04 June 2012
When Good Kids Do Bad Things (Review)
I had the opportunity to get an e-version of the book "When Good Kids Do Bad Things" by Katherine Gordy Levine. It's kind of a long read, with a few grammatical errors- but overall I think it could be really helpful to parents struggling through the teenage years. As the author points out in the introduction, you needn't read it in it's entirety. You can skip to sections that apply more to your particular situation, and if necessarily, skip the majority of the book and go to resources for professional help.
Although I'm a long way off (okay, only about 7 years) from the teenage years, I'm going to keep this book handy for when I get there. The author writes in detail about a phenomenon she coins "The Gotcha Wars." I feel like with my almost-five-year-old, I'm already suffering through these wars. My son is a master at arguing his point and invalidating yours. He really enjoys getting the "one up" on Mom and Dad. Thinking about it makes the teenage years seem daunting- after all, he's giving me a preview of what I've got to look forward to.
If you've got teen-aged children this could be a valuable resource for you- if for nothing else to give you some perspective, to let you know you're not alone, and to offer resources for professional help if your situation calls for it. Often, the suggestion is to merely wait it out- it's natural for kids to test boundaries and limits and try to figure out who they are- in other cases parental intervention is needed.
"But when it’s sensible to “do something,” I’ll have a full Chinese menu of suggestions. Try one idea from list A, and if it doesn’t work, choose something from list B. After all, even if your self-confidence about your parenting has been rocked a bit lately, you’re still the expert on what you can and can’t do, and you’re still the best judge of what might work with your youngster. I promise you a wide variety of options."
I'll be keeping this book handy in the upcoming years, when lord knows I'll need all the support I can get with my very opinionated bunch.
You can also check out Katherine Gordy's blog, Parents' Friend. She writes about all sorts of parenting topics, and you're sure to find it comforting, informational, and supportive.