PARENTING YOUR TEEN AND LOVING IT: Being the Mom Your Kid Needs
About the Book
Reading Group Guide
Author Susie Davis, mother of three teens, offers moms of faith tried-and-true biblical principles for raising teenagers in today's fast-paced, frequently anti-family, anti-faith society. Davis’s experience as a mom and as a pastor's wife makes her fully qualified to write on matters that challenge moms of all ages, but her advice here is specifically targeted at the ever-changing transitional teen years.
Davis has divided her helpful resource into three sections, in which readers will discover powerful tools for growing into a purposeful mom, a practical mom, and a passionate mom. As readers might expect, Davis assists mothers in moving from the childhood years where mom is loved, adored and respected, to the more turbulent seasons when young adults start vying for increasing measures of independence in thought, action and choices. Davis helps ease moms into this recognition using a number of poignant personal stories that she experienced with her own family.
In Davis's section on developing into a practical mom, she offers pertinent advice on the value of keeping a level head about expectations; setting down appropriate rules for each teen; understanding how today's culture works and how to fight against its messages; tips for regaining lost control; coming alongside youngsters as they attempt to manage school stress; specifics to mothering teenage sons and daughters; and navigating a mom's worst nightmare when a teen gets into trouble.
Moms will find especially helpful Davis's chapters on becoming a passionate mother when she expounds upon numerous ways to pray as to make a significant difference; relating how living passionately sets a fire within the hearts of teens; and being courageous enough to know when it's time to let go and release teens.
Perhaps one of the areas most moms struggle with during the years of teenage angst is how to know what's reasonable in the expectation department. Davis asks the rhetorical question, "What is pretty normal anyway?" and she concludes with the observation, "Isn't it different for every family, every person?" Citing some scientific research that will be mightily reassuring to moms is the fact that though your teen might be 16 years old, 6'2" and 200 pounds, he will sometimes act and think like a toddler...without reason and with great impulsivity (to the utter chagrin of mom). Davis assures moms that "crazy" is very often "normal" when dealing with teenagers, and mothers would do well to embrace that realization on a daily basis. As a warning, when a mother's expectations go beyond reasonable, she can expect her teen to quickly feel exasperated with her, which will short-circuit any opportunity she has to minister to her teenager on a spiritual level.
Davis concludes that in every situation, seek the Lord first, pray for and over each child, and watch with hopeful expectancy of what God will do over the long haul. Her text is truly an encouraging word for moms from start to finish.
--- Reviewed by Michele Howe, author of STILL GOING IT ALONE: Mothering with Faith and Finesse, and Single Parenting Columnist (http://www.bizymoms.com/experts/michele-howe/index.html)
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