A guide provides tips to parents dealing with teenagers in the age of cellphones and rampant social media.
In this fifth edition of his parenting book, experienced family counselor and author McIntire (Grandma, Can We Talk?, 2017, etc.) doles out a great deal of pointed advice on every aspect of raising teens. Some traditional subjects are addressed in clear and straightforward prose: personal economy, homework, drug use, and the much-vexed “birds and the bees”-type talks about dating and sex. Throughout the manual, McIntire is evenhanded in his treatment of the two sides of the parenting equation, consistently reminding his adult readers that their own self-care is a vital part of the process. “A parent who continually accepts responsibility and blame and feels accountable for whatever goes wrong, sacrifices his/her own self-esteem,” he writes. “When parents take care of their own needs, they help their teens as well as themselves.” But the bulk of his program centers of course on the kids. “The first priority in parenting,” he reminds readers, “should be finding things to highlight about our kids.” To this end, he lays out 12 general steps that cover an enormous amount of material: encouraging teens to contribute to the whole family; addressing poor impulse control and the formation of bad habits; coping with the complicated ramifications of punishments; and so on. The book’s opening chapters add a good deal of new, valuable guidance on questions of teen use of the internet and warn parents to take a tough line with social media, reminding them that it’s their job to know what their kids are doing online. The advice is amiable but firm, offered with many hypothetical dialogues to illustrate better conversations. McIntire closes by assuring his readers that they and their children should strive to be lifelong friends, and the useful suggestions throughout this work should help make that happen.
A plainspoken, worthy, and sweeping manual on parenting teens.