I don't have a teenager. Jo is only now flirting with the pre-teen thing, much to my surprise and delight. Looking in my own personal rear-view mirror, however, reminds me that I will most likely not be cashing in on this extended goodwill for terribly long. At some point, those occasional bouts of hormonally induced mania become more the norm than the exception. It's just the design of things biologically. Might as well be prepared.
Part of being prepared--even for those of us who still feel young enough to be shocked that we aren't carded when we order a glass of wine--is getting inside the mind of your child. For Parents Only, a cooperative effort between Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa A. Rice, attempts to do just that.
Written in a casual, conversational tone that takes on a kind of "Girl's Night Out" cadence, For Parents Only looks not only at the trouble spots that have become an expected part of the teenage landscape these days (eye rolling, disrespect, and the search for freedom) but also tackles some of the deeper issues shaping the how and why of parent/teen interaction. The writing team deals with some sticky topics (such as sex and drug use) delicately, and offers some tips for ingratiating yourself into your child's life ... even when it's the last place you want to be. Especially helpful are the personal interviews, which present attitudes and information from a teen's point of view.
Once again, from the perspective of a homeschooling parent, there is much in this book that simply does not apply to the experiences of my family. (Plenty of information is, however, universal.) Peer pressure, emulating pop culture and access to drugs and alcohol are not on the radar of the vast majority of homeschooled teens that I personally know. Unfortunately, their parents still face the hurdle of assisting their teen in their coming-of-age ... only without the benefit of a solidly written guide like For Parents Only to help in their own specific instance.
I have copies of this book to give away to the first two folks who leave a comment!