Monday, July 9, 2012

Review: Tough Guys and Drama Queens

I’m a parent of a teenager; need I say more?  As any parent of a teenager knows, there will be days when that son or daughter that you’ve loved since day one, will be a normal human being, a tough guy, a drama queen, a hot bed of hormones, loving, defiant, and anything else you can think of. Some days all those things happen at the same time.
            For five years after college, I worked on a locked adolescent treatment unit. I figured after that experience I was ready to be a parent, and I even fooled myself into thinking that I knew all about parenting a teenager. Yeah, probably not.
            Even though this book came a few years to late for me to do the pre-teen stuff, there’s a lot of practical information in Mark Gregston’s “Tough Guys and Drama Queens: How not to Get Blindsided by your Child’s Teen Years”, (Thomas Nelson, 2012).  He starts with a session on how the culture has changed in the years since we lived our own teenage experience, moves to some things that we really should be trying to avoid, and writes several chapters on parenting techniques that work.
            Reading through the book gave me a sore neck: I kept nodding my head in agreement. I wish it because Gregston was validating my parenting skills, but it was more along the lines of YES, that makes sense! Why haven’t I been doing that?
            There are two main take-aways for me in this book. The first is that we’re not bad parents, nor do we have bad kids; but sometimes we need to re-learn how to communicate. And secondly, at each stage of their lives, we need to be training our kids to grow into the next phase. The day will come when that mercurial teenager is going to move on – as parents we want him or her to be ready for that challenge. Gregston offers lots of insight based on his years working with adolescents.
            The subtitle is a little deceiving: it doesn’t let the reader know that a lot of the communication techniques that Gregston discusses can be used within the parameters of any relationship, not just parent teen.
BookSneeze provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for a review. I was not required to post a favorable review. 

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