Posted on Saturday, July 28, 2012
in Emotional, Relational, Reviews, Social, Values
Mark Gregston’s Tough Guys and Drama Queens is written to help parents help their teens by providing a harbor through the storms of life.
Gregston states that, “When it comes to parenting, it’s not about us. It’s about our kids. Our parenting should not be a display of effort to try to be recognized as parent of the year, but ours should be lives filled with actions that teach our kids how to develop discernment, moral values, and compassion for the world around them. Mom and dads, your teens don’t need more friends; they need a parent. They need a close relationship with someone who is determined to teach them how to survive in a world where responsibility is an essential character trait.”
Gregston’s Tough Guys and Drama Queens is divided into 3 sections:
- The first section exposes the unique challenges of today’s culture
- The second section exposes three parenting practices to avoid.
- The third section explains eleven parenting practices that really work.
PART ONE: WHAT’S SO DIFFERENT ABOUT TODAY’S CULTURE?
Chapter 1: Overexposure to Everything
Chapter 2: Lack of Real Connection
Chapter 3: Over-responsible Parents, Irresponsible Kids
Chapter 4: No One Gets Respect
Chapter 5: Loss of Gender Differences
Chapter 6: Living with Constant Uncertainty
PART TWO: PARENTING PRACTICES TO AVOID
Chapter 7: Perfection Is Impossible
Chapter 8: Authority Cannot Be Forced
Chapter 9: Judging Builds Walls
In the subsection entitled “Offer Love Not Judgment” Gregston states, “Truth with judgment pushes kids away; truth with relationship draws them to you.” In order to improve parent-teen relationships he provides these helpful suggestions:
• Sometimes a child just needs to think out loud to process and have someone listen without giving an opinion.
• Not every teachable moment needs to become a time of teaching.
• Asking kids, “Are you asking me a question or wanting my opinion?” is a wonderful way to respect the kids and offer help rather than shove your opinion down their throat through lecture.
• He’s taught his kids well and doesn’t have to keep reminding his kids where they’ve blown it; they already know.
• He doesn’t have to point out every way his kids can do things better.
• Despite his good intentions he’s missing the heart of his kids, who long to have a relationship with him.
• His judgmental comments about controversial issues have moved his kids to ignore all the wisdom he shares in other conversations.
• In his heart he feels like he’s fulfilling his parenting role; but in his kids’ hearts, he’s an extremely judgmental man and one to be avoided.
PART THREE: PARENTING PRACTICES THAT REALLY WORK
Chapter 10: Relating Is More Important than Winning
Gregston promotes the value of a Weekly Time with Your Child with these warnings:
- If they don’t get wisdom from you, they’ ll search for it somewhere else.
- If they don’t have a relationship with you, they’ ll have one with someone else.
- If they don’t spend time with you, they’ ll spend it with someone else.
- If you don’t give them value, they’ ll get value from someone else.
Chapter 11: Ask Questions to Create Connections
Chapter 12: Stop Controlling and Start Trusting
Chapter 13: Foster Independence
Chapter 14: Add Clear Boundaries and Subtract Strictness
Chapter 15: See Conflict as a Precursor to Change
Chapter 16: Pick Your Battles Wisely
Chapter 17: Love When You Don’t Feel Like It
Chapter 18: Offer Freedom to Make Mistakes
Chapter 19: Forgive When It’s Hard
Chapter 20: Take a Regular Break
Additionally, there are two appendixes with practical suggestions for improving communication between parents and their teens. The first one offers conversation starter questions. The second section offers detailed discussion starters to help work through conflicts.
Fortunately, Gregston reminds us that we’re not bad parents, nor do we have bad kids; but sometimes we need to re-learn how to communicate effectively so that our teens can grow and develop in each life stage. In order to do so, Gregston offers plenty of insights that can be used to improve interpersonal relationships of any kind, not just when parenting teenagers.
Disclosure: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 [...] “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”