toughLove by Lisa Stiepock, Amy Iorio, Lori Gottlieb

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.

This entry was posted in ARC, Book Reviews, home schooling, non fiction. Bookmark the permalink.

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