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Critical Connection: A Practical Guide to Parenting Young Teens Paperback – November 21, 2013
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"I am a parent to three teenage children, and after reading Critical Connection, I sure wish I had this book a few years ago! It is a must-have for parents of young teens. This is an easy book to recommend to others. I look forward to not only reading it through again to glean more ideas, but also to purchasing copies for friends who would appreciate the encouragement and challenges." - Mike Weinberg, sales coach and author of the best-selling New Sales. Simplified.
"When your kids hit middle school, it's time to make sure they learn responsibility along with independence. That can require parents' patience, prayers, and perhaps a peek at this very book!" - Lenore Skenazy, author of the book and blog Free-Range Kids
"Any parent would benefit from reading this book and seriously grappling with its truths, insights, and suggestions, especially in the area of social media and its profound impact on today's teens." - Jim Marsh, Director of the Van Lunen Center, Calvin College
"Critical Connection will give you the hands-on wisdom and will provide success in establishing a stronger heart-to-heart connection. It is a must-have tool that every mom and dad should get to help them navigate those tumultuous years. It's the best resource I have read in three decades!" - Ward Wiebe, Director of K-West summer camp for ages 12-14
About the Author
Andy Kerckhoff is also the author of the blog Growing Up Well.
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Top Customer Reviews
My big take away from this book is that if we put relationship first, then all the other details of family life can fall in to a secure place.
Often as parents, we feel like we have to follow certain parenting rules on things like time-outs, grounding, rewards, punishment, and other discipline tactics. Critical Connection, as the title indicates, goes beyond basic discipline. It helps us focus on putting relationships with our children first. Isn’t that what we as parents really want anyway? The rules don't set the table for a good relationship. It's the other way around.
I really like the practical advice Kerckhoff gives on such relevant topics as social media, smart phones, and boundaries on screen time. He also has great suggestions for things to do as a family and takes into consideration the single parent. One of the first things we did as a family after reading his book was to go camping. Who knew such a simple thing (okay, camping really can be simple) could yield such great results!
I feel as if I am parenting with more grace and love which has in turn made my kids easier to parent. This book will not leave you feeling as if you’ve done it all wrong, but instead, give you hope with a myriad of practical suggestions. It is encouraging, thought-provoking, and challenging.
I recommend it to any parent or grandparent with kids in the 8-16 year range. I think you will see why I liked it so much.
One strong emotion I experienced when reading the book was motivation. Over the past years, I've ready many tech books, always trying to keep up with the newest IT technologies and trends. After reading Critical Connection, I realized that I don't put that same type of effort or thought into my family life. It forced me to reevaluate my role as a parent and the legacies that I will leave behind. But most importantly, it inspired and motivated me to take action to improve my relationship with my two teenage daughters.
One thing that immediately popped out after starting this book was the parallel between a favorite book of mine, The Book of Virtues by William Bennett. Both books are broken up by chapters representing virtues (like Discipline or Resilience) to important adolescent themes (like Social Life, Looking Good or Mobile Devices). You can quickly jump to a relevant theme without reading the preceding chapters. In fact, I started reading from chapters Outdoor Life and Discipline, then started reading from the beginning.
Those years where kids can become detached from the family and draw inward do not have to be that way. Seriously, this book can be a game-changer.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An important read for all parents of 10 - 14 year olds.