which would be of interest to anyone working with teens. Highly recommended for parents to give to their teens because this book could also provide a way to exchange life-changing information and give parents and teens the opportunity to see both sides of the issues.

~The Rebecca Review



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