Recently, some publishers are sending me books and asking me to offer comment on them on my website, so expect to start seeing some “new book” reviews from time to time.
Book: Tough Guys and Drama Queens
Author: Mark Gregston – founder and executive director for Heartlight in Longview
I speak regularly about the adolescent years to both teens and their families. I consider it one of my strongest areas, but there are some ideas I will be stealing from Mark! I have counseled hundreds of these families over the years, and they are always intriguing in regards to how individual and unique the situations are and at the same time, how that is integrated with all of the things that are similar. There are certainly themes….
Let’s get one easy comment out of the way: My only “negative” comments about this book are the same ones I generally have for modern Christian writing – there is a lack of great references. Mark references quite a few studies in the chapters about culture, but beyond that, there isn’t a lot.
I think Mark’s future works would be served by integrating the thoughts and research of Chap Clark, Huggins, and others who have given great insights too.
That being said, I feel like Mark Gregston does a great job of grappling with these themes in the book himself. He clearly has spend hundreds, or more likely, thousands of hours with adolescents and their families. Each section includes very real and practical help. This is precisely the kind of book that parents are always asking for – “tell me what I should do when…”
Did you get that parents? That key word? “Practical?”
Get this book, read it, follow the recommendations as they apply to your family, and your relationship[p with your teen will be better, and your influence in their lives will be greater.
Warning to parents: often the advice, you aren’t going to like it, but it is what counselors of teens everywhere would agree… instead of focusing on behavioral modification, the teen years are time to focus intensely (and intentionally) on teaching them to live with value and competence without constant interference from mom and dad.
The book includes chapters on current culture issues, like social media, changes in attitudes, gender issues, and uncertainty. After these sections, the rest of the books challenges parents to learn to relate, trust, listen, love, forgive, train, and even have conflict.
Generally, my go-to books have been a series from the 90’s that is out of print now and a couple of books about greatness and rebellion by Tim Kimmell. I will be adding Mark’s book to the list I recommend for parents moving into the teen years.