Category Archives: Parenting books

Engaging Adolescents- Michael Hawton



Exisle Publishing

May 2017

ISBN  9781925335408

RRP $29.99

You know those shows on TV about history’s worst jobs? I reckon parenting teenagers should be heavily featured!

Yes, I’ve raised three girls – only with moderate success, doing the best I could, with what I had and lots of tantrums/screaming matches/exhausting emotions – and now, raising a granddaughter about to become a teen. (Luckily a much more placid child than her mum was!).

Michael Hawton has used his many years of experience as a psychologist, clinical expert for NSW Children’s Court and teacher of behaviour management to provide parents with a handbook for negotiating tempestuous times with teens.

This is no heavy textbook filled with psych-babble and jargon but rather a practical easy-to-read, simple guideline for navigating the storms – or indeed averting them.

Each chapter is summed up with some essential points (say what you’re going to say, say it and then say it again) so that the reader (who may be slumped in exhaustion) can set these ideas into their long term memory.  There are opportunities throughout to practise new skills and techniques and the whole is well developed with a family case study exploring three all too common issues.

My teacher head could easily relate to ideas presented but non-teachers will find it just as relatable I have no doubt.

I think that most of us would agree that our teens (and parents) are facing such a shift in societal thinking and attitudes that providing our kids with strong values and respectful relationships is arguably the most difficult it has ever been.

This is a highly recommended read and addition to your shelves – be they library for parents, your own personal or professional reading. I will certainly be sharing it with staff and parents at my own school as well as friends who are about to embark on the rollercoaster of teen-dom with their kids.

Stay posted for a Q&A with Michael on this blog – I look forward to picking his brain! In the meantime you can watch him here on Today Show Extra.

Girls Uninterrupted: Steps for Building Stronger Girls in a Challenging World



Tanith Carey

Allen & Unwin

Imprint: Icon Books

Published: March 2015

ISBN 9781848318205

RRP $19.99

Tanith Carey  has had a long successful career as a journalist working with a wide variety of some of the world’s leading newspapers and journals. She is also a highly successful author of books particularly several related to parenting, the latest of which is Girls Uninterrupted.

Her work in this area has attracted high praise including endorsement by the likes of Steve Biddulph and her books translated into 12 languages to date.

As I am now working in an all girls’ college, I am seeing firsthand many of the issues which parents of teen girls face today so this book could not be timelier. It will certainly be one I will promote with our college community and parents.

  • Why are girls self-harming and suffering eating disorders in record numbers?
  • Why do girls feel they have to ‘little miss perfects’ who are never allowed to fail?
  • Why are girls turning against each other on social media?
  • What should we tell girls about how to deal with the challenges of everyday sexism and violent misogynistic pornography?
  • How can parents, teachers and grandparents inoculate girls so they can push back against the barrage of unhealthy messages bombarding them about what it means to be female?

Formatted in easy ‘chunked’ steps the book offers practical advice, anecdotes and real help with the increasing pressure of raising happy healthy girls into strong positive women.

This was firstly a series of articles in the New York Times and the resulting publication into a widely praised book is testimony to its usefulness.

As a grandmother now raising a ten year old granddaughter it will also be a ‘go to’ book for me as I help this little one become a Mighty Girl over the next few years.

Highly recommended for anyone who is in the challenging role of bringing up 21st century girls, whether parents/family or educators.