Critical Connection

A Practical Guide to Parenting Young Teens

Non-Fiction - Parenting
236 Pages
Reviewed on 03/02/2014
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Andy Kerckhoff is a teacher and the author of the blog Growing Up Well. He has served in various educational roles for twenty-five years in Texas, Montana, and Missouri. He has been an elementary school principal, high school teacher, middle school teacher, camp counselor, and coach.

He and his wife live in St. Louis, MO with their two teenage children. His first book, Critical Connection, is his guidebook for parenting young teens through middle school. It is written for parents who are struggling to have a meaningful, satisfying relationship with their rapidly-changing children.

Critical Connection is an Amazon Bestseller. The Kindle version was the #1 Hot New Release in the Parenting category (11-30-13) and was the #1 Bestselling free e-book in the Parenting category (12-14-13).

    Book Review

Reviewed by Valerie Rouse for Readers' Favorite

Critical Connection - A Practical Guide to Parenting Young Teens is a practical handbook designed to educate parents about good parenting. It is filled with examples of guidelines for daily living that are useful for navigating this confusing period in the lives of most teenagers. As a result of the onset of technology, mobile phones, video games and media on the whole seem to be taking over the lives of youngsters nowadays. Mr. Kerckhoff has suggested that parents must take a more active, supervisory role in their children’s lives and prevent a sedentary lifestyle from creeping in. Addiction to social gadgets can be preempted by creating a balanced lifestyle. For example, parents can encourage teens to go outdoors more often – involve them in activities like swimming, hiking or basketball. Their social, mental and psychological health must be maintained. In total, Mr. Kerckhoff revealed that parents should encourage their kids in all their endeavors. Teach them long-term skills like saving money and doing chores to prepare them for adulthood.

Mr. Kerckhoff’s work is an essential handbook for today’s world. I appreciate the fact that he divided it into two distinct components –connections and guidance. This is so important because as parents we sometimes believe that our children will heed our instructions without us forming that emotional bond with them. This connection is vital if we are trying to impart knowledge and useful tips to our children to help them navigate the storms of life unscathed. Mr. Kerckhoff has skillfully devoted chapters to basic areas of life like the importance of athletics, work ethic and so on. I also like his inclusion of certain Bible verses to elucidate his points. He uses simple language which most readers can understand. In addition, his down to earth approach makes Critical Connection – A Practical Guide to Parenting Young Teens an enjoyable and informative read for both parents and teenagers. It will surely educate those parents who are overwhelmed by the rapid mood swings and behavior that their teenagers exhibit.