Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Hot Buttons, the Bullying & Image editions, by Nicole O'Dell

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 Ms. O'Dell, in this series of books, encourages parents to not only face head on the issues that arise with adolescence, but to intentionally open conversations and resolve the issues that face modern teens and pre-teens before they crop up. She clearly discusses the big, taboo questions from "How do you feel about how you look?" to "Have you ever looked down on someone because of their looks or abilities?".

The first part of the book tells us the importance of pro-active, open communication and why it is important to each of these topics. This section is interlaced with testimonies from the author's life, and real-life responses of teens.

The next section is the work manual, the hands-on guide to communicating clearly, which Nicole calls "pressing the hot buttons."
This section is filled with thought provoking questions and how to answer the answers. One key she always emphisizes, is to never, ever, react to what your teen says, but to act. This shows respect for their opinions and keeps communications open--the result being a teenager who is respectful of what you have to to say and is willing, wanting, waiting (thank you Mr. Doolittle), to communicate with you. If the lines of conversation stay open and clear, you eliminate a lot of the issues caused by frustration. 

These are not easy questions, and a lot of thought and massive amounts of prayer should go along with the recommended exercises.

As for recommendations, these are great books for parents (for whom they were intended) or for teachers, counselors, and youth leaders.

There are several titles in this series: 

Hot Buttons: the 30-Day Challenge
The Bullying Edition
The Dating Edition
The Drug Edition
The Image Edition
The Internet Edition
The Sexuality Edition