Parenting teens can be tricky. Some parents are still micromanaging every aspect of their teen’s life. Others have little to any interaction with their teens, other than living in the same house and providing for some basic physical needs.
Yet, the teen years are when you begin to see whether your Christian parenting has helped your kids develop strong spiritual foundations. You can see the true beginnings of their godly potential and the fruit it is starting to bear.
You can also see some areas where your teen still needs guidance and growth. Areas you may have overlooked earlier or with which your teen struggles. You may find ways you need to provide extra encouragement as your child makes the not always easy transition from dependence to living on his or her own at college or some other adult career path.
It’s overwhelming for many parents, which was why I was interested in reviewing the new book Parenting Beyond the Rules by Connie Albers. Albers is the mother to five adult children, which should qualify her as an experienced teen mom. Her advice doesn’t disappoint.
The book is divided into twelve areas, but actually reads more like a conversation with another mom. It is organized, but not as tightly structured as many parenting books. She flows easily from one bit of advice to the next – giving concrete examples and the reasons behind what she is suggesting. Each chapter also includes discussion questions for reflection or small group use.
Personally, this is one of the better books I have seen on parenting teens. Frankly, there really aren’t many Christian books I have seen focused on teens. Most of the ones I have seen come from a perspective of a parent already experiencing serious problems with their child.
While all of her advice is great, it is geared towards parents who don’t have children that are giving their parents serious issues. She appears to have had at least one child who struggled, but the advice she shares is probably not enough to help parents with a teen in serious trouble.
For the rest of teen parents, this book is amazing. There are so many good tips and bits of advice. The book is probably worth your money if you only read the parts about how to listen to a teen well or how to ask your teen child the right questions. But be sure to read all of her other tips as well. As she says in the introduction, in parenting, as in art “Those seemingly minor strokes on the canvas, which no one could tell were there, mattered.”
I only had a couple of minor quibbles about the material in the book. Most of it could probably be attributed to wording. For example, in talking about parenting and teen goals, she doesn’t really focus solely and strongly on the spiritual. It may be she assumed that was a given, or perhaps for her, that’s another area. Personally, that would be my main suggestion for later editions – that she address the spiritual lives of teens in a more direct and thorough way.
I believe there will indeed be later editions. This is a really strong book on parenting teens as written. Would I have added a few more things? Probably, but it doesn’t take away from the excellent material you will find while reading this book.
This book was given to me for free in exchange for my honest review. An affiliate link is included for your convenience.