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Conversations with the Wise Uncle: The Secret to Being Strong as a Teenager and Preparing for Success as an Adult Paperback – February 1, 2012

5 out of 5 stars 14 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Dr. Dennis E. Coates has been a recognized expert in learning and development for over 25 years. He is the creator of MindFrames, a personality assessment based on cognitive neuroscience; 20/20 Insight, an online multi-source behavior feedback system, used by millions of people worldwide; and ProStar Coach, an online virtual coaching service for developing personal strengths and people skills. He is the author of hundreds of articles and the two books for teenagers, Conversations with the Wise Uncle and Conversations with the Wise Aunt.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 134 pages
  • Publisher: First Summit Publishing (February 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0985015632
  • ISBN-13: 978-0985015633
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.3 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,602,320 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Length: 3:53 Mins
So, you are responsible for nurturing one or more teenage boys. You're a parent, guardian, counselor, teacher, or coach who has to deal with the multiple challenges growing boys confront: surging hormones, temptations to go along with the crowd, discovery of the opposite gender, curfews, addictive habits, and resentment toward authority. Often you have wondered, "Can anybody understand the teenage brain? And if someone does, has that expert kept the secret locked up somewhere?"

Fortunately, Dr. Dennis E. Coates, the author of this book, has spent years studying how the brain develops during the teen years. And the additional good news is that he has shared his findings through this book.

You will be glad that the book doesn't resemble a scientific treatise. Coates uses the evolving relationship between Chris, an emerging teenage boy, and Uncle Ray, his benevolent benefactor, to weave a compelling, message-packed narrative. The homespun story features a naturally flowing style of dialogue between the two characters. When you watch my video review, you'll hear more details about those conversations between the wise uncle and the typical boy you'd find in most neighborhoods--possibly in your own house.

Please note: The author invited me to review this book. This invitation did not influence my review in any way. In fact, if anyone asked me to review a book only if I guaranteed a favorable review, I would decline the opportunity instantly, regardless of the prestige of the author or publisher.
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Format: Kindle Edition
As a parent of a pre-teen, I'm beginning to see the early stages of `teenage boy-itis". The response to every request starts with, "But Mom..." and my sweet boy is slowly turning into a lazy, video-playing, couch potato.
I was thrilled to find a book to help me with the inevitable battles that I know are coming... `Conversations with a Wise Uncle' was just the ticket. The author gives practical tools for making those uncomfortable and complex topics straightforward. And it's not limited to just the topics you think! Personal strengths and people skills build the foundation of everybody's life and each chapter is full of easy ways to bring them into everyday conversations with your children.
The author also includes a quick look at the biological growth of the frontal part of kids' brains at this period in their life. (It certainly explains a lot.) As my son starts making choices that will affect his life path, the part of the brain that makes him a good decision maker is still developing. It's at this time that he needs to build the strength of character to stand up against peer pressure, and choose between mindless fooling around and foundation-building activities.
My biggest takeaway is how important our role is during this time for our kids. We have the opportunity and the responsibility to help pave their way and this book - and its sibling `Conversations with a Wise Aunt' - are fantastic resources. I would recommend it to every parent - or for that matter, every teenage boy.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Everyone should have such an uncle growing up! Having raised four children I could really relate to this wonderful book, from the perspective of both the parent and teenager. Raising kids is not easy and I wish I had this book a few years ago. It was not only insightful, but I found the story telling positively captivating, urging me to turn one page after the other! I recommend buying two books, one for yourself and one for someone you care about that is also raising children.
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Format: Paperback
Coates has written a book for teens AND their parents.

I'm a big fan of a few personal development books for teens. My favorite is Sean Covey's 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens.

Within the teen parenting genre, these two have long been my favorites:

- Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane)
and
- Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall: A Parent's Guide to the New Teenager

To that list I now add the wonderful, "Conversations with the Wise Uncle," by Dennis Coates.

Coates' inspiration came from a friend who, at the age of 12, was taken aside by his uncle for a friendly, casual conversation regarding his coming teen years: peer pressure, the consequences of risky behavior, and more. Coates' friend calls that conversation the most important one of his life, saying that it helped him to steer clear of all kinds of trouble.

Coates expanded on the idea by writing of 10 conversations that take place between "Chris" and his Uncle Ray. The book is done in parable format, allowing us to follow the story of the young man and his uncle as several years go by.

Coates has written a truly brilliant book. He has managed to fit into this short, easy read, dozens of critical life lessons such as: respecting women, thinking before you act, manners, being strong in the face of adversity, lifelong learning, the importance of giving, and the dangers of alcohol and drugs.

Buy it if you have teens. Buy it to give to teens. This is a fantastic, highly recommended book.

David J. Singer, author of Six Simple Rules for a Better Life
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