Well, I just finished reading a most wonderful book:
The Wonder of Girls: Understanding the Hidden Nature of Our Daughters, by Michael Gurian
This book really gets into what makes teenage girls tick. Two main themes stick in my mind:
- There are solid scientific reasons why girls act the way they do, based on hormones and other things that affect the way they think, feel, and do what they do.
- Society has let feminism go a little too far in some ways, telling girls that they should not only be as good as boys, but be like boys, damaging girls’ nature of who they truly are.
Many elements covered in this book help me better understand my daughter and other youth women. I highly recommend it!
I just finished reading my latest youth development book, called “Get Out of My Life, but first could you drive me and Cheryl to the mall?” It’s subtitled “A Parent’s Guide to the New Teenager” and is written by a psychologist that’s worked with adolescents for over 30 years.
First, I have to say that the book is very frank. The author goes through several interesting points, each with facts, figures and evidence of experience to back it up. He covers many key points, including independence, communication, control, and conflict.
With that said, I struggle to say that I like the book. My summary would be something like, “Most teenagers are miserable monsters, and there is nothing you can do about it, so here are some coping strategies to get you though it.” I’ve met some parents that pretty much feel that way, and they should relate quite well to this book. I suppose I just have a better experience with most teenagers, so that seems a bit harsh to me.
In any case, whether you are a parent or other adult that works with youth, I think you’ll find this book a valuable read.
Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall: A Parent’s Guide to the New Teenager, Revised and Updated
If you have tween or teen children, or if you associate with teenagers through church, Scouts or somewhere else, then you know they can be utterly confusing. I still think that Middle School Ministries is the best starting place to understanding tweens and teens, but if that is Parenting 101, then the latest book I finished reading might be Parenting 102:
An Intimate Understanding of America’s Teenagers: Shaking Hands with Aliens
The author is a veteran school teacher and youth group leader, so he packs years of insight and wisdom into this book on teenagers. He covers many points that won’t surprise you. Teenagers need stability, love, boundaries, purpose and respect. If you would like to better understand why they need all of that, and how you can help provide it to them, then you’ll find heart-felt and thought-out guidance throughout thise book.
Extra note: each chapter ends with advice for parents, teachers, and teenagers! So, this is even a great book for teenagers to understand more about themselves and their fellow teens.
Family traditions are important to children. It gives them a sense of belonging and something to pass on to their children.
Every St. Patrick’s Day, for the last 14 years, we have started the day by reading Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Seuss. All the while, we actually enjoy a plate of green eggs and ham!
If you have a child, then you probably already have the book. If not, then you can get it here:
Green Eggs and Ham (I Can Read It All by Myself Beginner Books)
For the dish, we just scamble some eggs, mix in some chunks of ham, and stir in a little green food coloring.
What St. Patrick’s Day family tradition do you have?
Are you looking for some fun activities for your youth group or Scout group? The youth in my small group really enjoyed those we found in the book:
Bet You Can’t: Science Impossibilities to Fool You by Cobb and Darling.
Are you familiar with the Five Love Languages and trying to figure out how to apply that to the turbulent teenage years of your child or other teenagers that you know? The first half of this books reviews the Five Love Languages and touches on how special considerations for teenagers. Then, the second half of the book really explains how to apply all of that to relate to teenagers.
The Five Love Languages of Teenagers New Edition: The Secret to Loving Teens Effectively
Dads – ever thought of raising your son with the values of a knight? Guiding him along a trail to manhood that is highlighted with meaningful ceremony? If that strikes your interest, then check out this book:
Raising a Modern-Day Knight: A Father’s Role in Guiding His Son to Authentic Manhood
Are you looking for a program to guide you and your teen through discussing purity? We highly recommend:
Passport2Purity (Book & CD Set)
Dan and I went through the program and found it wonderful. Josh and I plan to go through it in another year or so. And, Emily and Jen plan to do so in a couple years, as well. You have to determine the right age to cover this with your teen, since everyone is different. But, 13 seems about right for our children. If you go through it when they’re too young then they won’t quite understand or be ready for it. But, if you wait until they’re too old then they might not be as receptive to the influence that you and the program are intended to have.
Have you wondered why your middle school daughter thinks you’re the greatest one day and then acts like you don’t exist the next? Or, are you scratching your head about why your middle school son is suddenly taking everything you taught him so solidly growing up and throwing it out the window? In short, are you searching for the instruction manual for your middle school youth? Well, I found it, well hidden in the first half of this book:
Middle School Ministry by Mark Oestreicher
Don’t let the title fool you. The first half of the book provides a great summary of the physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual development of the middle school youth. And, if you happen to be a youth group leader, Scout leader, or anyone else that works with middle school youth, then you’ll find the second half of the book a pretty good handbook on how to do that better, too.