Book Reflection: Primal Teen

Category: By Christian
The Primal Teen by Barbara Strauch was assignment reading. It is no longer in mint condition because it made two round trips to Cali with me, but I swear I did not abuse it on purpose. The book ended up in my hands because we were going to be discussing it at a meeting of Jr High pastors a couple of weeks ago. It was a fantastic meeting, and one I am very glad to have attended. The discussion was good, the location was primo and I giggled more than I have in a long time.

Anyway...the book. It was fantastic. I think I might have liked it a little more than the average member of the discussion, but that can be attributed to the fact that I'm pretty stinkin dorky a lot of times. A book about the brain development of teens was just interesting to me. It's the scientist in me, and the part of me that really wanted to be a doctor interacting with the part of me that loves working with students.

I would actually give this book a broad recommendation. Teenagers are trixy. Their behavior is erratic. And yet, there are scientific reasons for this. By understanding those reasons we can better create situations and environments that help kids learn in safe ways. It's essentially a good tool for helping us find that very slim place between grace and discipline that allows teens to flourish. And believe me, that space is VERY slim. The topics addressed in this book can most certainly provide some good advice for parents of teens, but also anybody who works with teens.

What I admire about Strauch's writing is that she does a marvelous job of making this stuff easy for the average cat like you or me to understand. There is a reason neuroscientists are few and far between. It's freakin' hard. But she takes all of their heady work and spits it in a way that is navigable and helpful. Kudos.

Have a nice weekend. Mine will be silent as we have a silence and solitude retreat starting in, oh, two hours. Should be peachy.

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