Resource review: Hot buttons: drug addiction

Nicole O'Dell is coming out with a series of books in a series called “Hot Button.” In this book, she talks about proactive parenting interventions that parents can use and gain insight into several areas. In this book, she talks about drug addiction.

O'Dell uses role playing exercises to help her kids understand good and bad choices in the safety of the home before answering the same exact questions in real life. (I think this is a good idea, it is one that is used routinely in professional counseling.) She seeks to educate parents on hot button issues and then help them plan ways of dealing with these temptations.

I think she does well in indicating that it's best to relate to them as their parents, rather then their contemporaries, trying to be cool (etc) and help them set boundaries, explain consequences and be the safe rock that parents are supposed to be.

The challenge in writing a Christian resource like this is honoring research that is out there while holding to biblical prinicples about parenting and whatever the hot button topic is. In this book, she does well in balancing them both.

As a Clinical Social Worker, Youth Pastor and author of “99 Thoughts on Caring for your Youth Group” I appreciate that she takes the time to briefly cover many different types of substances abused and how they effect the teen. She uses recent research in a manner that explains what is going on without barraging parents with endless details that they would drown in. The links seem to be from reliable websites used by professional drug and alcohol counselors.

O'Dell, in helping parents understand how to deal with their teens, has parents examine their own lives. Teens are acutely aware of hypocrisy in many forms, and they don't tolerate it (and ambiguity) well. I apprecate that she gives scenarios to work through and talk through as a family. While it may seem hokey at first, I think making this a regular and early part of ones life will make it more regular with time. This is made harder if you spent the first 12 years of your kids life minimizing conversation with them and not talking, being with, 'having daddy-daughter' dates with your children. She concludes with sectoins on confession and forgiveness.

Overall, I find this book easy to use and read. I appreciate the thoughts and the information given to parents in this media. Even if you don't do all the scenarios in the book, you can tailor much of the information to your children and bring these subjects up before the world does.

Nicole O'Dell has valuable insights for parents and youth leaders alike in bringing the relevance of Christ into the lives of teens and the culture in which they live.

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