I thought I'd tell you a little bit about the book. The book is divided into sections:
Introduction - I'm Telling You, They'll Get Weirder than weird
Monday - He Used to be Normal. What Happened?
Tuesday - Talking to the "Whatever" generation
Wednesday - Belonging Matters more than you think.
Thursday - You're Grounded (I Hope So)
Friday - Ka-ching, Ka-ching. Dividends on the Way
Ask Dr Leman - This is an A-Z section of hot topics or issues you may face with your teenager and tips on how to handle them. For example; acne, bad-mouthing others, eye-rolling (my daughter is the Queen of this), Internet use, and parties etc...
The book is a really easy read, with summary boxes and 'It Worked For Me' examples throughout. Now here's the thing ..... it's pretty hard to change a teenager. They know everything and the world revolves around them. There is no magic pill that will make them perfect. This book is really aimed at managing how we, as parents, deal with and treat our teenagers. As Dr Leman says, Your teenager will change to the degree that you change.
There's lots of good advice and tactics to use. Some of the things I've done since reading the book are:
- I say hello to my son or daughter when they get in the car, but then I'm quiet rather than bombarding them with questions. The last few times my son and I have been alone in the car together, he has really opened up and told me things that I wouldn't have learnt by asking a million questions.
- My son was in a tennis tournament recently and he didn't do as well as he'd hoped. I said, you must be disappointed. He then said, you must be so disappointed in me. Not at all. I was disappointed for him not in him. Rather than try to have a big discussion with him about it when he was so down, I let it go. The next day I wrote him a letter saying how proud I was of him and that he has my full support. I left it on his desk, and didn't say anything to him about it on the way home from school. He went up to his room when we got home, then came down to the kitchen and gave me a big hug. Not just a shoulder nudge, I'm too cool to hug, but a real, genuine, heartfelt hug. He was thrilled.
- The other thing I'm learning to do is stop the nagging. My son is not a morning person, and although he's quite organised he is often running late in the morning, or can't find his Go Card (card for the school bus). My normal response is to nag - this isn't good enough, you have to get up earlier, it's not fair on your sister. When this happened again, the other day, rather than nag, I let it go and took him to the bus stop. When he got home in the afternoon, I had a quiet talk to him in a calm voice. I asked him to come up with a plan for getting ready on time, and he did. He decided that he needed to set his alarm earlier, he needed a set place to keep his Go Card, and he needed to have everything ready for school the night before. Now it's early days, but so far we haven't been late chasing the bus down the street and the mornings have been much less stressful. The best bit is, it's his plan, his rules for getting ready, not mine.
This is the first Dr Leman book I've read, but he has quite a few. My sister read the Birth Order Book, and apparently I definitely have the personality of the first born in the family. Another book that looks interesting is How to Have a New Husband by Friday, and Sex Begins in The Kitchen, which I'm guessing means, if you help me cook/clean up after dinner instead of reading your Blackberry/iPad, you might get lucky!
You can see Dr Leman's web site and books here.
So there's my thoughts on the book. I'd love to know if there are any other good books you've read, or lessons you've learnt raising your kids.