Book Review: She’s Almost a Teenager

Because the FTC has nothing better to do than make life difficult for us bloggers, I’m required to disclose the following at the beginning of this post: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. I received no monetary compensation, and the opinions expressed, whether positive or negative are completely my own. Personally, I’m waiting for sponsorship disclaimers from all of the politicians in DC, but I’ll probably be waiting a long time…

Cover ArtI’ve said more than once that this parenting gig is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Now that Munchkin is right at the edge of becoming a teenager, I’ve had more than a few moment of panic. In not too many years, she’ll be an adult, but there’s so much that I need to teach her first! How do I make sure that I cover everything that I need to? Truth is, none of us jump into adulthood completely prepared for everything that will get thrown our way. Despite my efforts, my kids won’t be any different. I’d still like to make sure that I have the important things covered though…

That’s what drew me to She’s Almost a Teenager in the first place. With the tag “Essential Conversations to Have Now” how could I pass the book up? The book is broken down into eight conversations:

  1. Big Picture
  2. Friends
  3. Academics
  4. Body
  5. Faith
  6. Boys
  7. Money
  8. Tech

A few of the topics may seem like they don’t really apply yet, but as pointed out in one chapter of the book, it’s not a bad idea to discuss some topics before the issue comes into play. Thankfully, you don’t need to cover all of these topics in one big conversation! Breaking things down into smaller conversations makes it less overwhelming for everyone.

What I liked most about She’s Almost a Teenager, is that in each chapter there’s no one way of doing or discussing things that laid out as the only way that you should do it. Instead, a couple of different suggestions and scenarios are discussed. The book is less about telling you what guidelines to use, and more about getting you thinking about them and starting conversations with your daughter. Even academics discusses how differences in children will require different approaches. It’s terribly refreshing to read a parenting book that avoids the “one size fits all” point of view!

Navigating the teen years still seems a bit daunting. Since reading She’s Almost a Teenager, I feel like I have a better idea of where to start with the important conversations. This book is perfect for parents of tween girls, but it would also be helpful for parents who’s girls are already teens.

Tell me about your favorite resource for parenting in the tween/teen years!

Book Review: Safe House

It took me a long time to read and process through Safe House by Joshua Straub. It’s a great book, with plenty of useful information, but it’s not a light read!

safehouse_3dKids need to feel safe when they’re growing up. I think most of us would agree with this. Safe House delves into why it’s important, and how to create a “safe house” for your own kids. The book starts off by talking about looking at your own story and why that’s important. This was actually the hardest part of the book for me to work through. It took a lot of time, and a lot of writing to sort through that for me. Next, we move on to the important characteristics of a “safe house” and how to build those into your own family relationships.

Safe House does contain some more personal stories and examples that break up the reading, but if you’re not a professional counselor, some of it can seem a little dry. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good information to have, but mental health and childhood development is not the most interesting subject for some of us to read about! It is nice for a book to delve into some of the whys behind the hows. It did help me to understand some of the strategies discussed and suggested in the book. Do expect to do a lot of thinking and writing as you read the book and consider the questions at the end of each chapter. You may find it handy to keep a journal or notebook close by while reading. It is written from a Christian perspective, which is something I look for in parenting and self-help books!

Safe House is good reading for any parent, but I think that educators, counselors, pastors, and other professionals who work with kids and families would benefit from reading it. Parents who come from a difficult background in particular might benefit from working through that during the first few chapters. All in all, it’s a good, solid resource, but one that you’ll need to take your time reading.