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4.8 out of 5 stars75
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on 7 June 2007
To any parents who are struggling through the teenager years - grab this book now! Having read all the Parsons books, I knew it would be good but this one is probably going to top the list with parents. Having emerged slightly the worse for wear from this stage of parenting myself, I appreciated the opening message "It's Normal!" and the theme of reassurance for both parent and teenager that runs through the book. The fascinating statistics are well researched and the explanation of how brain development affects teenage behaviour is particularly interesting. Stressed parents everywhere will appreciate the keys for dealing with the really testing teenager and identify with the stories of those going through so many of the same situations as themselves.

This book is informative, helpful and encouraging - yet another success for Rob Parsons.
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on 18 November 2007
I do not normally read books all the way through but I was glued to every page of this book.The humorous, sympathetic and insightful way in which this book was written book made me laugh,cry and feel empowered as a parent aswell as giving me so much more empathy for my teenager.My one negative comment about the book would be this - since trying to apply the priciples in the book my teenager has started actually telling me about what goes on in 'her world'. Sometimes I wish she wouldn't!!!! So if you enjoy being one of the three monkeys (hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil )then maybe this book is not for you!
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on 4 June 2007
I wish this book had been around when we were negotiating the white water rafting phase of parenting - the teenage years.

Rob's book is great in that it does two key things:

1)It touches on the enduring and foundational aspects of maintaining and building on the relationship between parent and child. It helps nourish and builds positively on the desire of every parent to have a relationship of mutual love and respect with their kids, which will last a lifetime.

2)It helps parents to consider and work out strategies to deal with the scary scenarios which the internet, bullying, sex etc pose. When we find ourselves plunged into these issues with only the background of being a teenager from a different generation to help us, it's so easy to flounder. But here the lid is lifted off the issues we face and gentle but wise advice is offered in developing good strategies as a parent.

The conversational style is really easy to read and once you start you'll find it hard to put down!
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on 14 October 2011
I cannot rate this book highly enough. I have recommended it to all of my friends who are parents and to those who might be thinking of becoming a parent! I have a 14 year old son and am an aunt to 8 nieces and nephews who are either already teenagers or who are heading towards being teenagers, and this book is my "bible". The book helps you get into the mind of teenagers and although i do recollect what i was like as a teenager, i agree with Rob that our teenagers now seem to have far more pressure on them than we did. I have used the advice to great effect. By me taking a different approach to a situation - for example when my son came in 2 hours late without contacting me - rather than flying off the handle (the worry/relief/anger ratio!) i sat him down and had a talk with him and explained how i feel when he doesn't let me know he is running late, in a very measured and controlled way. His reaction was of course one of regret that he had worried me, rather than defensiveness and stroppiness because of my ranting! I'm not saying we have the perfect mum/son relationship, but i truly believe that by reading this book and following the advice (and not just from Rob but from some of the real situations that other parents have relayed), it is making the teenage years far more bearable for me and for my son. I wouldn't be without this book.
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on 26 May 2007
This is 'the' book I wish had been given to me when my kids were ten. Now I turn each page and find my self saying over, and over again, 'that is so true,' or 'so that is what was going on'. It is a extraordinary book, which cuts through the psycho-bable to deliver insights and practical responses. As with all Rob Parsons' books which I have read you sense the author is coming along side to put an understanding arm across the reader's weary shoudler, rather than beating us over the head, or, presenting us with pictures of unattainable perfection. Woven through each chapter there is a golden thread, and that is the power of praise, even through the darkest days with the most testing of teenagers the author encourages to find something to praise them for; in return the parent who feels they screwed up so badly will find praise and comfort from knowing that they are not alone, that they are not to blame, that their child's behaviour is explicable and that it does pass!
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on 8 June 2007
How reasuring to know that you are not alone. I am sure that all parents will be able to relate to at least one of the stories in this book. Rob has such an easy manner to help the reader become comfortable to look at their relationships with their children and how to address some of the issues calmly and sensibly. My favourite quote is "Don't take all the credit; don't take all the blame" hopefully by remembering this I can manouvre through the teenage years with my daughter relatively unscathed!
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on 7 June 2007
Thank you Rob Parsons! I'm so glad to read this now - before my children have quite 'got there'. There's a wealth of advice on scary areas like bullying, sex and drugs - with practical suggestions of ways to communicate better and even steps to take if your child is taking drugs. Invaluable insight is given about the internet, an area where my children will always know more than me.

I loved the practical tips and helpful theme running through the book that we are not alone in feeling failures as parents. 'Just get them through'! Read it for the first time before your child is 10.
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on 25 May 2007
As a parent, foster parent and youth worker, I've found this book practical, realistic and very easy to read.

I loved the many true short stories that Rob Parsons incorporates in the book, both positive and negative, all helping the reader in their parenting role - some made me laugh, some made me cry - I couldn't put it down once I'd started it!

It's crucial as parents we get those teenage years right and the chapters in this book on bullying, sex, internet use, drugs, self esteem and more are valuable advice for anyone living with or working with teenagers.
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on 25 May 2007
My kids are just slipping into their 20s so I identified personally with most of what Rob Parsons said in this book - I wish I'd read it before going through some of the unexpected and inexplicable events of the last 10 years. It is good practical eye-opening stuff which helped me understand some of the things we experienced and are still going through. It was a really easy read - just as well as it pressed both my laughter and pain buttons. That said.... I never felt 'lectured to' - it felt more like an arm around my shoulder! Parents - read it - it will help!!
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on 10 May 2009
An easy to read, reassuring and useful book that left me feeling slightly sorry for my teenager, despite the angst he puts me through. Definitely worth reading if you are having sleepless nights wondering where your lovely little boy/girl has gone and what you should you do with this changeling that has taken their place. Since reading this book my new mantra is 'He is a work in progress'.
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