by Foster Cline and Jim Fay
First sentence: “Parents whose children are now turning twelve and thirteen know their kids face far greater challenges than they did just a few short years ago.”
Support your local independent bookstore: buy it there!
Content: It’s geared toward parents, and it talks frankly (but not graphically) about a lot of things. It’d be either in the Parenting section (most likely) or the Self-Help section.
I don’t usually read self-help books. I prefer to talk to other people, find out what works for them, and then see if it fits with my kids. But after a couple of fights (which may have been my fault), I pulled this book off the wayback TBR pile (the ones I should read, but have never gotten to). I think my parents sent it to me when M turned 12 or 13, but I just threw it on the shelf.
The edition I read was pretty out of date — 1992 — but even so, there was a lot of good advice in it. Simple little changes that I’ve started making, and (surprise!) this past week has gone so much more smoothly. The basic principle is this: give your teens the freedom to 1) make decisions and 2) own them. Use real-world consequences. Ask questions, offer sympathy, but don’t solve their problems. Don’t make orders, ask for things (but give them choices: “Would you rather x or x?”). And demand respect; it’s YOUR house after all. (I’m pretty lousy at that last one. Something I need to change.)
I’m sure there will be bumps along the way, especially as I (and Hubby) try to internalize a slightly different way of parenting (we were happy to find that some of the things — like respecting the girls’ ideas, and not criticizing their friends/hair/pop culture likes — we do already). But, I’m hopeful that maybe the next 10 years (as the rest of the girls head through teenagerhood) won’t be too rough.