Thursday, August 02, 2012

Book Review for Hope for Parents of Troubled Teens by Connie Rae

Hope for Parents of Troubled Teens: A Practical Guide to Getting Them Back on Track
by Connie Rae
ISBN 978-0-7642-0946-8
Published by Bethany House
Reviewed by Clint Walker

Recently, Bethany House released a book designed to improve relationships between teenagers and their parents. Specifically, Hope for Parents of Troubled Teens works hard to help parents balance their own issues and lives with the lives of their teens, and then in the second half of the book Connie Rae takes on some very specific hot button issues parents face with their teenage children.

Much of this book reads as if it were material designed to supplement a workshop, or it originated as a workshop itself for the author. That is not necessarily a bad thing. In fact, it makes the book easier to follow. But it does, at times, come across a little formulaic in that sense.

I was impressed with the author's ability to relate with ease to her readers. On one hand, she is fairly open about her struggle as a parent of a teen, and some of the trouble her teenage children got into. On the other hand, I think Rae is wise about how she communicates in each chapter with both intelligent and authority. Several of the chapters talk about the nature of human development, and how that relates to teens and adults and their relationships. She also has some nice chapters that focus on family systems, and how sometimes small difficulties in one's family systems can have an affect on troubled teens.

Hope for Parents of Troubled Teens does an excellent job of parenting teens as a relational process, instead of just a technical process. In doing so, in much of the book Connie Rae documents how parents are challenged to grow and change and deal with their personal issues by the behavior of their adolescent child. Many of the chapters reflect balancing what we have to do or need to do, with what must be do;e as a parent. At times, Rae encourages parents to be more assertive about who they are and what they need with their kids. She is just very smart at addressing this whole issue.

Each chapter ends with very specific action steps for parents to implement in creating a better relationship with their children. Several chapters have step by step guides for understanding as well.

All in all I think this is a good book. I will be looking for the right parent to hand Hope for Troubled Teens at just the right time.

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