Dennis Trittin and Arlyn Lawrence have compiled all the tips that I should have started reading 17 years ago. Parenting for the Launch: Raising Teens To Succeed in the Real World (LifeSmart Publishing, 2013) includes the things parents need to know about raising children who are ready to be the adults they need to be when they leave home for a life of college, military or marriage.
They write in an engaging manner, and include plenty of personal anecdotes. They even let us know that along the way they learned some of these things by making their own mistakes. One of the most freeing pieces of advice is to allow your kids to make mistakes. Let them fail, don't enable. Be there to support them, but at some point they have to acknowledge the fact that there are consequences for the choices we make. There is also a strong, and much needed emphasis on the fact that each teen-ager is unique, and they may not each be the 'mini-me' that parents might dream of their children becoming.
There are lessons on relationships and on finances; on education and even on learning to ride a bike (although that is certainly not one of the main objectives of the book.
Each chapter concludes with a section called "TAKE FIVE" some questions that help summarize the chapter, and depending on how you answer, help you to identify some areas that you might want to consider in more depth.
Overall this is a helpful book because it consolidates many of the things that we have heard in other contexts, and presents them in a systematic approach. It also follows a linear progression which I happen to appreciate.
This book is important for today's cultural context because there are so many children growing up without the appropriate role models in their lives. As Society becomes more and more mobile, and we deal with blended and single parent families, having resources available is something we can't do without.