Parenting Teenage Girls In The Age of a New Normal 

Reviewed By  Grasshopper2       September 7, 2017


Author  Michelle Mitchell

Distributor:       Booktopia/Amazon 
ISBN:                 9780648084525
Publisher:         Ark House Publishing
Release Date:   September 2017  


Michelle is the Director of Teen Challenge, and has had many years’ experience working with teenage girls and their parents. She understands the challenges faced by Australian teenagers and their families, and has helped many people with her insight and wisdom. The beauty of this book is the direct and simple way the author has put these complex issues and she explains why we need to address the problems sooner rather than later.

 The book is divided into five chapters, with concluding thoughts added. Each chapter is compiled of eight strategies to use for a particular problem. These Chapters cover Disrespect, Social Media, Sexuality, Moods, and Drug and Alcohol. These are certainly the main issues which confront parents today and understanding why and how these issues have arisen gives a base for families to use.

 Michelle begins by explaining that as young teens, our parents were the ones who explained the world to us. It was through their eyes and words that we made sense of society and its rules. Life is SO different now. The ultimate authority is the internet! Any discussion or decision made can be argued and researched by teens wanting to, as always, test authority. That need for a center of the universe to explain life, now belongs to a computer and not to parents. This is such a dramatic change in our family roles that this book really should be read by parents of girls of any age. Preparation for the future is the goal here and it cannot be stressed enough that parenting means time spent together.

 The other thing that the author finds amazing is “How similar all the girls I work with actually are.” This makes it easier to look at the strategies she suggests, and be confident that her approach has worked. It seems that parents have become accepting of new social norms and feel they cannot challenge them as “Everyone else does it!” Michelle advises not to be so accepting of this and to stand your ground. This can be tough when you are unsure, tired, and have no idea what other parents are really thinking. However, on the day to day issues, and for parental sanity, as teenage girls begin to mature, it is important to pull back and not be there for every mistake they may make.  Let them make a few and be there to adjust the boundaries when necessary.

 Fathers who are involved in their daughter’s journey through puberty by selling raffle tickets or watching their sport, or in many other ways, will be irreplaceable in their daughter’s life is one of the many suggestions that will help parents today. The strategies are clear and worth trying. The ten second rule, for example shows that ranting, or nagging is less effective than stating your wish in ten seconds. This means you have to be precise about what it is you want your daughter to do.

 Along with a page dedicated to Snapshots of Reality, the book is set out in such a way that you can open it at an issue that is troubling you. It doesn’t have to be read through to make sense of what the author so insightfully suggests. Every family with a daughter would benefit from this encouraging guide to family business.