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Parenting Your Teen and Loving It by Susie Davis

The Advocate

Parenting Your Teen and Loving It
by Susie Davis

Reviewed by Karri Compton

"With many examples from her own life, Davis exposes her own mistakes in parenting teens, and explains how she learned a better way."

As a parent of a 13-year-old (with two younger ones close behind), I know I’m in for quite a ride these next few years. I’ve braced myself for what everyone says is the hardest time of a parent’s life. So far, so good. I’m still alive. But I was very interested in this book, seeing as how I’m not so sure what I’m in for.

I had never heard of Susie Davis, but she seems wise and very spiritually sound. And having three children of her own doesn’t hurt when it comes to claiming parenting experience. I found her writing style and her encouraging tips equally excellent. She covers topics such as the importance of having a real relationship with your teen, the dangers of unrealistic expectations, control of emotions (regarding the parent!), rules, and prayer.

One of the things I learned was that, contrary to popular belief, the teenaged brain is not yet fully developed. In fact, it is still developing and becoming what it will be, so much so, that this period in life rivals early childhood as the most crucial developmental stage. Therefore, a teen who forgets a chore or command is probably pretty normal. Things get jumbled up in their circuitry, and it’s not necessarily neglect or disobedience at work. This knowledge frees me to calm down when something is left undone, instead of accelerating into a tirade. Whoever said patience is a virtue wasn’t just whistling Dixie.

With many examples from her own life, Davis exposes her own mistakes in parenting teens, and explains how she learned a better way. She tells why each of her children have different rules and curfews, created for them personally. She advocates praying instead of reacting, and letting go when tempted to hold tighter.

One of my favorite parts of the book is a section on wisdom. Davis quotes James 1:5 (NIV): “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” What an admonition! In her words, our habit should be “Pray, pray, pray. Ask, ask, ask.” None of us knows it all, but our Creator and Sustainer does, and his ears are open to our cries.

While there are many books on prayer, this is not one of them. However, Davis does give ample time to stressing its importance. She includes various verses from the Bible that she has prayed for her children. And she inspires readers to be bold and specific with their prayers for their children.

All in all, I think this book gives solid practical advice, beneficial information and good reminders. Davis points us first to God, and rightly so. After all, he is the first and ultimate parent. It’s not only a great idea, but paramount to plead for his help with our own kids.

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Karri ComptonKarri Compton, wife and mother of three teens, two cats, and a beagle, devours Christian fiction whenever possible. Her favorite genre is suspense/thriller, especially Ted Dekker and Steven James novels. Since promoting biblical worldview fiction is dear to her heart, she reviews on her blog, Fiction Fanatics Only! and is a staff reviewer for such sites as The Christian Suspense Zone and Fiction Addict. Her stab at writing a novel confirmed what a tough job it is, and so the work is shelved for now, allowing the pros to do what they do best. When she isn't reading and reviewing, Karri stays busy at church and performing in various community theater companies.