For Parents Only by Shaunti Feldhahn and Lisa A. Rice

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Stars: ****

Summary: Shaunti Feldhahn is known for unlocking the mysteries of relationships for men and women. Now she turns to a parent’s relationship with a child, particularly a child of the opposite sex. Drawing on the results of a nationwide survey of kids and teenagers, she explores questions such as: What do moms need to understand about the “tough and tender” boy who values respect over love? What do dads need to understand about their daughter’s need for affirmation? What are the six biggest pet peeves teens have about their parents? Understanding the answers to these and other important questions can help parents make the holidays a time of celebration and unity, not strife and friction.

For Parents Only offers a unique look into a child’s mind and frees readers to communicate in healthier ways as they discover that understanding their kids may not be as complicated as they think.

Review: Although my children are far from their teen years, I was interested in this book. I love reading parenting books, I can’t get enough of them. I consider myself a pretty good parent but I’m always looking for new ideas and insight that may make things easier along the way. This will be a good book to refer back to when my kids hit about 12.

This book is written mainly from a Christian perspective but with the exception of the blurb on the back cover about Lisa Rice and the labels in small print about where to file the book it’s not clear until you start reading.

If you’ve read some of my other reviews, you may have noticed that I’m not Christian. However the authors made sure that even non-Christians would enjoy the book and find it helpful. A quote:


“Our findings are nationally representative, but we personally
approach parenting from a Christian worldview. We aim to lead our children
toward choices that will help them reach their full, God-given potential. We
want to help you do the same, and we believe our nationally representative
findings and analysis will be helpful even if you do not share our worldview.” –
p. 10


The information in the book was compiled after lots of studies, questionnaires and focus groups. Statistics are shown and analyzed on a large scale but individual comments are shown too which is nice. I always enjoy books with quotes from real people.

The chapters are titled as follows: Looking In On Growing Up, Rebel with a Cause, Who ARE You?, The Good Thing About Being The Bad Guy, I Will Be Here For You, Can You Hear Me Now?, Attitude Adjustment and In Case You Ever Wonder.

I’m warning you now, the last chapter will probably bring tears to your eyes, if not full blown crying. In it are the results of a single question posed to teens all over: “Now we want you to imagine something very difficult. If you were to somehow find out that your parents are going to die tomorrow, what would you most want to tell them today?”

As I said at the start of this review, my kid’s are still very young so I can’t vouch for the ability of this book to help solve specific problems but as I am still young myself (24) and my teen years weren’t really all that long ago, I can say that I could identify with a lot of what the teens revealed and agree that if my parents had done some of what was suggested in the book, our relationship would have been better. (Not that it wasn’t pretty good!)

Author Bio:
Shaunti Feldhahn is the author of For Women Only and numerous other books, with sales totaling nearly one million copies. A nationally syndicated newspaper columnist and public speaker, Feldhahn earned her master’s degree at Harvard University. She and her husband, Jeff, have two young children. Lisa A. Rice is the associate editor of Christian Living magazine, the mother of two teenage girls, and a screenwriter and producer.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.