I recently had the privilege of reviewing No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope from Great Waters Press. This is a book that has wisdom for parents who have or will have children in the 8-14 year old age range.
This was not the first opportunity I have had to read a book from Great Waters Press by Hal and Melanie Young. I first learned of them when I reviewed the book Raising Real Men, an outstanding book for parents of boys. Since then I have also read Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality (which the Crew is also reviewing), My Beloved and My Friend, and other books and audiobooks sold on their website for the children to enjoy.
No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens With Grace and Hope is a 203 page paperback book. It contains an introduction, 12 chapters, references, Scripture references, index and Colophon (which explains the use of different fonts.) Chapters include:
Getting Bigger: Hormones and Body Changes
The Rollercoaster: Emotional Upheaval
Brains Turn to Mush: Why School Goes Awry
Many a Conflict, Many a Doubt: Spiritual Questioning
The Awakening: Sexuality and Virtue
Social Struggles: Overcoming Awkwardness
Media, Gaming, and Discernment: More Than Amusement
Conflict at Home: Family Relationships
Transitioning: Youth in the Bible
Celebrating Growth: Coming of Age Ceremonies
Producers, Not Consumers: Work and Stewardship
The Next Big Thing: High School and Beyond
The book is written in a conversational tone and is very easy to read through. Hal and Melanie are very straight forward and honest but are also very positive and hopeful. These years are challenging but not all doom and gloom! They share experiences that they have had with their own children, what's going on with children in that age range physically, mentally, and spiritually, and strategies for dealing with this changes without having a breakdown yourself! I read it cover to cover in a very short period of time, but with an index in the back of the book you can search for a topic and read those portions first if you prefer.
I honestly wish that I had read this book about 12 years ago. With children ranging in ages from 7-21 I could've used this wisdom when my oldest was just starting this phase. I honestly did not ride her emotional rollercoaster very well (do not get on the rollercoaster! Chapter 2 talks all about it.) But what a blessing it is to be able to have read this book now. I have 4 children in this tween stage right now, 1 girl and 3 boys, and it is so, so helpful to realize we are not alone in the battles we face! Chapter 3, Brains Turn to Mush, was a wow moment for me. I really thought it was just my son who faced this problem. You can look right at him ask him to do something, he will look back at you and respond, walk up the stairs and out the door without doing it. It's not just him but a perfect;y normal thing that happens at this age. The authors also point out difficulty with learning is common and ways to save that love of learning. One of mine battled and battled with math last year and really felt defeated by it, but I realize now that his brain was just not ready for it yet. Social struggles was another great chapter. Children this age all feel like they are socially awkward and there is a lot of information and guidance about helping your child through these issues. In the chapter on Media, Gaming, and Discernment, Hal and Melanie give a lot of helpful information and suggestions. Technology is not going away and we need to teach our children to use it responsibly and how to discern good and bad media for themselves.
No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens With Grace and Hope is an outstanding parenting book and one that I will refer back to and reread may times over the next several years. I highly recommend it!
To see what my Crew Mates had to say about No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope and also Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality stop by the Crew Blog!