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Baker City, OR
5 Stars Out Of 5
If you need hope- and help- read it
July 2, 2012
Baker City, OR
I picked up Hope for Parents of Troubled Teens by Connie Rae during the end of a turbulent four and a half years with our permanent foster daughter. Our foster daughter came into our home when she was 13 Â½ years old- confused, hurt, and feeling rejected. By the time she moved out, (the day after she turned 18), we'd been through so many ups and downs I had lost count. Despite all the love we had tried to show her, and all our hope that she would choose a path with a bright future, she left our home a lot as she entered it. I can't help but wonder if I had read this book sooner, would it have helped? If I had employed some of the practical "things to do" at the end of each chapter, might things have been different? I'm willing to bet that if you are contemplating reading this book, you're where I was- doing the best you know how to do, though your best doesn't seem good enough. So, the question is, "will this book offer you hope, as the title claims, or will you put it down thinking you read a lot of useless information?"
It was, unfortunately for me, too late to put into practice many of the practical "things to do" suggested by Connie Rae- my teen had all but moved out by the time I read this book. But, if that's not quite where you are, then yes, I think this book will offer you hope and some pragmatic ways to try something different. Perhaps what I most appreciated about this book were the suggestions at the end of each chapter. From taking 15-20 minutes to reflect upon and write down the things that make each child unique - and how we respond to them when they don't meet our expectations, to making a concentrated effort to spend quality time with our kids, the range of ideas offered by Rae essentially leaves you without excuse. You won't be able to say, "I just don't know what to do anymore." One of the most convicting propositions for me was the admonition to open up our home to our daughter's "questionable" friends, and attempt to be a place where they could feel comfortable hanging out. Along with this was the suggestion that we get to know these friends and show interest in them. Since our daughter's so-called friends were generally interested in drugs, sex, and partying, and sometimes it wasn't clear what gender some of them actually were, it was really hard to imagine them feeling comfortable in our house no matter how hard we tried, but_if we'd been more accepting before she turned so hard-core and guarded in her choice of companionship, maybe things would have been different. If, as Rae suggested, we'd shown a friendly interest in what she was up to and who she was spending time with, instead of opposing her at every turn, it wouldn't have seemed so much of an "us against them (and you)" battle. Hope for Parents of Troubled Teens caused me to rethink a lot of the choices my husband and I made over the years. Without question I feel it prepared me to do better when my biological children become teens. So, is this book a useful tool for struggling, hopeless parents - yes, I believe it is. As with all parenting books, some suggestions you're going to flat out reject for your own ideological reasons, but if you're at the point of not knowing what to do now, or you're able to acknowledge that what you're doing (or not doing) isn't working, you'll find an abundance of sensible, Biblical, ideas that you can apply right now- you have nothing to lose, and potentially everything to gain.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
Connie Rae draws on her own experiences of parenting in this book. She walks you through how to deal with your troubled teen, no matter their problem. Her insights are very helpful, such as telling you what to say and what not to say to help restore your relationship with your teen.
I do not have any kids, however I work with teens every single day. This is an excellent source of information and help in dealing with those teens that are extremely rebellious as well as those that you can see the rebellion just starting. Rae forces you to look at yourself first before reaching out to your kid and their spiritual life.
Teens have needs and we as the adults in their lives need to be willing to get down and dirty to help them through their struggles. I'm thankful for Rae taking the time to write this book and to give help to others who may seem like there is no end in sight. I highly recommend this book to anyone who has a desire to make an impact in a teenager's life.
I received a complimentary copy of this book for review from the publisher.
Here's a book for those experiencing trouble with your teenage children. Besides being a licensed counselor, Ms. Rae has experienced her own deep trouble with a teenage child of her own. That will color your opinion of the book. You will either think that you would rather listen to someone who raised teenagers and dodged disaster, or you might think she has insight into how to make the best out of the disaster. Probably you would find another book better if you haven't had the tragedy yet of a rebellious child, but have you traveled that valley, this book might help you make the most of a tragic situation. Fortunately, after 6 years, Ms. Rae saw her son turn his situation around.
This is not a Scriptural analysis of the problem, but keen insights are given. It had the feel of observations gained by deep experience both professionally and personally. At least if you have a troubled teen and are dealing with guilt, you will obviously be treated gently here.
Her descriptions of parenting styles will help you peg yourself, particularly the likely problems of your style and how it could contribute to rebellion in your child. Then there's a plea to believe it's not too late to make changes. That chapter ends, as each of them do, with a set of practical ideas you could try.
Then she guides through the changes that go on at this time in our teenager's lives. We often, in my opinion, get caught in a time warp and forget that natural changes come at this time of all our lives. To forget that could put us in the hole from the beginning.
The chapter "Moms and Dads, Husbands and Wives" was the best in the book. We expect our children will do well, so if trouble comes, we follow that dark quirk of human nature to play the blame game. Our shame and guilt are hard to hide, so it would be some relief, we suppose, to lay the greater share of blame at our spouse's feet. That will only compound the problem that is breaking our hearts. She suggests we focus on the marriage at this crucial time and make it strong enough to influence our child.
She well shows that what teens want is little different than what we want. We want to be accepted and loved. These basic human needs rarely vary though the viewpoint of our different age groups may cause far different ideas about getting it. Later she talks about the generational differences we have with teens today. They live near grandparents and cousins, a naturally supportive group, in far less numbers today. Social media replaces that for the most part and makes peers a greater influence than ever. The chapter on "Kids need something to do" is on target.
I thought she was too accepting of certain social ills facing teens today. I wonder if we couldn't take a stronger stand on issues and balance it with greater love. She highlights communication though fully admitting it is work when teens are involved. Still, help can be gleaned in this helpful book if your teen is troubled today.
I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255 .
This practical guide offers hope to parents who may be dealing with a rebellious, wayward child. And even if your child isn't rebelling, this book still offers some good advice that is applicable to all families. This book offers parents insight on how to relate to their adolescent and teenage children, and how to communicate and listen, even when things are rough.
Each chapter ends with "Something To Do" questions and suggestions and also a prayer that you can pray over your child. This book is written from a Christian perspective and deeply involves God in each and every decision. The book suggests that parents stay immersed in the Word of God as they navigate rough waters with their child.
This book covers just about everything you can think of from sex and drugs to how to know when you should seek professional help. A great book for parents who are struggling and feeling like they have no idea where to turn, it not only covers what should be done, but also what parents should NOT do, when trying to reach their child.
"Hope for Parents of Troubled Teens" provides a wealth of information for parents of pre-teens and young teenagers who want to know what they can do to lessen the chance that their teenagers will become troubled. Author Connie Rae, a licensed counselor who has worked with families and youth at risk for more than 25 years, shares valuable information gained from both study and personal experience in textbook-like form to help parents who fear their teens are headed for trouble to do all they can to head them off at the pass.
That said, except for parts of Chapter 11 and all of Chapter 12, I think the book is misnamed. As the book is mostly about preventative measures, parents of an already troubled teen may find it disturbing. These parents will be drawn to reflect on the past, asking, as they already are, what could I or should I have done differently? What did I miss? Am I entirely to blame? This kind of thinking often leads to feelings of guiltâ€”real or falseâ€”and then into despair. It's an exercise in unreality for parents of already troubled teensâ€”futile thinking, rather than movement toward hope.
Parents of troubled teens don't need to hear what they could have/should have done differently. They need help accepting where they are and knowing where to go from thereâ€”and how. They need to know that God still loves them and their child and that He often works miracles in response to fervent prayer. They need to hear the stories of parents who have successfully travelled beside their own children through the worst of the worstâ€”and of those who have learned that when children choose to rebel, sometimes you just have to let go and know that God loves nothing more than leading prodigal children home! Rae's son's message in Chapter 11 and Rae's own thoughts in Chapter 12 do offer these things. Parents of troubled teens will find some hope in these chapters.
Except for Chapter 12, the book says very little about entrusting our children to God. Instead, it puts a heavy burden on parents to do everything they ought to, should and must. But parents need to understand there is no formula for raising an untroubled child. There are ways to lessen the chances that a child will engage in rebellious behaviorâ€”which this book offers in abundance, but parents can't do anything to guarantee that their children won't choose to rebel. God gave all people free willâ€”and some teenagers are especially good at using it rebelliously, insisting on learning life's lessons the hard way. Parents seeking hope especially need to hear this. The hope they seek comes from the God Who created their child and Who loves him or her most of all.
Bethany House Publishers sent me a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review. I recommend it to parents whose children are entering their teenage years or to those who suspect their teens may be experimenting with dangerous things.