Time for Change (by Anne Townsend)

I've very much liked the books I've read by Anne Townsend; her style is clear, encouraging, and very readable.

I'm pretty sure I've read 'Time for Change' previously, but have no record of having done so within the last ten years since I've been recording what I read. This is a little surprising, since it's about parents relating to teenagers, and it's in the past decade that I was a parent with teenage sons. Perhaps I read it when they were approaching the teenage years.

Still, it was sitting on my shelves and I couldn't remember much about it; I like to know if a book is worth recommending to friends who might be interested. So in the past week or so I've re-read it. As I expected, it was a good read, full of wise advice and suggestions for parents dealing with typical teenage problems - challenges to authority, messy bedrooms, problems in school, relationships, and so on.

Having said that, it was written in the 1980s so inevitably it's a bit out of date. It's also written from a clear Christian perspective, with expectations of traditional Christian morals, something that doesn't seem to hold in many families these days. And - which seemed like a major lack - it didn't mention the option of home education for teenagers of any age who are having a hard time in school.

But still, most of the suggestions were positive and made a great deal of sense. Anne Townsend advises when to hold back and give plenty of freedom, how to deal with hormone-related issues, how to begin to relate to a teenager as a young adult rather than a child. Many parents would benefit from reading this book, even if they skate over some parts or even if they disagree with much of it - the scenarios and suggestions are thought-provoking, and could lead to helpful discussion within a family.

I'd recommend this in a low-key way to anyone with pre-teens or teens in the household; unfortunately it's long out of print, but if you happen to come across it second-hand, it's well worth perusing in my view.

Review copyright Sue's Book Reviews, 23rd January 2008

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