Busy Mom's Guide to Parenting Teens - Book Review

A canoe trip down a mountain river – that’s how Paul C. Reisser describes parenting teenagers.  The scenery is constantly changing and is always interesting, but sometimes you go through choppy waters, roaring rapids, and around the next bend may be a waterfall. It’s our job to keep the family canoe as stable as possible and prevent it from flipping before our teenagers reach the calmer waters of adulthood.  Dr. Reisser of Focus on the Family Physicians Resource Council provides a map with information on how to not just survive but enjoy the journey in his book Busy Mom’s Guide to Teen Parenting.
Using a question and answer format, Dr. Reisser leads the reader through the physical, emotional, and relational transformation from childhood to adulthood.  Chapter 1 addresses the physical changes that occur and reads a bit like a science book. The remaining chapters address issues such as striving for independence, social media, sexuality, tobacco and drug abuse, and tough issues that can derail a teen’s self-concept (bullying, eating disorders, depression, etc.).
In the last chapter, “Preparing to Pass the Baton,” he places the parenting journey into a broad perspective.  As parents, we have been entrusted by God to help mold our teenagers’ character, values, and spirituality while preparing them for such practical matters as choosing a career handling finances, and finding a spouse. It sounds overwhelming, but it is achieved one small step at a time.
This book could have been titled “the Busy Parents’ Guide” instead of targeting moms as the intended readers.  All information was as useful to fathers as to mothers.   Also, if you are looking for specific answers on social media limitation guidelines, the answers are vague, perhaps because every child is different and there is not one black-and-white answer that applies.
This is a basic teen parenting book to start reading if parenting teens is unfamiliar territory.  I would recommend this book especially to parents of pre-teens to prepare for the journey and to begin to have open eyes to the lurking dangers.  As a parent of a teenager that has been journeying through the roaring rapids already and bracing myself for whatever lies around the next bend, this book doesn’t have much to offer except to encourage me to try to enjoy the ride a little more.   
I was provided a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.


  1. With the onslaught of technology I see more families(well-heeled) being sucked into their own individual worlds of their iphones, ipads and MP3s... and it's become a silent family outing.

    If the bridges are not built early between parent and child, they'll never be built.


  2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.