17/02/2000

How to Really Love your Teenager (by Ross Campbell)

'How to Really Love your Teenager' is one of the best parenting books I've ever read, written by the American Christian author Ross Campbell.

There is plenty of good and reassuring advice about showing older children and teens that they're loved, no matter how they behave. There are guidelines for dealing with potential conflict and creating a good environment for listening and sharing, and also helping teenagers to develop increased responsibility.

As with his other books, Campbell proposes that children who behave badly or are depressed often have 'emotional tanks' running on empty. No matter how much their parents love them, they will not feel any better if they don't know it - and for some reason, children and teenagers often miss all clues and indications that they are.

So we're advised to spend time with them, offer eye contact, take an interest in whatever interests them, and so on. It doesn't sound radical in today's climate where relaxed and non-coercive parenting is no longer unusual, but somehow the points the author makes, and the examples he gives hit home every time I read it.

Highly recommended to all parents of children or teens.

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