Book Summary: Counterintuitive: What 4 Million Teenagers Wish We Knew
Author: Tyler Durman
Author Tyler Durman has presented live to more than 4 million teenagers, offering them guidance using comedy and stories. Students feel so comfortable with his style and wisdom that they come to him after these assemblies to confide and confess things they have never told their parents, teachers, or even their best friends. They tell him about what they need from the adults in their lives—things that seem counterintuitive, but that would make a world of difference to them.
What I Liked Most:
I would just like to share snippets from my reading to give you an idea of how valuable this book is for parents. It helped me understand those crazy teenage years so much better. Although my girls are adults now and this parenting wisdom came after I raised them, hopefully it can help you!
- “When any child or teenager pushes against us, they are hoping for the same thing…They’re not testing because they want us to give in. They’re testing because their deeper need is to find reassurance we won’t” (30-31).
- “…all teenagers long for the adults in their lives to stand behind the things we say are important with consistent strength. And when we do, they will respect us, even when they disagree with our standards” (32).
- “Their three top problems were family, then romance, then friendships, in that order…” (31).
- “I meet so many girls across North America who’ve made life-changing mistakes with boys. Too many questions and not enough safe places to ask” (57).
- “There are those who think the best way to love a child is to push them to try harder and do better, without ever taking time to praise them for their inner beauty. These people don’t know this bears one of two results. They may get a child who believes nothing they do is good enough, so they stop trying–or one who connects outward success to their inner worth and measures their value solely on their performance. Either is a miserable way to live” (59).
- Counterintuitive: “We don’t serve our kids well by being their servants. Yet there are dozens of books available today that encourage child-centered homes. The ideas in their pages feel good because they appeal to our intuition, but in the end they are destructive” (83).
Okay, I have to just stop with this list! You should see how dog-eared my copy of this book is. Just read it!
How This Affected My Mothering:
I have already mentioned that I have raised my two daughters, who are both married with children of their own. This book will be passed between them so that they can find out how to communicate with and raise their children in a more counterintuitive way. I will also be following these insights as I work with my grandchildren and other youth that I may have the opportunity to influence.
In this era of entitlement and getting something for nothing, it’s important to remember that we are raising the future leaders of our country and world. Do not give in to being your child’s peer. You are the parent. And remember: “They’re just little kids in teenage bodies who want adults to take a stand on what matters, and back it up” (136).
QUESTION: Is it a struggle to get your teens to listen to you and buy in to your values and instructions?
CHALLENGE: Say what you mean and mean what you say. Your teenagers need and want that, even though they may not act like it.
This article was originally posted on May 2, 2016.
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