No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope is written by Hal and Melanie Young whom you may know from Raising Real Men and a homeschooling family of 6 boys and 2 girls so they have travelled down this road of preteen and teen many a time. Their book has 12 FULL chapters covering everything from hormones and body changes to questioning of spiritual and Scriptural things to building strong family relationships and working through conflicts both in and out of the home.
No Longer Little was written to and for parents of children aged 8 through 14, the formidable "in between" age - older than young kids, but not yet an adult or older teen. Having all three of my children fall into this age bracket I knew that THIS was a book I NEEDED to read! One of the most important things I have received from reading this book is all the encouragement. It's like they were peeking in on the last situation that arose and said "Hey, think about this!" Their tips and strategies of how to deal with each issue were right on point ... like every single one!
One of the chapters that has really stuck out to me was chapter 8 - Conflict at Home. It resonated with me that this is the major area we need to work on. This is our season. One minute we are all fine and working together and the next there's haphazard screeching and whining, or what seems as complete and utter disrespect that might really just be a part of their physical and emotional changes that they have no control over. That once sweet and obedient child has turned into an unknown disrespectful alien and for us parents it's a whole new crazy world!
Another chapter I really took to heart was chapter 10 - Celebrating Growth. I have thought for a long time that when my children reached the age of 16 that we would do something really special ... maybe a one on one BIG trip (for my eldest who is in love with Paris we've been thinking this may be something for her) and use the time with parents and only one child to have some serious discussions and welcome them into 'adulthood'. But in the book they use it as a time to do a huge celebration like the bar mitzvah and inviting many friends and family, having presenters, celebrating this transition time as what it is ... a move to adulthood where you put away 'childish things'. Instead of calling it a Bar or Bat Mitzvah you would call it a Bar or Bat Charon for grace - doesn't that sound wonderful. A HUGE celebration as we usher them from child to young adult.
One of the earlier chapters, chapter 3, is called Brains Turn to Mush. How many of you have a tween like this! I was actually surprised when they were giving an example of their own son and when he turned 9. The many examples in the next few pages felt like they had been in our home over the last few months since my own son had turned 9 and had essentially become a walking mush person. Not only did this chapter show the bad and the ugly, but gave ways to come around your child, support them, and work through this tumultuous time in their lives. Most of them are not doing it on purpose to hurt you, but just do not know how to meander through all the emotional, spiritual, and physical changes.
This book has been one that I know I will be recommending to many others. It starts out with telling you the parent what to look for, what to expect is coming, and how to deal with all that is coming your way. The last half of the book is to help you protect your tween/teen as they deal with life stresses - relationships, jobs, social media, high school and beyond.
One of my favorite things about this book is the honesty from which it is written and the snapshots from their own lives. Also they weave Scripture in both during the explanations in the beginning all the way up to the celebration chapter toward the end of the book. Exactly how I want to parent my preteens - with Scripture, grace and a sense of hope that this too is only a season.
If you are a parent, this is a must read! I know I will be re-reading it and encouraging my husband to read it as well.
And be sure to check out the other Crew reviews. No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope was only one of the books we received to review. The other one called Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality is geared to parents of boys between the ages of 12 and 20. I will be looking at the book in the near future. You can find Great Waters Press on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter. You can also connect with Hal and Melanie on Facebook as well and check out their resources on their website.