Customer Reviews: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens Workbook
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on July 24, 2001
* * * * * FIVE STARS! NO DOUBT ABOUT IT! * * * * * Last summer I found this book on my younger brother's desk--a gift to him from our mother. As an eighteen-year-old college student, I thought the writing would be "too young" for me. NOPE! I read the book and it has significantly changed my views of myself, others, and the world. On another note, I liked the book so much that I decided to check out 'the original,' Sean's father's book (7 Habits of ... *people*): the verdict: I personally found the book for Teens a MUCH better read. Sean's writing style is concise and very visual, making it easy to understand, enjoyable, and fun. The anecdotes and stories are universally applicable--despite racial, economic, etc. backgrounds (or even age!). He doesn't waste time getting to the point, taking a single paragraph to introduce a new concept, and then supporting it with two or three stories, anecdotes, or quotations; and yes, there are even pictures too! The end product is something that is VERY enjoyable, practicable, and has helpful. If you have ANY doubts about whether or not to read this book, I would say that if you are even looking into it enough to read this review, you and someone you know can greatly benefit from the ideas in this book. Of course self-change is scary and difficult, but this book makes it fun and easy. It's helped me to not only improve my own life, but also that of my younger brother, guiding me to be a better role model for him. When I first found this book I had made fun of it, but as soon as I had begun reading, I was hooked [or as the book would have me say, "I hooked myself..."] Thanks Sean (and Stephen) for your contribution(s)! [And thanks Mom, too...] : - )
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on March 24, 2008
I come from a horrible background, my family has no moral structure, they're either on drugs or selling drugs.

My freshmen year of high school was really hard for me, my moms drug use escalated and I felt trapped. I was about to give up and go towards the bad stuff my family did/does. I just wanted to be accepted, I was too weird for the normal kids, but not hardcore enough the kids that let me hang with them.

I had no support, and I felt like I couldn't reach out, after a suicide attempt, I was put into a leadership class and the Curriculum was the Seven habits of highly effective teens

This book helped me:
Over come my family (I moved out when I was 16)
Get better grades (I went from a 1.6-3.8 in one year and graduated with a 2.5)
It helped strengthen my moral goals (and give me some also)
and It helped me take care of myself

I am now 19 a freshmen in college and working towards becoming an abnormal Child Psychologist.

A few good teachers and this book saved me from a life of crime and drugs.

I feel like there are a lot kids out there that need this book, and a few good teachers.

P.s. I still have my copy from my freshmen year, all beat up and highlighted and I re-read it every so often to remind myself of all the awesome stuff in there.
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on March 13, 2000
At the ripe age of 23, I borrowed my 18 year old brother's copy of this book and was enthralled.I cant help but wonder what a difference this book would have made in my life if I had read it at age 14 and not ten years later. The layout of the book is fun and appeals to readers of any age. This makes it easier to read. One thing I have to say, is that this book is one of the most powerful positive thinking books on the market. Although it's aimed at teens, the values and tips can apply to anyone. I loved the little excercises which are still applicable. Sean's frankness on matters really inspired me. My favourite part of the book though is the real life stories he relates on how teenagers have overcome difficulties and still succeed in the end. A great read, highly recommended !
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on October 16, 2005
After reading through the reviews on this website and others on different websites I've come to this conclusion- either people think that it was (1)a fantastic book which distilled sound advice and changed their lives for the better [5 stars] or, (2)a bunch of cliched, useless material exhorting teens to be mama's boy/ teacher's pet/ goody-two-shoes/ (name your case)[1 star]. If there are people out there who haven't read the book and are getting confused by all the conflicting, contradictory messages up on the web, I honestly don't blame them. Who wouldn't be?

I've read the book and all I can say is that the book does not deliver miracles from heaven that can brilliantly transform your life and make it oh-so-fabulous. It didn't promise that either, by the way.

What it does is to offer tried-and-tested, reliable advice, the kind that your mother or teacher would have given you. Call it rehashed common sense, but the cartoons and quotes make it easier to digest and not-so-painful to internalise. Yes it's naggy, yes it's authoritarian, yes it's condescending at some parts... I don't doubt that. The thing is that in the end, it's still well-intentioned, useful advice. It's perfectly okay to just pick out one chapter, or one quote etc. that means something to you and ditch the rest. Really. Or if you really think that none of it can help you in your life, then take it as a few hours of harmless entertainment, forget about the book and get on with your life. Case closed.

As for those who haven't read the book yet, give it a chance. You might just be able to pick up one or two things here and there which, when put into practice, may just make your life that little bit more sane and less messed-up. Best of luck to you.
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on January 8, 2006
I read this book in 7th grade at the age of 12, and I loved it. I thought it was very well-written and witty.

Now, as a 19 year old, I recently finished rereading this book just because I found it as I was cleaning out my bookshelf, and I have to's not bad, but it's not that good. I think, perhaps, as the author was aiming for a lower age bracket, he accidentally aimed a little too low.

Here's my breakdown:


- Book is much shorter than the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People yet still conveys the same ideas.

- The writing style is pretty straightforward.

- It offers a lot of examples from teens and a lot of illustrations.


- Book becomes more and more condescending as it goes on.

- At some points, there are just too many examples, and many are rather impersonal--they don't offer the kind of detail that would make a reader actually care. Some of the examples even contradict the Habits.

- A lot of the illustrations are kind of lame (I remember thinking this back at the age of 12, as well). The charts are fine, but most of the cartoons on the side just aren't funny.

- The information in the book is all very intuitive.

I think I will read the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People to see how I feel about it. As for the 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, I have to say...

1) Do not force a teen to read a self-help book. I've seen that in most of the negative comments, people were forced to read this book for a class in school. I think doing so even goes against the Habits. If you genuinely care about someone's problems, maybe read through the Habits yourself and practice them. Then, you might be able to get your little friend to play along. This book is not that inspiring, and anyone who is forced to read it will easily find a thousand things ridiculous about it.

2) Although the book's subject matter is intuitive, I agree that it is nice to be reminded of the right way to live your life and how to reach an "effective" life.

3) However...because of the book's pseudo-spunky and somewhat condescending style, I see it gaining more acceptance among people right on the brink of teenagedom than actual teens. Pre-teens will probably get more of a kick out of reading a book for teens, and they may not notice the condescending writing since society has yet to tell them that they deserve to be treated as adults. There are points where Covey talks about eating disorders and suicide, but, as far as I can remember, middle schoolers have already been well introduced to these topics.


This is not a good book for the people it was meant to help, but it would be a very good book for a slightly younger age group. That way, you have a better chance of getting through to them before the pressures start to pile on.
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on June 8, 2010
I wanted to like this book and I actually feel bad about rating it so low considering there is a LOT of great information in it but the truth was that I was disappointed with this book and will think seriously about whether or not I will ever give it to my children to read. It simply had too many negatives dragging it down in my opinion.

I also read Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations and recommend that book over this one if you want to encourage your youth to set goals and work hard towards achieving them. (It does have a Christian message but if you are not opposed to that then it can be very encouraging and motivational.)

I think the problem with this book is Sean Covey did not have a clear enough target audience in mind. At times he seems to be speaking to highschool students and at other times to college age students. Sometimes he seems to be speaking to kids who are struggling with things like broken homes and drug use and other times to an average middle-class teen who just needs a prod in the right direction.

Things I did not like in this book are...


p134 "..I had a hot date that Saturday afternoon."
p101 "At the end of the year, weighing 180 pounds and bench-pressing 255 pounds, I was awarded 'Best Body' by the senior girls of the high school, the award that I loved most of all."
p169 "Jessica is much better looking than Katherine".
p118 "In high school I had a crush on a beautiful girl named Sherry...."


p23 "Finally I struck out on my own and had a falling out with my folks, but it made them see me for who I was."
p170 "This is the when-I-was-your-age speech you often get from your elders"
p220 "My family is composed of a bunch of technical incompetents. I blame the bad gene on my dad. Several times I've seen him in technically challenging situations like when....he attempts to change a light bulb."


A) Dating lots of people...
p20 "Have as many boyfriends and girlfriends as you like just don't get obsessed with or centered on them..."

B) or his marriage advice that could influence youth to not forge a committed and close relationship with their future spouse...
p20 "When I began dating my wife, one of the things that attracted me most was that she didn't center her life on me."

C) nor his advice encouraging youth to simply listen and never offer possible solutions to friends in need...
p165 "A handful of loyal friends really stuck it out with me and tried to help, but I tuned out their preachy lectures about my weight..."
p166 "They didn't treat me like a person with a problem. There were no lectures..."
p166 "Contrast that with what might have happened had her roommates turned preachy on her."
p167 "You can show you care by simply taking time to listen without judging and without giving advice".


Stories of sexual abuse p58, p59; Drug use p77, P214; Parent smoking marijuana with her 12 year old daughter p61; Abusive relationships p158; Bulemia p158; Anorexia 165; Alcoholic and abusive parents p227; References to sexual activity p78 p229; Suicide p232; pornography p240

p238 An experience shared by a teen..."I used to argue with my ex-boyfriend about watching BET and MTV, because the majority of the videos consisted of not-even-half-naked girls wiggling and jiggling like a bowl of hurt me to see my ex-boyfriend in a daze with his eyes moving up and down..."

In all fairness, when looking at the broad picture, Sean Covey is encouraging teens to be responsible, value education and work on their family relationships. Most of the unsavoury stories are being used to illustrate not-what-to-do.

However I couldn't help but feel that in some instances, the stories and attitudes could plant thoughts into our teens minds or reinforce ideas such as 'Boys only like the beautiful girl' or 'Parents are difficult to get along with'.

The reason I prefer Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations is because it encourages youth to do better without adding all these issues in.

On the other hand, if your teen is struggling with drug use etc - and you can even get him/her to read this book - then this book may actually be beneficial in helping them see the light.

I think that in general, if a teen is motivated enough to read a self-help book like this then they may as well read Sean Covey's father's books such as The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People and leave all the teenage baggage well and truly behind.
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on February 14, 2002
I keep having to buy copies of this book because I give them away to people I want to share the book with.
I found this book (at the age of 40-something) a little more reader friendly than Stephen Covey's book. I tell the teens I work with that Covey, Sr's book is a little more executive oriented and I had trouble connecting with it. This is easier to connect with and I don't find it preachy because Sean Covey so often tells stories on himself.
It's easy to peruse over and over again and to integrate little by little into your life. At least when my time management fails, I can name what I could have done better (put the big rocks in first). When I've spent the day dithering time away at some no-where project, I know I'm spending too much time in Q4. Little by little, it helps improve your life.
I guess I want to comment on the reviewer who thought Sean was trying to encourage reader to always be thinking of something nice to say (ie always kissing up to people). I don't feel Sean was trying to tell you not to be yourself, but well-placed, positive comments can sew wonderful seeds of cooperation and friendship. Externalize your positive thoughts by sharing them with people; it makes a difference.
Great book for teens, young adults and adults.
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on November 9, 2000
Ulrica Grade 7 Oakview School The reason why I read this book was because it was assigned by my teacher. When I started reading this book I thought that this book would be boring and dull. Now that I have finished reading this book I really enjoyed it. It helped me with alot of problems that I was facing. Now that I have finished this book I will try my best to put the seven habits I learned in the book into action. Because of this book I have learned to control my temper. I have changed all my bad habits, and I am going to do better in school.I would reccomend this book to teens who have problems with friends, family, and school. It will change everything for them.
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on October 1, 2000
What Sean has done here hopefully has taught his father a lesson or two about simplicity. I don't think "how to" books have to be so complicated and Sean Covey proves it with this wonderful book. It has the exact same message as Stephen Covey's book but is a lot more fun and relaxing to read. I recommend that all adults buy it instead of Stephen Covey's book, "7 Habits of Highly Effective People". Stephen Covey's wordy,proud and know it all writing style really got on my nerves. Sean's book on the other hand is humble, straight forward, simple, easy and fast to read. You get the point without having to read through a bunch of mental masturbation. I bought it for my teenage daughter and then ended up reading the whole book and buying another copy for another teenager. They both really liked it. My husband is a crisis counselor who works with teens. He has been using the ideas in Sean Covey's book for his "Rites of Passage" work with teens and has really gotten some great insights and practical tools for his workshops. I wish there were more books like this on the market. If your teen is resistent to reading the book then read it yourself. You'll find that it will still be helpful when guiding them or talking to them about the immense stress and issues facing them in today's highly chaotic society.
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on May 30, 2000
I purchased the book for a teen-aged niece, who was, at first, very hesitant to read the book. However, once she read through the first habit, she couldn't put the book down. Her personal conversations have changed from discussing the latest music videos to her goals in life and her methods of pursuing them! I LOVE IT! Thanks, Sean, keep up the good work.
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