Cool-Headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens and Teens

Book Review: Getting to Calm

Getting to Calm Book Review
© Parent Map

Full Title: Getting to Calm: Cool-Headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens + Teens

Authors: Laura S Kastner Ph.D. and Jennifer Wyatt
Publisher: Parent Map, 2009
Paperback: 304 pages

The Bottom Line

I have been looking for a book like this one for the last fifteen years or so, since I read the first article about the adolescent brain and how it really works. I can tell you, that this book was worth the wait.

It will show you how to stay connected with your teen while maintaining the discipline they need to traverse this tricky world. But, most of all, this book will help you see what the life-stage of adolescence is all about, for real. And, it will keep you from going into shock when you first meet the teen that has taken over your sweet child's body.

Gives the Most Up-to-Date Research on Teen Thinking

Back when we were teens, it was impossible to study a teen brain while the teenager lived. With the advancement of technology, this is no longer the case. So the old argument that a teenager can think the same way as an adult because they have the same size brain, they just lack experiences, has been found to no longer be valid. While their brains may be the same size, they aren't as dense and certain areas shut down to grow through the adolescent years. In other words, there is still a lot of physical work going on in a teenager's head!

Authors Laura S Kastner Ph.D. and Jennifer Wyatt use the this research to explain to parents why teens do what they do and to create successful strategies in raising teens in this book.

All this said, they do not write as if your teenagers are a science experiment. Their well thought out ideas are written in a tone that relays empathy and a 'been-there, done-that' knowhow to parents.

Their sensible advice is given with not only your teen's actions in mind, but with a nod to how these actions can make parents feel and react. For instance, when your teen is with friends and talks to you using rude remarks or clipped tones that are disrespectful, it isn't right. And to top it off, it will make you feel hurt and you'll wonder where your sweet kid went. Getting to Calm will not only advise parents to take a deep breath and deal with the rude behavior later instead of blowing up in front of their friends and causing a lot of embarrassment all the way around, but it will discuss the whys of your teen's rude behavior without making you feel like you should let your teen get away with the disrespect.

Written with Today's Busy Parent in Mind

Today's busy parent simply does not have the time to spend memorizing a bunch of different parenting strategies in order to be prepared for when their teen springs something on them. It is simply not feasible for any parent to even try. That's where the organization of this parenting book comes in!

The book itself is organized to be an interesting read and is not bogged down by too much information too fast or the 'blah-blah-blah' you get when you read more intellectual topics. In this book, you get factual information followed quickly by real life examples you will relate to. But the great thing about the book is its staying power - you'll want to put this where you can reach it at any time and easily look up what you need to know, when you need to know it.

Addresses Hot Button Issues

Is your teen treating you rudely? Having problems with your teen's choices in friends? Or are you just tired of trying to get your teen to get better grades? These issues and more are specifically address in Getting to Calm in a way that gives parents actionable advice that can help you right away.

While not every issue can be addressed using every situation since our families are all unique, the reasoning behind each issue is explained in a way that parents will learn how to understand why their teen is acting out the way they are and be able to address it. The book shows parents how to look at the big picture and find the areas they need to address with their teen as opposed to giving one answer and expecting it to be the right one for all families. It encourages you to talk to your teen like a parent, not a friend, but with the caring you've always shown your child.

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