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Sunday, November 7, 2010

Closing the Gap Book Review

This book is written for parents and teenagers to read together. For once, you'll be on the same page! Don't despair if your teen (or parent) won't read this book with you. There's lots you can do to improve the relationship on your own.

I love the advice Jay gives to both parents and teens in the introduction
“Teens: If you want something from your parents, you won't get it by rebelling. You will get it as soon as you start talking to your parents and not a minute sooner.

Parents: If you want something from your teen, you won't get it by being a totalitarian dictator. Communication and mutual participation are the key. So turn off the television, unplug the earphones, and start working on forming a bond as a family.”

But just how do you talk to your teenager when he only grunts in reply to your questions? That's what CLOSING the Gap explains. Jay also emphasizes that teenagers need their parents time and active involvement in their lives in order to stay out of trouble and to develop to their full potential.

The book switches back and forth from addressing the parents to addressing the teens. I felt that the book would have flowed better if it were divided into two distinct sections – one for parents and one for teens.

Closing the Gap : A Strategy For Bringing Parents And Teens Together
also dispels common myths that sabotage the relationship between parents and teens. A few of the myths that the book tackles are
“My parents have no idea what it's like to be a teenager.”, 'You can't fix your teen.' and 'My parents control my life.'

Jay also encourages parents to stick with their teenager no matter how much they want to throw in the towel. He shares a formula for reconnecting parents and teens that works equally well for both parties.

He offers parents this great advice “Remember that parenting is not a popularity contest. You are not doing this to get votes for Parent of the Year. Don't give your teen what she wants, give her what she needs.”

The chapters “Discovering Your Needs” and “Tuning into the needs of others” had me wishing that someone had taught me this way back when I was still a teenager. It would have certainly made things a lot easier.”

After reading Closing the Gap the first time from the library, I purchased a copy for myself and my teenage daughter and I would encourage you to do the same.

Your teenager might also enjoy these books: