Titling this toughLove is kind of a misnomer – what we have is a collection of essays on various subjects by experts (who are also parents) in the field and not a book just for troubled kids. Yes, it does often address the issue overparenting several times and how entitled American kids have become. But really, this is a primer on parenting all age kids in 2014. I found quite a few of the essays to be extremely relevant but also appreciated the width and breadth of the topics covered. At 10-20 pages each, this is easily digestible information with a common theme of participative parenting with open lines of communication.
The book is broken down into two parts: What is toughlove and putting everything into action. Essays in the first section range from parenting styles, family values, empathy, routines, setting limits, materialism, to engaging kids/family time. Topics in part two include: the new millennium teen, mealtime, managing academics, raising athletes, tv/movies/media influence, technology and digital citizens, sex ed, divorce, and the community.
Each essay writer has a very distinct voice and all provide examples of conditions they have encountered in their practices or in their own homes. I found the sex ed essay especially well written but had less interest in mealtime and the village/community. But all essays felt very up-to-date, friendly, and definitely not like a government pamphlet. The right tone, voice, and information make this a very useful, enlightening, and especially important resource for parents. Because the essays are topic specific, it makes it easy to go back and reference them when a parent encounters trouble in that area.
Even if I didn’t find every essay useful (e.g., no divorce in my family so I skipped that chapter), there was still a lot of really great parenting tips in there. An underlying theme of communication and finding a balance were the keys to most. I also really appreciated that there were so many real world types of examples and then tips at the end of the chapters/essays for easy reference.
In all, a very good collection and well worth the time and investment to help be the best parents possible.
Reviewed from an ARC.