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How to Hug a Porcupine: Negotiating the Prickly Points of the Tween Years Paperback


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How to Hug a Porcupine: Negotiating the Prickly Points of the Tween Years + Getting to Calm: Cool-Headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens + Teens + Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall: A Parent's Guide to the New Teenager, Revised and Updated
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (July 2, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071545891
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071545891
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #52,066 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Julie A. Ross, M.A., is the author of Joint Custody with a Jerk and executive director of Parenting Horizons, an organization that offers regular workshops for parents and teachers as well as private counseling. She has appeared on “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart,” “Today,” “The Montel Williams Show,” and others.


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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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This book gives wonderful examples of real life situations with useful advice.
mom of a preteen
This is a well written book that clearly helps parents understand how to better communicate and influence their adolescence.
HM
I highly recommend this book for all parents who currently or will some day have a tween.
Jean Vogler

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By M.C. on May 3, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are a parent thinking ahead, or wondering how to handle issues (and when), this book is just what you need. It isn't a "how to" - it is a "here is the perspective you need to make your own decisions".

While every example obviously won't suit your family situation, you will be getting a real dose of reality about the issues your children and their friends (and their friends' families) will be dealing with.

Ms Ross approaches every issue with common sense and clear thinking. In several cases, I couldn't see myself handling the issues the way they were handled in the examples, but seeing how someone handled them is invaluable in thinking about what might be best in your family.

The sections on drugs and sex were especially valuable for two reasons: 1) the advice was clear and sensible, and 2) if you think you can skirt the issues, or avoid tackling them head-on, you won't after you read this book - as Ms Ross guides you through the issues and various ways to handle them, she also makes clear exactly what is at stake for your child and his or her personal safety and happiness.

If you are a concerned parent, you will find this highly intelligent book filled with thoughtful advice and interesting perspective on how other parents in this generation are dealing with this generation's issues.
I've read lots of advice books, and none of them are perfect. But this is the one that left me with the clearest plans for dealing with critical Tween issues. Parenting isn't about reading a book and doing what it tells you - it's about understanding issues, and figuring out how to deal with them in a way that best suits you and your children. Ms Ross' book is a wonderful resource for intelligent,thinking parents.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By JPM on January 11, 2009
Format: Paperback
I read lots of parenting books (I'm a librarian) and this was one of the best I could find on parenting tweens. I just finished reading the library's copy but now I'm going to buy my own. Highly recommended.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By NYC Parent on July 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is an extraordinary book which will change the way that I think about and relate to my child. The book's premises are that pre-adolescents and adolescents in the years of middle school are like the chrysalis of a butterfly, struggling to change but susceptible to damage if handled too much or in the wrong way, and that communication which creates a trusting relationship enables the teenager who eventually emerges to make healthy choices. The strengths of the book are the care with which it details specific forms of communication which will and will not create this relationship based on case histories of parents and adolescents. I found it compelling because it was able to take highly personal situations and put them in a perspective that persuaded me to see my own child's behavior in new ways. Ross presents a significant amount of research on such topics as substance abuse, sexual practice and internet use but weaves the research so gracefully through case history that the book is accessible, lively and clear to the general reader while still making a theoretical contribution to theories of personality.
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45 of 60 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 23, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ok, so the author does include a few useful tips, like strategies for projecting empathy, but nothing that was news if you have been reading any books on this subject. The things that drove me absolutely insane, however, were 1) the condescending tone used throughout (parents, you are idiots!); 2) the repeated assertion that growing up today is so different from when we grew up that we cannot possibly understand the stresses on our children (say what??!); and 3) imbecilic examples.

Let me elaborate on my third complaint using illustrations from the book regarding how a parent should handle a child's desire for ear-piercing. The parent who said no to piercing was rewarded with a child who got a full arm tattoo instead--message, saying no is a mistake. The parent who secretly wanted her daughter to wait until age 16 to pierce the ears did not tell the daughter this--instead, she said to the girl, "I am not ready yet, let's revisit this issue in six months." Somehow she was able to continue this strategy over a period of years!!! How did this child not catch on? And this kind of subterfuge was given as the example of how to handle a conflict!

The message of most of the examples in the book--either say yes to everything, because you can't possibly understand what your child is going through, or lie outright to avoid the conflict--does not provide an example of the kind of parenting strategies that I would like to pursue. And given the condescending tone, I'd only pick this one up if you want to give your blood-pressure a hefty surge. My copy went in the give-away box in case there are parents out there devoid of both common sense and self-esteem.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By New York Dad on October 9, 2008
Format: Paperback
The impact of Julie Ross's book may not be felt for another 15 to 20 years, but the impact could be powerful. If you look at the financial crisis we're facing, it's obvious there's a significant portion of the current generation that believes that anything goes as long as you don't get caught, and if you do get caught, find someone other than yourself to blame. Children raised to "behave" or "obey" rarely develop an inner compass between right and wrong. They may have the appearance of propriety, but the when push comes to shove, they'll do what's in their best interest, and to hell with everybody else.

To counter this trend, Julie Ross's new book offers the radical proposition that instead of trying to get your child to "behave", we should teach our children how to "cooperate". Using dozens of real life examples culled from actual cases, she offers clear, practical techniques on how to raise children who are neither door mats or bullies but instead are courageous, cooperative and compassionate human beings.

This is not a "know it all" book. These are dispatches sent directly from the trenches of modern day parent / child conflict, and Julie doesn't steer away from difficult and touchy topics like sex, drugs, addiction and peer pressure. But as with her other books (Joint Custody with a Jerk and Practical Parenting for the 21st Century), she writes with insight and humor about the challenges of raising prickly 'tweens, always with an eye on the prize: raising children to become the kind of adults we can be proud of.
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