Saturday, October 20, 2012

Book Review: Hot Buttons Issues

Kregel Live Webcast eventFor the past couple of weeks, I've had the chance to review Hot Button Issues by Nicole O'Dell.  This is a series of four books dealing with "hot" issues teens face today, and help for parents in knowing how to talk to their teens, hopefully before they face these issues.

I had no idea what to expect.  These are cute little books, about 5" square and in the 160-170 page range.  So that part is totally non-intimidating.

The subjects addressed sure can be though.

From the publisher:
Nicole O'Dell helps address the Hot Buttons in teens' lives before the issues become problems

From dating to drugs, modesty to purity, morals to popularity, teens face all sorts of tough issues. How teens respond to these hot-button issues can have lasting effects on who they want to be and who they actually become. What if parents can help their teens prepare for these hot buttons-before the issues become a problem?

The uniquely packaged Hot Buttons Series is an accessible, quick-reference resource that parents can use to equip their children to make the right decisions, even in the face of peer pressure and outside influences. More than just another how-to manual, Hot Button Dating Edition offers practical real-life situations that parents can read and discuss with their preteens. Topics include: physical activity, missionary dating, and violence/abuse in dating relationships.

Author, mom, and broadcaster, Nicole O'Dell provides short scenarios followed by three or four responses that a teen might choose in that particular situation. Parents are then encouraged to help their children explore the issue, ask questions, and discuss the options, so when a similar situation comes up in real life, the teens are already prepared to respond.

Hot Buttons Dating Edition offers practical real-life situations that parents can read and discuss with their preteens. Topics include: physical activity, missionary dating, and violence/abuse in dating relationships.

Hot Buttons Internet Edition helps parents prepare their teens for online challenges they may face. Topics discussed include: internet activity, file sharing, social networking, and internet predators.

Hot Buttons Drug Edition
braves the scary world of substance abuse, equipping parents with facts, warning signs, and real-world scenarios on: alcohol; Marijuana and other drugs; inhalants; and prescription drugs.

Hot Buttons Sexuality Edition
offers the facts about teen sexuality, backed by statistics; specifics for how to talk frankly about sex with your kids, discussion about the growth of homosexuality and bisexuality among teens; and compassionate advice for guiding your teen to reclaim purity.
Since Thomas (nearly 12) is supposed to be doing some type of a drug education program for his next Boy Scout rank, that was the book I chose to tackle first.  Besides, it is the one that is the least intimidating to me!  Wimpy of me, I know.

I was expecting a book I'd read through with my kids, mostly my teens.  That isn't quite what this is.  Instead, the first section of the book is to educate the parent about the issues at hand.  Some of that is a bit on the thought-provoking side, particularly in regards to things like my use of alcohol.  How do my kids view the glass or two of wine I have with dinner when we visit my parents, or the incredibly occasional glass of wine I have at home?  It really never occurred to me to talk about that.

After a lot of 'easy to read but not necessarily easy to process' pages, there are the "scenarios."  These are situations you work through with your child.  A little situation, followed by multiple choice answers.  After your kid chooses an answer, there are a number of questions you can throw out there for discussion.  These are things that definitely can get you and your child talking about the whys behind the rules.  Why (besides the law) is it different for kids to drink?

There are scenarios covering sniffing markers, over the counter diet pills, and even getting into a car driven by a friend's parent who has been drinking.

The other editions (Dating, Internet, Sexuality) appear to be equally thorough and helpful.  I certainly can't call them fun reading, but definitely important.

You can see what other bloggers had to say about these books at the LitFuse Blog Tour page.

Disclaimer:  I received these books through LitFuse.  No other compensation was received.  All opinions expressed in this review are my own. 

1 comment:

RachelT said...

Thanks for sharing this review! Now I am looking forward to the release of these books. They sound like a great resource and conversation starter!