Book Review: A Survival Guide to Parenting Teens by Joani Geltman, MSW

A Survival Guide to Parenting Teens cover imageIf you are like most parents, talking to your teens about touchy subjects liked sexting, drinking, drugs and other risky behaviors ranks even lower on your list of things to do than getting a root canal. You know it’s going to be awkward, you’re not sure what to say, and you know your child wants to have the conversation even less than you do.

Joani Geltman, MSW, knows what you’re going through. A parent, Geltman also has four decades of experience working with young people, including as a psychology professor, a school counselor and social worker, a family therapist, and a parenting coach. Her book, A Survival Guide to Parenting Teens: Talking to Your Kids About Sexting, Drinking, Drugs, and Other Things That Freak You Out, could be just the thing you need to overcome your reluctance and have the conversations with your kids about important issues.

If you’re not facing a particular issue with your teens, you can read the book from front to back and cover all the topics Geltman brings up. If you have a specific issue, it’s easy to find and get her advice. The book is divided into 10 parts with 80 sections of advice and not all of the sections will make you want to lock your kids in their rooms and throw away the key. Some of them contain general life advice, like teaching money management, helping your teen with remembering things, and looking at your parenting style. Others, like the sections on sexting, social media posts, and teenage alcohol and drug use, can be eye opening.

For each issue, Geltman explains the problem, explains why it’s a problem, and offers a solution. Certainly, not every solution will resonate for you and your family. But overall, Geltman’s advice will arm you with knowledge and tools that you can use to better understand and parent your teen. I highly recommend it.

The publisher provided me with a digital copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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