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on September 24, 2007
It's a scientific fact that parents do not understand teenagers. In fact, the only people who understand teenagers are other teenagers--and Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa A. Rice. The authors took a nationwide survey of over 1000 teens. I am overwhelmed at their dedication. They don't endorse bad behavior, and they point out that there are exceptions for every rule, but they cover a lot of subjects that have kept parents bewildered since Adam and Eve raised Cain and Able. The results may surprise you.

Have you ever wondered why your teen won't talk and when he does it's nothing you want to hear? Wonder why she ignores your advice, but can quote from memory what her peers are saying? It's all between the covers of this book, along with some really surprising comments from teenagers, both boys and girls. Feldhahn and Rice have done a great job of writing a guidebook for parents of teens. For Parents Only is a book the reader will read more than once. Recommended for all parents.
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on October 15, 2007
For every bewildered parent, there's a kid longing to be understood. (from back cover)

In For Parents Only, the authors take us into the minds of teens and preteens by using the results of a nationwide survey and personal interviews with more than a thousand teens.

They cover things such as:

--Looking in on growing up

--The good thing about being the bad guy

--Attitude adjustment

And much more.

I didn't read this book exactly in order. As I have a moody fifteen year old and an equally moody twelve year old in my house, I headed straight for the chapter entitled Attitude Adjustment because I wanted to see what it said. After I read it, I went to talk to my considerably less moody seventeen year old and asked him about the findings. He agreed with the author's comments and insights almost one hundred percent.

For Parents Only is a resource that all parents need--whether your children are little and growing up way too fast, or only a few short years from leaving the nest. The writing is sitting across the kitchen table and sharing a cup of coffee friendly, and yet as helpful and wise as if your mother or grandmother is sharing their wisdom.

This is a must have for parents, counselors, and anyone involved with youth.

Armchair Interviews says: Check out the related discussion guide.
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"For Parents Only" is a great read for anyone who wants to know more about how to be a more effective parent. Among the topics covered include:

1. Kids' desire for freedom.
2. Why our children secretly hope we will stand firm on certain issues.
3. How to help teens feel secure.
4. How to get your teen to open up and talk to you.
5. A teen's mood swings and how to help their confidence.

Throughout the book are helpful survey results that show how teens would like to see their parents respond in a given situation. Many of the survey results and conclusions by the authors reinforced my belief that we are to be our kids' parents and not their friends.

Coming from a Christian perspective, my point of view is to raise our kids in "the fear of the Lord" - a healthy and respectful fear, that is. Teaching our kids to respect us is far more important then winning their friendship. One kid mentioned in the book that if "I wanted friends I can get them at school, but at home I want my parents to be parents instead of my friends". Another conclusion in the book states that kids get more security and confidence when their parents state clear boundaries and are firm to their kids when needed. To that I say a hearty "AMEN!!!!!".

While some folks may not agree with the book's conclusion, I dare say that many (and quite a few from a non-Christian background) will agree that a firm yet loving type of parent is far better than a parent who is more concerned with being the child's friend. Teach the children respect early and the friendship can come later.

Whether or not you agree with the book, the authors present some conclusions that will challenge you to evaluate the effectiveness of your parenting style.

Read and enjoy. Highly recommended!
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VINE VOICEon November 27, 2007
If you are anything like me, you spend part of your parenting moments congratulating yourself for surviving and the rest of the time kicking yourself for failing.

Even though everyone told me to enjoy them while they're young, I wished away the whining, the diapers, the clinging and the neediness of the younger years. Shouldn't everything get easier as they get older? Doesn't a parent's alternate life as a person begin when the kids learn to drive?

Sigh.

I jumped on the opportunity to do this blog tour because I'm exhausted. My bag of parenting tricks is empty. I also never expected to feel this way,.I'm generally the one my friends come to when they've reached into the burlap sack of ideas and grab air.

I read for parents only within a two hour time frame, and closed the book still feeling exhausted, but a different kind of exhausted. I'm not alone. There is hope.

Rice and Feldhahn write from different perspectives, one a parent of small children, the other a seasoned parent of teens. They've discovered a handful of keys that parents aren't easily discovering in the heaps of emotion, puddles of drama and endless parental/teen miscommunication within their own homes.

A small book with chapters marked for easy readability, statistics and solid suggestions. I don't know that I can guarantee that reading this will make your life easier. But I found one thing to grasp a hold of that is going to get me to the next obstacle. Then I'll reread a few key points and see what else jumps out at me. That's worth $14.95 in my book.
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on November 26, 2007
For Parents Only by Shaunti Feldhahn & Lisa A. Rice is a Christian resource for parents of teenagers. The two conducted lots of research online and in person and gathered data from over 1000 teenagers about what they want and need from their parents. The results are both surprising and expected. They take the data, combine it with Scripture and real anecdotes to give simple, down-to-earth advice on how to be the best parent you can be. What really sets this book apart from other parenting guides, is the comments from teens. There are no great psychological breakthroughs or studies, just real information you can use. As a mother of two teens myself (pray for me!), I found a lot of great info here. Often our kids just want to vent to us and for us to acknowledge their feelings about something without offering judgment or advice. I occasionally ask my daughter when she's ranting if she just needs me to listen or wants my take on the situation. It gives her the opportunity to let me know what she needs, and allows me to listen fully without thinking of my response. The book also taught me the need to be calm even when the kids are dropping bombs. If I do that, they know they can trust me in the future. This is a fantastic parenting guide, short and sweet.
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on November 24, 2007
This is by far the most practical, useful, and insightful book I've ever read in regards to parenting. Teens are the hardest to understand, but everything in For Parents Only makes total sense. I have two teenage boys and the scenarios describe them to a "T" to the point where I had to laugh. They really are typical teens. The tidbits of wisdom in this reader-friendly book are incredible and the advice should work if applied correctly. In fact, I tried a few things myself and the results were amazing. :)

It's a quick read, but I guarantee if you get it you'll not only want to go back and review the subject matter every once in awhile, you'll want to get copies for your friends, too.
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on February 10, 2008
This book is definitely worthwhile reading for parents of teens, or better yet, pre-teens, so you can get a head start! The authors present a lot of good information - right from the teens themselves, that should help parents learn about relating to their teenagers. I only wish I had read this sooner, my children are in their late teens, early twenties.
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This book is apparently the third or fourth volume in a series of "For X Only" (as in: For Men Only, For Women Only, etc.), and now comes a volume that is specifically oriented towards parents with teenage kids.

In "For Parents Only: Getting Inside The Head of Your Kid" (183 pages), authors Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa Rice set the table nicely by going over the essentials of what is going on with our teenage kids and providing multiple real-life examples as well as suggestions along the way on how to tackle various situations. I was impressed with the way the authors kept both feet on the ground, and they do not come across patronizing, fully realizing that every parent is facing his or her own specific situation. The introductory chapter is essential for the reader, as the authors set forth the ground rules of the book, such as "We are not endorsing the behavior or excusing the poor choices described by some kids in these pages" and "Our finding are nationally representative but we personally approach parenting from a Christian worldview".

At 183 pages, this is a quick read, and nothing revolutionary is set forth in this little book, but then again nothing is quite as aself-evident either and this book does a great job providing insights and/or reminders how we can better approach/understand/appreciate our teenage kids.
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on November 10, 2007
After surveying 427 teens, in addition to the many teens they talk to at speaking events, the authors put together the data in this book. They also discussed the data with "experts" to help them sort out what they learned. This is more of a "here's what your teen thinks about the world" rather than a parents how-to book. It's an easy read that really does help you get inside you kid's head.
Another great book about parenting teens is Dr. Michael Bradley's "Yes, Your Teen is Crazy!"
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on May 11, 2009
Good information for anyone involved in raising a teenager. Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles----they can benefit too.
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