Wednesday, July 25, 2018

No Longer Little Book REVIEW

No Longer Little by Hal and Melanie Young
Working through the tween (preteen) years has been rough to say the least.  When my sweet, innocent son began to mature into his tweens I wondered what had happened to him.  Now at age 14, we are still going through some rough waters.  When I had the chance to review No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope from Great Waters Press I jumped at it.  I really could have used this book several years back in our homeschooling, but it is still relevant for me today too.  I received a softcover copy of this 200-page book.

This book was a breath of fresh air for me as it really did explain more of what I had experienced with my preteen.  It even addresses some of the challenges that we are still going through to this day.  They talk about the whys and physically and emotionally why our kids tend to behave the way they do.  Neurologists confirm that during early adolescence their brains really do turn to mush as neurons in their brains are reassembling (p. 31)!  I, of course, really appreciate that this comes from a Christian perspective and includes biblical examples and scripture.  It is a quick, simple read with lots of information. I did a LOT of highlighting and will be referring back to many pages again in the future.

There 12 chapters that include:
  • Getting Bigger: Hormones and Body Changes
  • The Rollercoaster: Emotional Upheaval
  • Brains Turn to Mush: Why School Goes Awry
  • Many A Conflict, Many A Doubt: Spiritual Questioning
  • The Awakening: Sexuality and Virtue
  • Social Struggles: Overcoming Awkwardness
  • Media, Gaming, and Discernment: More Than Amusement
  • Conflict At Home: Family Relationships
  • Transitioning: Youth in the Bible
  • Celebrating Growth: Coming of Age Ceremonies
  • Producers, Not Consumers: Work and Stewardship
  • The Next Big Thing: High School and Beyond

I love how Hal and Melanie (the authors) take the time to walk you through the why, but also open up and plant hope in you that you WILL get through this!  Their stories and anecdotes are so helpful throughout the book.  I was able to “live out” much of what they talked about since my husband and I have dealt with much of what they spoke about with our now 14-year-old son.  They address changes in both boys and girls and what to expect at different stages of their lives as they grow into adulthood.

If you have an 8-year-old boy or girl it is NOT too early to get this book.  It is recommended for parents of boys and girls aged 8-14.  Get it now so you can be better prepared for the possible challenges in the future.  I love how they stress to be sure to keep your child’s heart.  Along with radical discipline, our children also need radical love and nurturing.  We need our kids to be able to trust us and feel like they can come to us with any and all questions and problems.  Hal and Melanie continue to foster an atmosphere of family and trust throughout the entire book.

In Getting Bigger the authors warn you about what to expect as your sons and daughters are maturing. They briefly discuss physical and emotional changes occurring.  They warn you to be wise and not partake of the “roller coaster ride” of emotions that your tweens will be going through. They remind us of the enemy who would love to destroy our relationships with our children.  Remember who the enemy is.  It is NOT your child (even though it feels like it!!). I honestly found their explanations very helpful and realized that I really do have a hard time at times to disassociate my child’s behaviors with just a stage and not some personal attack he is avenging on me.

The chapters are pretty self-explanatory but there is a lot of meat in these pages.  The chapter on Spiritual Questioning was very informative and helps to open your eyes to see how the enemy works in our kids from a young age to try to draw them away from the truth.  The more seeds of doubt planted the easier it is to lure them away when they are at the vulnerable stage of being a teenager when reality often seems upside down to them.  As with each chapter in this book, Hal and Melanie give you practical examples of how you can work on this.  If we don’t plant the Word into their hearts and work on apologetics with them (Why do they believe what they do?  What is truth? Who says the Bible is real?) then the enemy has a head start in convincing them what his truth is.  We need our kids to “own” their faith for it to stick for them.  Not just because mom and dad said so or because they believe.

Another chapter that hit home for us was the one on media and gaming.  I have warned my son of the dangers of all of this and how easy it is for predators to get to him.  At one point he had been playing a game on his Nintendo DS where he was “chatting” with someone in the game and he shared some of the conversation with me one day and I was shocked that he was able to do this.  I thought I had turned that feature off on our net nanny and immediately remedied the situation and had another good long talk with him as to why he has no idea who this person is or what their true agenda might be.

From preparing you for potential upcoming conflict to explaining why your child does what they do at the different stages they go through while becoming an adult, I can’t say enough good about No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope.  Hal and Melanie walk you through the stages and give practical examples and solutions for what you might be facing.  This, of course, is not an all-encompassing book that covers EVERYTHING, but it sure does help to calm your worries and gives you a sense that you will get through it!

Raising Real Men

Please take the time to check out the other reviews on this book by clicking on the graphic below.  Be sure to also check out my review on their other book, Love, Honor, and Virtue which is written for tween (preteen) boys age 12 to 20 or more.  WARNING: it contains some very explicit mature content that you would want to review first before letting your younger ones read it without you.

Love, Honor, and Virtue  AND No Longer Little {Great Waters Press Reviews}
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