Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Available Parent [book review]

Our children grow.  They change.  Suddenly, they're teenagers.  The joyous conversations and similarities between the two of you that once appeared seemingly endless are now a distant memory.  You may feel confused.  After all, who is this kid?  And where did my baby go?

We all know, either because we've raised or are raising teenagers, or because we were all at one time teenagers ourselves, that the teenage years are inevitable and that they bring about unique challenges for both the teen and the parent.  

But what you may not know is that fostering a deep connection with your child during his or teenage years, one that will benefit him as he faces difficult decisions, is possible.  It is possible to guide your teen through these tough years, to be available, without controlling him.  

But how?  

Dr. John Duffy addresses this simple, yet complex, question in his book: The Available Parent.  

Dr. Duffy's book is broken up into three parts.  

Part One:  Your Teenager's Wild World  The first part is designed to help you understand the whirlwind that is the mind of your teen and the reality of your teen's daily life.  

Part Two:  What Never Works  After having a better understanding of the inner-workings of your teen, the second part discusses the many mistakes that (yes, even good-intentioned) parents make in a frantic attempt to help their changing child make the right decisions.  This part also helps the reader understand why these attempts often prove to be more fatal than helpful.

Part Three:  What Always Works  Now that the reader is armed with the knowledge obtained during the first two parts of the book, the author explains the methods that need to be put into place in order to be effective in parenting today's teens--in order to be an available parent.

Dr. Duffy's methods are simple.  His advice is practical.  And his techniques are effective.  

One of the beauties of this book is that its techniques can be applied at any stage.  I have already begun using certain advice of this book with my five-year old (such as not to lecture or smother him).  

Therefore, whether you (like myself) have a small child or have a tween or a teen, this book is one that will help prepare you for the road ahead and aide you in effectively parenting your child as he or she grows and changes while moving toward the teenage years.  

No matter what age your child is, it's never too early (or too late) to be a non-judgmental ear, to be the person that builds up your child through encouraging words, actions, and expectations--to be available.

I highly recommend this book and its teachings to all parents.  

Go ahead, "embrace fearless parenting."  Learn how to "[m]inimize conflict and maximize satisfaction in your relationship with your child."  And in doing so, learn how to "[r]emain available for your child through the teenage years and lay a foundation for a healthy, loving relationship."

To purchase this book (which is available in hardback and on Kindle) or to read more reviews, click here.  

Note:  The book featured in this post was provided to me at no cost by FSB Associates.  
I was not compensated in any other way by this post and the opinions displayed are strictly my own and not influenced in anyway by the author or publisher.  

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