Please enjoy this book review, written and posted on Amazon yesterday.
Book About Raising Christian Teens (reviewed by a NON-Christian reviewer) [her words]
Posted on February 27, 2013 by Linda Thorlakson
Who is the Intended Audience for How Not to Lose your Teen: Raising Kids who Love God and You Too?
As you may have already guessed from the title, author Susan Cottrell’s intended audience is both Christian and actively engaged in raising kids. What may have eluded you, however, is that these Christians need not subscribe to any particular belief or aspiration beyond a belief in Jesus (as a role model) and the aspiration to form a relationship with God through him. These child-rearers need not even be raising teens. They could be raising kids of ANY age.
What Does Cottrell Offer her Readers?
Cottrell’s advice is as universally applicable as it is child/circumstance specific. The only consistent rules consist of: looking toward Jesus as a behavioral role model, looking to God for guidance, trusting your heart, and teaching the kids in your life (through your example) to do the same.
Why Would a NON-Christian Recommend a Book Tailored to Meet Needs of Christians?
As neither a Christian nor parent of a teen, I hadn’t expected Cottrell’s book to offer me anything worthy of my recommendation that others might benefit from reading it. I was wrong. Although Cottrell didn’t convert me to Christianity (not her intent), she DID persuade me to let go of my black and white illusions about child-rearing. She converted me to the wisdom of being open to all the glorious colors and shades of the entire array of potential parental responses to any particular child within any particular set of circumstances.
What Makes Cottrell’s Advice so Irresistible?
From the first page, readers are swept into a world which is as familiar as it is frightening. Fueled by vivid metaphors and anecdotes, Cottrell takes readers on an adventurous journey through the joys, frustrations, hopes, and worst-case fears of parenthood. Along the way, she establishes an intimate relationship with her audience by sharing her insecurities, doubts, and failures. She’s as eager to learn from her own faults and mistakes as she is to confess them to others (so that they TOO can learn from them).
The journey from here to there is plagued by enough wrong-turns, missed landmarks, and dead-ends to convince even the most discouraged of parents that it IS possible to go off course time and again without destroying the sacred bond between that compass residing within their hearts and the best interests of their children.
To Whom Would I NOT Recommend This Book?
I would NOT recommend this book to you if you’re not currently: raising children, looking to Jesus as both a role model and mentor for deepening your relationship with God, and eager to be the best parent you can possibly be (while convinced that your best is nowhere near good enough). In other words, I would NOT recommend this book to me. Although I AM convinced that my best isn’t good enough, I don’t meet the rest of the criteria. If, however, you meet all the criteria, I can’t think of a single reason not to recommend this book to you.