A full review of the book Have a New Teenager by Friday by Kevin Leman. Find out the topics and if the book is worth reading or not.
Have a New Teenager by Friday, written by Kevin Leman, is a book all about parenting teenagers. I always enjoy Kevin Leman’s books because he is practical and logical in the advice he gives.
As in anything you read that gives you advice as a parent, there will be things you love and things you don’t necessarily agree with. That makes sense because we are all different people parenting in different circumstances.
But there is a lot of great advice in the book you will love and it is definitely a book worth your time to read.
Key Points in Have a New Teenager By Friday
This book is all about how you can be a great parent to a teenager. Leman really focuses on how you respond to situations. This is really encouraging because it puts so much of the power in the hands of the parents.
One of the first things Leman talks about is parenting styles. Leman states that the best parenting style is the authoritative style, which I completely agree with and have written all about here: How To Be an Authoritative Parent.
Leman reminds us that as parents, we have built in authority. We are in charge because we are the parents.
He also talks about how we need to keep a mindset of “How can I prepare my teen to live on my own.” I love this.
I hope you have been thinking about this from the beginning of parenting, and not just from the beginning of teen years, but better the beginning of teen years than at graduation.
This is one reason I am so big on chores and keeping your child accountable for chores. Speaking of chores, Leman reminds us that our home is not a hotel and kids need chores.
This is also why I am careful about how and when I bail my kids out. It isn’t always a popular topic to talk about letting kids fail some when they are kids. You want to balance teaching about life with grace.
But as Parenting With Love and Logic talks about often, it is better for your kids to learn the lessons while they are young than as adults. The stakes are low when they are young.
I have a good friend who says, “We are raising adults.” I love this. Remember to prep your kids, especially your teens, for adulthood.
Let them fight their own battles. Listen to their concerns, but let them take ownership of their own lives.
Leman advises to let natural consequences teach as often as possible, which you know I love!
Gain Cooperation from Your Teen
In the teen years, you want to gain cooperation from your teenager. You do this by:
- standing up TO teen
- standing up FOR teen
- holding teen accountable
Your teen cares about what you think, and what you don’t say is as important as what you do say.
Leman points out that whenever you talk to your teen, you are either opening the door for future communication or you are shutting it down. Be mindful of how your communication is coming across.
Teens, like all people, need to feel like their ideas are respected. Don’t shut down their ideas.
Only offer suggestions when they ask for suggestions.
Be sure to pay attention to body language to get a read on how your teen is doing. Ask your kids if they want to talk, but don’t force it.
Do not take things personally. This is advice I give in the toddler years and it is applicable in the teen years, also. Teens and toddlers really have so much in common.
Be the parent. Don’t react and let it go.
Sometimes your job as a parent is to love the unlovable.
It is harder to not take things personally with a teen than it was with a toddler. Your teen pretty much looks like a mini adult and just might be taller than you are.
It is hard to remember their brains are not developed yet and hard to keep your cool when they do or say dumb things. They just will sometimes.
Be Your Teens Advocate
Encourage who your teens is, not what he does. Treat kids they way you want them to behave. They will rise up.
Teens need to feel like they belong and have a place where they fit. Make sure you provide that at home.
Be your teens’ partner when things get hard. It is important that you also have fun together.
Dealing with Anger
You need to talk things out when either of you are upset. It is important to talk about topics so they do not build up and have an explosion some day.
You need to let your teen talk about what is bothering him without interrupting or judging his statements. What he states is his reality.
Remember that feelings aren’t right or wrong.
When you mess up, apologize.
Remember that it takes two to argue, so if you are fighting a lot, you are to blame, also.
Leman encourages keeping things light. He also recommends to let certain things to (like eye-rolling).
Even More Topics
These are just a few of the topics he covers. Others I found interesting include:
- Siblings fighting
- Curfews (I am actually not sure I agree with him on this topic)
- Driving and using the car rules
- Investing money
- Cell phones and texting
- Hair and hygiene
This is a great book that is a fast read. You will really find it valuable for getting yourself in a good headspace for parenting your teen. It will help you know what battles are vital to fight and what might be worth letting go.