I received an advanced physical copy of No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope from Great Waters Press to review.
Kids. If you have them, you gotta love them. I call mine, My People and I love them a lot. Right now, I have two teenagers in the house. Next year, I will have three. Pray for me!
Authors, bloggers, publishers and conference speakers Hal and Melanie Young understand the plight of parents of teenagers. They are the parents of six sons and two daughters, so I suspect they know what it is like to raise teenagers. I was first introduced to their writing with Raising Real Men. They have a wide variety of products, and their Books for Parents and Family Life have been great resources for parents just like me.
No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope meets parents right at the transition from child to tween. That is when everything starts changing in your children and for you (parent). It is a different stage in their lives and we (parents) either need to quickly recognize those changes and catch up to handle them or get left behind and lose the relationships we have built with our children, into the teens year. Parents with teenagers may also find this book helpful.
If you are at all familiar with the writings of Hal and Melanie Young, you know they are Christians. Their perspective on raising children is built on their Christian faith and they use references from the Bible to share their thoughts. No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope is their recently published book that covers the tween years. Many of their parenting books are ones you will read through and find yourself keeping close, so you can refer to it often. No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope is one of those books.
The Youngs do not do anything small when it comes to their writing. No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope covers so many issues tweens go through and parents experience with them during those years. Although I am already in parent of a teenager mode, I have one more child who had yet to enter their teens. I have one more chance to transition right.
There are 12 chapters that cover just about everything you could experience as a parent of a tween. Hal and Melanie address the issues for parents of both sons and daughters. The chapters cover many issues that begin at the transition:
1) Getting Bigger: Hormones and Body Changes
2) The Rollercoaster: Emotional Upheaval
3) Brains Turn to Mush: Why School Goes Awry
4) Many A Conflict, Many A Doubt: Spiritual Questioning
5) The Awakening: Sexuality and Virtue
6) Social Struggles: Overcoming Awkwardness
7) Media, Gamimg, and Discernment: More Than Amusement
8) Conflict at Home: Family Relationships
9) Transitioning: Youth in the Bible
10) Celebrating Growth: Coming of Age Ceremonies
11) Producers, Not Consumers: Work and Stewardship
12) The Next Big Thing: High School and Beyond
Some of the chapters I enjoyed reading include the following:
The Awakening: Sexuality and Virtue (chapter 5) shares about sexuality (ex: the talk, porn, etc.) and other accountability, which is further discussed in their book, Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality.
Social Struggles: Overcoming Awkwardness (chapter 6) also addressed some issues that tweens are experiencing – dating, bullying and compassion for others, choosing friends. Something I like that was mentioned was to ensure we do not condition our girls to misinterpret a boy’s “roughing her up a little”, as we do when they are younger. This can cause girls to think it is okay to have that done and boys will think it is all right if not addressed.
Media, Gaming, and Discernment (chapter 7)
The Youngs give tips on how to guide the inclusion of media in the lives of our children. Discernment is key when it comes to determining what they should use and view. I wish I had been more proactive when it came to media.
From Protected to Guided
“A good time to teach our kids how to watch media through a Biblical lens, analyzing and interpreting the messages they receive.”
”How are the people who carry out the story portrayed.”
Are they characters who exhibit bad behavior throughout, change and gain good morals. What are their motives.
The first paragraph in Conflict at Home (chapter 8) made me laugh. The conflict between three of their children regarding washing the dishes (and one child sneaking away to the computer) is a scene that could have played out in my home.
“If they ‘re unhappy, we might not notice, because they’re making us so upset.
That is me often. Conflict in the home is going to happen. It does not matter if you have one or more tweens at home, resolving conflict quickly is important. The Youngs share insight into how to fight where both your child and you come out winners.
I like that the Youngs use the Bible for the ideas they share. It gives parents Biblical foundation and a starting point, so our response to why our tweens (or teens) should do something is not just, “because I told you so.” If you are raising your child as a Christian, the references will be extremely helpful. If you are not, the explanations the Youngs share are just logical, so they will still make sense.
No tween is like any other, but each tween is going to go through some change. Hal and Melanie Young have presented a good overview and detail as to what parents can expect as their sweet little baby moves from a child to a tween. Some tweens go through the transition with no or not many issues at all, but after reading No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope, you will be ready for whatever your Little “hands to you”, while handling it with grace and hope. Learn more about the book.
PRICE AND AVAILABILITY
You may purchase No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope.
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