Parenting in the Eye of the Storm: The Adoptive Parent’s Guide to Navigating the Teen Years

By Katie Naftzger Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2017, ISBN: 978-1-78592-701-0, 160 pages, $17.95 When parenting adopted teens, parents often wonder whether certain behaviors are typical of teens or somehow related to their child’s adoption. As they navigate the teen years with their child it’s often difficult to determine when to seek therapy. “Parenting in the Eye of the Storm” is the perfect guide for adoptive parents as they help their children not only survive the teen years, but thrive. Written by licensed clinical social worker and adoptee Katie Naftzger, the book delves into the often challenging teen years and offers parents some words of wisdom that she’s gained not only from her own journey, but also from helping children and families through her psychotherapy practice. “Parenting in the Eyes of the Storm” provides some refreshingly unique perspectives that adoptive parents don’t often hear. Naftzger delves into topics like unrescuing of teens. Often times adoptive parents try to make up for their child’s early losses by “rescuing” them from difficult experiences. But, according to Naftzger, this “rescuing” prevents teens from learning from their mistakes and making their own way. In addition to this unique topic, Naftzger doesn’t shy away from the tough topics, touching on layers of loss for adoptees, race and mental health among others. The real value in the book is the examples that Naftzger shares so that adoptive parents can visualize where there may be some challenges in their relationship with their child. By providing examples and phrases to use, Naftzger makes it easy for adoptive parents to replicate in conversations with their child. “Parenting in the Eye of the Storm” is definitely a must-read for any parent of a teen, and if you’re the parent of a pre-teen, there’s still many applicable lessons to be learned so you’re ahead of the curve. — Reviewed by Kim Phagan-Hansel

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