Saturday, December 3, 2011

The Stranger in Your House by Gregory Jantz

You're the parent of an adolescent! You're heading into a challenging season of parenting. You need to stay in your teen's life and stay alert.
Jantz has written this book for parents who sense something is wrong, who no longer recognize their teenager as the same child they raised, who realize the worsening relationship is not going to go away.
Your child has entered a roller coaster time. Perhaps there is more to those ups and downs. Jantz helps parents understand what their teenager's behavior means, how to get them back on track, how to help them understand God's design for them, and how to identify if your teen needs professional help.
Brain studies (fMRI), Jantz says, remind parents that teens are not “young adults.” They are children still developing the ability to think and respond. (44) It is “unfair to apply adult standards of cognizance, reasoning, and maturity to teens...” (46) They are simply not there yet.
Jantz helps parents understand mood swings. He notes that a shaky relationship with a teen is sometimes about the parent, not the teen.
Jantz walks parents through the physical changes teens experience, including hormones. He identifies the developmental differences in girls and boys. He inspires parents to have their teens eat healthy, get plenty of exercise, take nutritional supplements, drink lots of water, and get plenty of rest. He tells parents what to look for (such as cutting), indicating the teen is having serious problems. Regarding alcohol: “Teens have underdeveloped off switches, which makes even casual alcohol consumption a recipe for real disaster.” (141)
He helps parents understand how to encourage their teen to faith.
He ends his book with suggestions for powerful parenting (trust, forgiveness, prayer, etc.).
Jantz has provided activities and self-evaluation questions at the end of each chapter. Readers can record their thoughts and use this section as a springboard for discussion and further action.

This would be a great book to study in a parenting class. It could also be read profitably by parents on their own.
This is a book not just about teens but about parents too. Every parent of an adolescent would benefit from reading this book.

Dr. Gregg Jantz is the best-selling author of a number of books. He is the founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources, a leading healthcare facility near Seattle that specializes in whole-person care.

David C Cook, 224 pages.  Publisher information.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from David C Cook for the purpose of this review.
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