I've been meaning to read The Teen Whisperer since I got it to review for The Parent Bloggers Network. I loved the name and thought I might as well get a good book shelf resource for my future with a teen. Admittedly when I agree to review these kinds of books, I use it as way to hold myself accountable to actually read the book instead of putting it off until I feel like I need the book. I mean my daughter is only 9 which doesn't even mean she's officially a tween, let alone a teen but hey, I'm thinkin' you can't start too soon. Especially when she and I have had noticeable communication breakdowns that feel like the little flames that could quickly rage into infernos in the teen years. And that scares me senseless. If we're locking shoehorns at Payless already (not just once but every single time we try to buy her shoes) I can't imagine what might fuel the fire at 14, 15 or 16.
As I picked up Mike Linderman's book I noticed first thing that the forward was written by the lovely and talented Claire and Mia Fontaine of the highly acclaimed and best selling Come Back. Talk about your credibility. I immediately thought, "Hmm, maybe this guy really is The Teen Whisperer." But as I began to read I still wasn't sure the book would be right for me or for my daughter. I was anticipating the book to take a trip down the path of the teens that had already been long gone and the families that were going through hell but as I really got into it, I was surprised at how much of what Linderman shares does in fact pertain to me and to my daughter. Right now. Coming from a gal who rarely is riveted by a book, I. Cannot. Put. This. Book. Down.
What I love about The Teen Whisperer is how straight forward the content is presented. Simply put, teen needs (which are nothing more that Universal human needs) are broken down into the basics and everything relates back to these needs and whether they are being met or not. It all seems to make sense to me. And here I thought that life with a teen wouldn't make any sense at all. Now, I would imagine if I were coming to this book because I was in full teen crisis mode, I might not use the word simple because I know (and the author repeats again and again) it's not simple to navigate life with a teen but I marvel at Linderman's ability to strip down this complex relationship stuff and clear the muddied waters. I quite honestly feel like a light has been shed on the road ahead for my family (I can't wait to share this book with my husband) and I know without a doubt that this will be a parenting reference book that I will keep close at hand for a long time. I am thrilled that I have had the chance to read this now, before crisis mode and I most definitely encourage everyone with children to get this book before they think they need it to help pave the way for a healthy parent/teen journey.