Tough Guys & Drama Queens - Book Review

My little princess is now a 16-year-old drama queen, and my sweet little boy is trying out his new role as tough guy at the age of 12½ . With the teen years, my confidence in my parenting skills has plummeted down the tubes with no help from this technologically-driven and sex-saturated culture.  Maybe the ways I have been parenting my older teen have not been working.  Mark Gregston showed me that what works well in the early childhood years can backfire in the teen years.  He explains how and why I may want to take a different (yet still biblical) approach in his book Tough Guys and Drama Queens: How Not to Get Blindsided by Your Child’s Teen Years.
As I began reading, my hackles were up and I became defensive.  Who is Mark Gregston, a grandfather, to tell me what will work? But I kept going, and it was worth it.  He truly does have the credentials and experience to assert these biblical ideas that are different than the ways that many of our parents raised us as teens. He has been working with teens for nearly 40 years and has witnessed the cultural impacts on the way teens think.  He provides practical tools and tips to help parents abandon old-school parenting styles that no longer work and replace them with relational methods that engage teens. And he explains why – and why it’s different today than it was even a few years ago.
The most valuable tips that I garnered from Mark Gregston in this book is knowing what to let go of and what to re-focus on with the big picture of what is truly important.  I think this book is designed specifically for the very involved parent or one that wants control in their child’s life. On the other hand, it may not be fitting for a neglectful parent, but I suppose those kind wouldn’t be reading parenting books anyway.
I highly recommend this book to every parent of pre-teens and teens in order to know what is lurking under today’s murky waters of adolescence and to know what to do if you are stuck knee-deep in the muck already (me!). I rank this book among my favorites as a parenting resource.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson Publishing in exchange for my honest review.


  1. I am reading this book right now and liking it so far.

  2. Good! I am really looking forward to hearing your thoughts as a home-schooling mom with a tween.