Book Review of “Disconnected: Parenting Teens in a MySpace World”
By Sylvia Cochran – Parenting by the Book
Authors Chap and Dee Clark
It will get a little uncomfortable on the couch while you are reading “Disconnected: Parenting Teens in a MySpace World.” The authors have your number, and they are not afraid to punch it. This surefire connection between writer and reader is only possible when the author intimately knows the subject matter at hand. Since the authors learned their parenting skills at school and during real-world application, it makes sense that they know the teenaged mind from the inside out.
What will likely lead to some additional squirming is the assertion that parents have to be in charge, even when it is inconvenient, difficult and an uphill battle. Rather than allowing for a bit of emotional withdrawal to protect yourself, the authors insist that you must continue to invest love and affection into your (temporarily unlovable) child – even if it hurts. The book warns that parenting must be a gentle task, not a harsh practice. “Disconnected: Parenting Teens in a MySpace World” helps today’s parent navigate from the preteen years to the post-adolescent partnership between adult child and adult parent.
Getting there through the rough patches is not easy, but it can be done. The authors do not offer a magic silver bullet and indeed warn that their book is not a list approach to guaranteed success. Rather, the Clarks will help you change your mindset and keep an open mind to understand where your teen is coming from. Learn about the teen’s world rather than demanding blind obedience. Recognize the pressures of adolescence and know how to avoid piling on more pressures of your own. Most importantly, know what today’s teens need from you (which incidentally has changed considerably since we were growing up).
If you are grappling with the art and science of raising a teen, this is the book to read.
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