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How to Hug a Porcupine: Negotiating the Prickly Points of the Tween Years Paperback – July 23, 2008
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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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Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
My only caveat would be to take the last couple chapters with a giant grain of salt, as they are outdated. It would be ideal if the author updated the book. The chapter on technology references Myspace and Friendster, which gives you some idea of how dated the book is (were they still relevant even in 2008?). And the chapter on sex ed suggests, albeit reluctantly, that it might be OK for parents with religious concerns about homosexuality to tell their gay tweens/teens that it's OK to be gay as long as you live your life without ever acting on those feelings. At best, an anachronistic message.
But...there is so much good advice about interacting with your tween in this book. Just give those sections a pass to gather the gold in the other chapters.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is just what I need to help navigate my grandchildren's passages into the teen years, and hopefully help dull those sharp edges. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Grateful Gram
Any useful insight or ideas you can pull from a book for preteens is useful.Published 10 months ago by Lisa Taylor
I haven't read it beyond Chapter One. I will probably like it more when I get back to it.Published 10 months ago by lynn