Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Book Review: Tough Guys and Drama Queens: How Not to Get Blindsided by Your Child's Teen Years by Mark Gregston

Mark Gregston in "Tough Guys and Drama Queens" has written a no-nonsense advice book for parents of teenagers. At first I was just curious to read a parenting book by a dad. Mostly I have encountered parenting books from moms or academics, but Mark's viewpoint is refreshing and his style is clearly straightforward. How often can you find tales of duck hunting in a parenting book? I loved it.
The book is split up into three parts that again are subdivided into numerous smaller sections. Mark starts off by explaining what he feels is different about today's culture, the quick access to information through the internet and the scrolling texts at the bottom of the TV screen, the focus on turning little kids into sexual objects through clothing, "kid" TV and popular music.
He then goes on to list (a very brief) number of parenting styles to avoid. Parents will make mistake, the important thing is to learn from them. Convincing is hard to achieve, but so much longer lasting than simply citing parental authority over the kids to get them something without the teenagers knowing why.
The last chapter provides the reader with tips on how to be a good parent - such as trying to understand your teenager and see in their approach to an issue, the solution for how to convince them to avoid mistakes or misguided decisions. Do not go overboard and be overprotective, but let your child gradually become independent.
In two appendices the author provides very practical guidance on how to start conversations with your child and how to discuss conflict. Parents can read through this practical guides and adopt them as written or seek guidance on developing their own style.
Overall, I found this book to be an excellent mix between theory and practical experiences and guidance. Mark is a wonderful writer that makes this book, despite is being a nonfiction, parenting book, a fun read. I would definitely recommend this book to parents of teenagers, I think that dads especially will find a book written by another dad to be a very suitable guide to how to handle the teenager in the family.

available on amazon com here

I received a free copy of the book through in exchange for an honest review. The opinion expressed in this review are my own and have not been influenced by either booksneeze or the author.

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