Saturday, November 12, 2011

Book Review — How to Hug a Porcupine: Negotiating the Prickly Points of the Tween Years

My rating = 4 stars

I bought this book on recommendation of a friend. When I first got the book in the mail, I was intrigued by the claims on the back cover:

  • Find out how other parents survived nightmarish tween behavior — and still raised great kids
  • Break the "nagging cycle," give your kids the right balance of responsibilities, and get results
  • Talk about sex, drugs, and alcohol so your kid will listen
  • Discover the secret that will help your child disregard peer pressure and make smart choices — for life

I found this book to be an excellent resource for parents to learn how to develop strong, lasting relationships with their tweens and teens. The middle school years are full of internal and external changes for a child. Julie Ross explains these changes, and focuses on how parents can effectively communicate with their tweens, using a "relationship approach", rather than an "authority approach". She discusses and gives examples of special communication techniques for parents to use, such as listening with heart, "tell me more", "the sandwich," and trust contracts, to name a few. Ross goes over her basic techniques in the first few chapters, then explains how to use them in different situations.

My favorite parts of the book were the real-life illustrations of parents who had attended parenting workshops with Ross, then went home and put their new skills to the test. She also gives a few examples of parents who did NOT use the skills, and how differently the situations turned out. Not every child is the same, and Ross gives lots of insight on how to reach your tween on all different levels. I highly recommend this book for all parents who currently or will some day have a tween.

1 comment:

  1. I wish someone had given me something like this when my son was a teenager. He is now the proud father of three so maybe I will buy a copy for him – he’s bound to need it sooner or later!