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.

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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.

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

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