Hope for Parents of Troubled Teens addresses some of the most important topics that are relevant to parents of teenagers. Some of the topics included are: parenting styles, parenting goals, keeping the marriage relationship strong, teen-parent communication, peer pressure, drugs, alcohol, sex, rebellion, and runaways. The author provides specific and practical application to be completed by the parents and teen at the end of each chapter. The book is also based on biblical wisdom with plenty of scripture references throughout. The underlying parenting philosophy of the book is that responding to rebellion by emphasizing parental authority and/or aggression will not lead to success. While the rebelling teenager needs limits, he also needs a great deal of positive encouragement to talk out his feelings. Parents cannot mandate submissive behavior of teens nor can they whip them into it. “The goal is not broken submission to the will of someone who is stronger. The goal must be to foster a heart change that will allow the teenager to be his own growing-up person, while at the same time maintaining a relationship with the authorities in his life that will contribute in positive ways to his growing independence.” (p. 174-175)
I would highly recommend this book! It is so thorough and practical and is full of good biblical wisdom. And I appreciate the balance between the parent’s responsibility of setting limits and acknowledging that teens need to be allowed to develop their own personal set of values and beliefs that will guide them as they transition out of your home and into adulthood.