Slow Parenting Teens is the newest and best supplemental parenting manual. It creates a win-win scenario for parents and teenagers. Following the guidelines in this manual will help you to raise well-rounded, independent, problem-solvers while you develop a strong enjoyable relationship with your teenagers. The bonus is that it works equally well for step parents as it does for parents.
“Slow parenting is a philosophy and an attitude”, per Woodward and Wingate. I agree, as it’s the same with step coupling. It starts with having the right mindset which is critical to developing the right attitude and good habits.
Prepare for a blow, as it may shake deeply-held beliefs and counter common parenting styles. But don’t judge and dismiss their advice. Keep reading and be open-minded. For example, they debunk the notion of a parent’s main role as keeping your children safe because it is impractical and impossible. Instead, they advise to expend your energy on getting to know your children – to really spend time with them and understand why they make their decisions. Instead of constantly trying to “catch” them in the wrong act so you can “correct” their behavior, catch them doing stuff right and acknowledge it. Instead, manipulation becomes a win-win situation instead of wrought with resentment.
I am guilty too. I’ve subscribed to the philosophy that a parent’s role is to keep their children safe. I know it’s not always realistic, but I still believed parents should strive for it. That’s why I also touted the importance of making children understand that all behavior has consequences, whether good or bad. Hence, they need to plan safety in whatever they do. I repeatedly tell my niece that. Now, I also subscribe to building a relationship as a primary goal. Slow Parenting Teens has changed my perspective on parenting. It also changed the way I approach parenting topics when coaching stepfamilies.
I am of the opinion that the role of parenting is also to raise children to become independent adults so that they can live on their own and have long-term rewarding relationships, with friends and possibly a life partner. The five attitudes espoused by Wingate and Woodward help parents to do just that.
Imagine having a new rewarding relationship with your teen. Really think about what that would look and feel like because you CAN have it. Woodward and Wingate speak from decades of experience. They’ve done everything they’re suggesting and know it works. They give many exercises that make this book into a workbook as well. Their various examples of both slow and fast parenting helps to solidify the meaning of the five attitudes of slow parenting, including high-conflict situations and families of all kinds of configurations.
Slow Parenting Teens is more than a book; it’s a manual. Once you read it, you’ll want to keep it for reference in the future. I love that it works in stepfamilies as well. It is not meant as a replacement for other parenting or step parenting books you have. Nor does it address stepfamily dynamics. But, it complements those resources well. You’ll do yourself and your teenagers a big favor by buying this book and following the advice of Molly Wingate and Marti Woodward.
Judy Graybill, Certified Stepfamily Coach
Early on, Slow Parenting Teens contains an assessment to give you a baseline measurement of your parenting style. Look in the mirror. Take it honestly.
It follows up with this bombshell: To connect with your teen, you must recognize and manage your OWN feelings and fears (for yourself and your teen)…not try to control your teen’s behavior.
This book goes on to show you how to shift from reacting from a place of trying to keep your teens safe to responding as you steward your teens toward their potential…which will increase the likelihood of both safety and a positive long-term relationship.
It’s my belief that a discussion of stewarding your teen is not complete without a discussion of clarifying and parenting from your values. I would predict that some of the examples used in the book may contradict some parents’ value systems. Despite this caveat, this book still earns 5 stars for the way it challenges and empowers parents to move beyond parenting from their fears to parenting from authentic connection with their teens.
One of the 5-star nuggets of wisdom for me: Whenever possible, stay out of the way of and allow the natural consequences of a teen’s decisions. These will teach the most valuable lessons.
Sadly, many things we do as parents – even those that are well intentioned – are done at a cost to our relationship with our children. Little by little, we sacrifice our relationship for authority and a false sense of control. This book will make you think and provide you with tools to nurture your relationship with those entrusted to your care and who you love the most.
Mollie Marti, JD, PhD
Mom of 3 teens and Author of “Walking with Justice”
The brilliant concepts of Slow Parenting Teens taught me how to create the relationship with my 18 year-old daughter that I have always wished for.I am excited to use the ideas I’ve learned to help my clients build genuine relationships with their children.
Thanks Marti and Molly for the gift of learning how to embrace my daughter’s personality!
Suzanne Simon, Child Therapist
If we let it, this book will revolutionize parenting. As a mental health therapist I have been waiting for a book to come along that is truly respectful of teens instead of treating them like aliens. Not only will this book improve your relationship with your teens, I believe it will also make them much more functional and confident adults capable of making good decisions. Thank you for writing such a groundbreaking book!
Fred Dearborn, LPC
As the CEO of Envision Possibilities and the mom of twins I was delighted to read this book now before entering the teen years. The authors have put together a masterpiece that truly teaches you as a parent not to fear the teen years. I especially enjoyed the chapter on how listening is effective, because I work with busy moms who want to take their life back I will use this as a resource for those moms who have teenagers to help them navigate the parenting waters.
Dixie Andrade, The Mom Coach
I came across this book totally by chance, I wish I had found it sooner. Wingate and Woodward offer five attitudes for creating enlivening, trusting and safe relationships with our children. Each chapter ends with numerous suggestions for improving our relationships through the gradual adoption of each attitude.
Our world needs more parents (people) who are not afraid to be vulnerable and kindly firm. As one who’s used Dialogue Education (Dr. Jane Vella, Global Learning Partners) in my work for many years, I found these authors to be kindred spirits focused on familiar principles and practices. I highly recommend this book to anyone who’d like to have a better relationship with teens (or adults for that matter)! Not surprisingly, Slow Parenting Teens is also recommended by teens.
This parenting model is very useful and easy to understand. I agree with everything about it.
Brian Martin, school counselor, Salt Lake City, UT