It’s book review time again!
This time I would like to share something that we have been working on with my 14 and almost 12 year olds. Many of you might be familiar with the classic 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen R. Covey. It is a book that is highly recommended, especially for those who are trying to increase their productivity, relationship quality, and over all life satisfaction. The downside to sharing this book with my children is that the language is rather advanced and some chapters are a bit dry or cerebral.
Now there is a solution! The younger version, 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, takes a much more lighthearted and fun approach without losing any of the effectiveness of the message. The book is written for a pre-teen to teen perspective on life. Many of the examples in the book deal with common place issues to a modern teen such as success in school, relationship advice, substance abuse, and appropriate use of technology. Of course this book isn’t an advice or training book for these issues specifically, but it helps teens understand how to organize their thinking and choose a course of action to achieve the best desired outcomes in all the areas of their lives. Included throughout the chapters are even some fun cartoon pictures that give a good chuckle while illustrating the points at hand.
My teen son and pre-teen daughter are enjoying this book as a read-aloud during our “morning basket” time. They report finding it entertaining while still being very practical and useful. Of course some of the issues addressed aren’t a consideration in their lives as they aren’t dealing with dating or substance abuse issues, but I feel that it is a good thing to discuss issues that may come up in their lives before it rears it’s head so that they will know both where we stand as a family on such issues, but also so they have the opportunity to help their friends when these inevitable topics present themselves.
One of the best points of this book is at the end of each chapter. The author finishes with a section called: “The Baby Steps”. In this section the reader is guided through a set of questions, reflections, or tasks to help them understand the chapter’s topic and put the skills into practice. While dating choices or use of some types of technology isn’t an issue in daily life for us yet, we have still used those questions for a springboard to think about how we will be dealing with them in the future. Also, there are still plenty of steps that they can use for each chapter.
The good thing about this book is that it can be used without having read the original. I think even parents will certainly be able to identify and appreciate the process but it wouldn’t hurt if you wanted to read the original 7 Habits book yourself, either as a parallel read or before reading the teen version with your kids.
Have you read either of these popular volumes? I would love to hear your opinion of them and discuss what you think! Perhaps if you are looking for something for your teen to work on this summer, this book could fit the bill. Let me know how it goes if you do – I’d love to hear from you!
Peace and health,