Friday, August 03, 2012

Hot Buttons Books (Internet and Dating Editions) by Nicole O'Dell

Hot Buttons (Internet and Dating Editions)
by Nicole O'Dell
ISBN 978-0-8254-4240-7 and 978-0-8254-4239-1
Kregel Books
Reviewed by Clint Walker

Being a parent, especially in this day and age, is a scary proposition. There are all sorts of scary and dangerous things out there facing kids. Some of these challenges are new for parents to navigate in this generation, while others are not new, but still challenging to deal with in regard to a new generation of teens. Nicole O'Dell has went to the effort of writing several books dealing with parents' deepest concerns in keeping their teenage children healthy and strong in their faith. Specifically, in this review we will look at the Hot Buttons Dating and Internet Editions.

Each of these books are small. They are about half of the size of a normal book, and they are under 150 pages. Each book in the series has a similar cover, but with a different color for each topic.

The author has a strong reputation in knowing how to communicate with parents on how to deal with their teenagers. She is on both Teen Talk and Parent Talk radio. She writes books for teenage girls. Her reputation, especially in Christian media precedes her.

As the reader delves deeper into these books, it is easy to see that a lot of thought was given to how the book was presented. Many of the chapter pages of the book are in color. Each chapter ends with very specific take home points called check points (because they are notated with check marks). Throughout each issue, there are specific steps in dealing with any crisis. At times O'Dell anticipates conflict with teenage children and gives parents "scripts" to work with.

Both books are very forthright in how they deal with issues. O'Dell confronts pornography, sexual boundaries, missionary dating, and telling your kids how to dress appropriately. She does very well at being forthright, and telling parents to do the same.

My challenge with this book is stylistic. Its strength is that it is straight forward and direct. The books are designed to be like "crisis manuals" for parents who are in the middle of a difficult situation and ask themselves "what should I do?" and then remembers they need to read O'Dell's books.

I tend to prefer books on these kinds of subjects that give more principles and less scripts and step-by-step how to's. So, I probably will not use this book as much as others. But for those who need clear, specific advice in parenting from time to time, the Hot Buttons series is a perfect resource.

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