Wednesday, July 25, 2018

No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope

Today's review is of the newest book from Great Waters Press called No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope.

Yesterday I shared my review of Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality It was written to young men ages 12-20 to help them in their journey to become men and husbands that are full of character and purity. It's a quick, but powerful, read and definitely one you should check out, especially if you have a child in that category. While that book is for puberty and beyond, No Longer Little is geared toward the younger crowd in the stage just before that one. Tweens.

Tweens are the ones ages 8-14. They're not exactly kids anymore, but they're not quite teens yet either. This in between stage can be difficult as boys and girls are transitioning to adulthood. They are finding themselves, testing boundaries, and experiencing an emotional rollercoaster.

Hal and Melanie Young, award-winning authors of Raising Real Men, wrote No Longer Little to help parents as they guide their children through this transition. As parents of 8, they have been through this stage many times. Their wisdom and practical applications pour through their writing. With the Bible as their foundation and real-life stories woven throughout, their newest offering is a valuable resource.   

The book starts with an introduction to the parents. Not only do they explain the crucial importance of protecting your relationship with your preteens, but they also are transparent in struggles they faced in their own home. But my favorite part of this section? They give hope! No matter the turmoils the child is going through at this time, there are ways to help them through unscathed. 

The book is divided into the following chapters:
  1. Getting Bigger -- hormones and body changes
  2. The Rollercoaster -- emotional upheaval
  3. Brains Turn To Mush -- why school goes awry
  4. Many A Conflict, Many A Doubt -- spiritual questioning
  5. The Awakening -- sexuality and virtue
  6. Social Struggles -- overcoming awkwardness
  7. Media, Gaming, and Discernment -- more than amusement
  8. Conflict At Home -- family relationships
  9. Transitioning -- youth in the Bible
  10. Celebrating Growth -- coming of age ceremonies
  11. Producers, Not Consumers -- work and stewardship
  12. The Next Big Thing -- high school and beyond

The first chapter sets the groundwork of explaining the emotional changes that are taking place long before puberty begins. It is filled with facts about growth spurts, acne, anatomy, weight gain, body odor, and sex education. These kids are experiencing a lot of changes, both physically and emotionally. 

The rest of the book tackles various frustrations a parent is likely to observe while raising a tween: lack of focus, forgetfulness, trouble in school, lack of self-confidence, doubt, social anxiety, avoidance, bullying, emotional instability, outbursts, argumentativeness, and foolish antics. Along with that comes an abundance of practical advice such as how to set screen time boundaries in a tech-dependent world, ways to build the relationships in the home, how to resolve conflicts by "fighting fair,"disciplining in love, the process of establishing a vision for the future, reminders to celebrate growth both physically and spiritually, the significance of teaching a strong work ethic and how to handle money, a challenge to embrace opportunities, and so much more.

No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope is 200 pages or so of much-needed wisdom. Hal and Melanie write with a casual, charming style. They are personal and transparent and aren't afraid to let you see a peek into their lives. Reading their book has the feeling of sitting on the couch with respected mentors. They tell you how it is, giving gentle rebuke and encouragement as necessary. I have 3 children who are currently in this age range and showing various signs of the tweenager characteristics. I found myself nodding in agreement and stopping to read portions of the book to my husband.

I have found so many helpful ideas in this book and know that I will reference this for years to come. This would be a valuable resource for anyone in the process of raising a preteen.

You can connect with Hal and Melanie Young through Raising Real Men and Great Waters Press on the following social media sites:

You can read more reviews of Hal and Melanie's books on the Homeschool Review Crew blog.

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