I am trying to navigate through the teen and tween years right now with my oldest kids, and I admit I’m running into issues I really didn’t realize we’d be facing so soon. My latest review has been a book called No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope by Hal and Melanie Young, presented by Great Waters Press.
The authors of this book are the same one who wrote the book Raising Real Men, so if you have read that, expect the same type of friendly, relatable advice and information about your tweens! The back of the book mentions that the ages it is targeting would be 8-14, when children of both genders are beginning to start on the path of becoming older and more mature. This doesn’t just mean physical changes, either! This book tackles what to look out for as far as physical changes, but also goes in depth about mental and spiritual changes.
No Longer Little is about 200 pages. I received a soft cover copy of it. The chapters are:
- 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
There are also references, Scripture references, and a really handy index so you can find exactly what you’re looking for quickly.
I love that the book has a Christian perspective. I like the chapter on spiritual questioning. It brought up some things I hadn’t considered, especially regarding kids who maybe don’t vocalize these thoughts as much. It was saying that just because they haven’t discussed it doesn’t mean they haven’t been thinking about it. That’s a good point, and certainly something I need to consider with at least one of my current kids in this age group, because that particular child doesn’t usually open up to me about issues anyway and is fairly laid back most of the time. I need to try hard to facilitate the conversations that we will definitely need to be having.
Another thing the authors pointed out was that kids in these years of puberty are being hit with hormones 50 times higher than normal levels. It really is no wonder that they act the way they do and feel the way they do. Mood swings, being embarrassed by small things, bullying, social anxiety, and foolishness are par for the course. I’m gleaning some good ideas and advice from the book to help handle it and guide my children to become more confident and respectable young adults.
I love that they tell parents to set higher expectations for their kids. After a few chapters discussing the influence and effects of social media, print and digital media, and gaming, the authors gave some good tips on how to work through problems with some “Rules of Engagement”, such as No Name Calling and Follow Matthew 18. I’m going to implement some of the techniques and tips given in the book for dealing with my tweens.
Overall, the book is a mix of really good insight into how tween boys and girls are developing and changing, as well as actionable steps to strengthen the reader’s family unit. This goes beyond just voices cracking and girls getting some curves. It goes so much deeper than that. No Longer Little talks about their emotional wellbeing, their social challenges, how many kids this age think and respond to things, how to help them adjust within society, how to guide children to becoming adults, and more. It is conversational in tone and an easy read. I’ve been reading it while my kids play in the pool, and it always leaves me feeling refreshed and that I am truly not alone in the struggles I face with my kids each day.
I’ve also enjoyed reading and thinking back about my own past. So much of what the authors have said are giving me little aha moments, because it explains so much of my awkward tween years! I like their perspective and their positive, Biblical spin on handling this delicate stage of life.
To see what other families thought of the book No Longer Little: Parenting Tweens with Grace and Hope or the other book the Crew reviewed from Great Waters Press called Love, Honor, and Virtue: Gaining or Regaining a Biblical Attitude Toward Sexuality, click the banner below.