Fri 4 Feb 2011
Are you the stepmom of a tween or teen? If so, you may notice that navigating these waters can be a bit tricky. One day your stepchild shares tales of their day, the next morning they serve you a grunt and a side of eye roll for breakfast.
Yes. We expect tweens and teens to be moody and challenging. But we also want to stay connected. Often we can feel like we are doing the right things but getting the wrong vibes. It’s as if we and our stepkids are not speaking the same language anymore.
And the reality is, we aren’t speaking the same verbal and non-verbal language. Our stepkids are talking teenage and we need to learn their language if we want to stay connected as we parent them through this confusing time in their lives.
Thankfully, there is a new book to learn how to speak, understand and converse in their teenage language.
Teenage as a Second Language: A Parent’s Guide to Becoming Bilingual by Dr. Barbara A. Greenberg, PhD and Jennifer A. Powell-Lunder, PsyD has the answers that we stepmoms are desperately seeking to understand and keep connected to our teen stepkids.
And my favorite thing about the book is:
A Section for StepFamilies. YES! They recognize that blended families have different challenges. Chapter 6 is devoted to The Evolving Identities of Mothers and Fathers.
Personally, I love the section titled Stepparents: Shaking the Cinderella Complex. “There is no doubt that stepparents play an increasingly important role in the lives of teenagers,” note the authors. Yes, we do and these authors not only acknowledge that but give us tips on how to grow our relationship with our teens.
I can’t tell you how important this is when choosing a book to help with issues regarding stepfamilies. There are a ton of parenting books out there but they are written for the parents – the ones who have that unconditional love from their kids. Stepparents have a different relationship with their stepkids and need advice that recognizes that relationship.
Advice for parents on how to parent their children is going to be different than advice for stepparents on how to parent their stepchildren.
Things I love about this book:
- Informal style and set-up of the book. The book is based on solid experience and real-life research and interactions with teens and their parents yet it doesn’t read like an academic journal. It’s real advice for real parents and stepparents.
- It decodes their non-verbals. Find out how to translate their non-verbals. The book decodes nonverbals as they pertain to certain situations. Door slamming, arms crossed, hanging around you quietly don’t always signal negativity. Truly these sections of the book are worth their weight in gold.
- Try this, Rather than this sections. The authors provide comparisons of how to handle different and difficult situations with teens.
- What They See vs. What You See sections offers valuable insight. The authors explain the same situation as seen through your teens’ eyes and as seen through the parents’ lens.
- Positive and encouraging. Love that this book is positive in nature. When reading it you feel empowered, hopeful and you’ll have many AhHa moments! Reading this book will make you recognize all the things that you are doing right.
- How to ask questions and get answers. The authors explain how asking questions the “right” way makes all the difference. They teach you how to have conversations with your teen where you are both sharing and your kid doesn’t feel like they are playing “20 questions.”
- Self-standing chapters. Easy to read cover to cover and also great for a handy resource.
As I read the book, I kept saying Yes! Yes! and underlining like crazy. This book is the kind you want to dip in highlighter because you want to remember everything. If I thought it would work, I would sleep with this book under my pillow so that the authors’ wisdom and tips would become cemented in my brain.
Teenage As A Second Language is the Rosetta Stone for the language of Teenager.
This book gets it and you should get this book. Seriously. In my commitment to bring you the best resources, I would be remiss if I didn’t share this tool with you. You won’t find it in the StepParenting Section of the Book Store but it includes wise wisdom for parenting and stepparenting your tweens and teens.
The book has taken the parenting section of publishing by storm. TSL went on the parenting Best Seller List in the UK after only 2 weeks and was #8 in Parenting Teens in Canada. You can buy it at any major bookseller or order it online
Teenage as a Second Language retails for $14.95. The online price is below $10.00. A small investment that yields a big pay-off.
Also, make sure to check out the author’s website: TalkingTeenage