If you have a teenager and are looking for help to get through this tricky stage of parenthood, best-selling author Shantelle Bisson just released a book for you.
Parenting Your Teen Without Losing Your Cool is the Canadian author’s latest how-to parenting book, filled with what she calls “no-nonsense nuggets of wisdom” to help parents raise “good and kind citizens of the world, all while staying sane and keeping their cool.”
What’s in the Book?
“Readers will find all the hot button teen topics,” Bisson tells Parentology. “From sex, consent, mental illness, gender identity and of course, the old classics, drugs and alcohol. But new to this generation, I cover topics like Cat Fishing, Sugar Babies, and online predators.”
Bisson draws from her personal experiences as a mom and says that she chose to address all of those sensitive topics that she never talked about with other moms. “…For some reason we were too embarrassed to discuss and get support on [them],” she explains.
The book delves into eating disorders, for example, which Bisson says was the most challenging topic for her to write about because she had one. “Doing research for this section made it painfully obvious that I haven’t completely healed this within myself, and I was surprised to find that I am still triggered by this topic.”
It’s Okay to Lose Your Cool, Sometimes
Through her new book, Bisson wants parents to understand that losing their cool isn’t the worst thing that happens when interacting with their teen. “It’s more detrimental to your relationship to not own your failures when you blow it with them,” she says. “Because, let’s be honest, we all stumble, fall and mess up. It’s when we own those truths that makes all the difference in the health of our relationships with our teens.”
Bisson remembers losing her cool with her three daughters more times than she can count.
“It had a lot to do with being an A-type personality human, who is extremely idealistic and stubborn.” Looking back, she credits her girls—with whom she now has a very close relationship—for helping her develop into an “empathetic, patient, and thoughtful human being.”
Communication Is Key
Bisson says parents should communicate and stay open with their teens. “Often parents find it easy to be cuddly, sweet, and loving to their children, but teens get a bit ‘prickly’ and parents tend to draw away [and] step back from their teen,” she explains. “And I’m all about stepping into your relationship with your teen. Get closer. Communicate more openly and express your love on the regular.”
Bisson also stresses the importance of being quick to say you’re sorry to your teen when you mess up. “Your humility will go a long way in healing your missteps and blunders.”
What If You Don’t Have a Teenager…Yet?
If your kids haven’t hit their teens yet, Bisson suggests laying the groundwork now. She says having conversations about your house rules and setting expectations of behavior and human conduct. “Be clear. Be fair… Always lead with love.”
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