Fourteen Talks by Age Fourteen

The Essential Conversations You Need to Have with Your Kids Before They Start High School

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Pub Date 23 Feb 2021 | Archive Date 31 May 2021

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The fourteen essential conversations to have with your tween and early teenager to prepare them for the emotional, physical, and social challenges ahead, including scripts and advice to keep the communication going and stay connected during this critical developmental window. 

“This book is a gift to parents and teenagers alike.”—Lisa Damour, PhD, author of Untangled and Under Pressure

Trying to convince a middle schooler to listen to you can be exasperating. Indeed, it can feel like the best option is not to talk! But keeping kids safe—and prepared for all the times when you can't be the angel on their shoulder—is about having the right conversations at the right time. From a brain growth and emotional readiness perspective, there is no better time for this than their tween years, right up to when they enter high school.

Distilling Michelle Icard's decades of experience working with families, Fourteen Talks by Age Fourteen focuses on big, thorny topics such as friendship, sexuality, impulsivity, and technology, as well as unexpected conversations about creativity, hygiene, money, privilege, and contributing to the family. Icard outlines a simple, memorable, and family-tested formula for the best approach to these essential talks, the BRIEF Model: Begin peacefully, Relate to your child, Interview to collect information, Echo what you're hearing, and give Feedback. With wit and compassion, she also helps you get over the most common hurdles in talking to tweens, including:

• What phrases invite connection and which irritate kids or scare them off
• The best places, times, and situations in which to initiate talks
• How to keep kids interested, open, and engaged in conversation
• How to exit these chats in a way that keeps kids wanting more

Like a Rosetta Stone for your tween's confounding language, Fourteen Talks by Age Fourteen is an essential communication guide to helping your child through the emotional, physical, and social challenges ahead and, ultimately, toward teenage success.
The fourteen essential conversations to have with your tween and early teenager to prepare them for the emotional, physical, and social challenges ahead, including scripts and advice to keep the...

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Average rating from 26 members

Featured Reviews

Loved this book. My kids aren't quite to this age yet, but I will be buying a copy to have on hand when they do. Her teachings make so much sense to me.

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I feel like I read this book just in time as my oldest son will turn fifteen in a few months. The middle school years are a significant milestone in a child’s life and Michelle Icard does a beautiful job illuminating many of the complexities that middle grade-aged children go through. Her main thesis is that there are fourteen talks she implores readers to have with their children with the undercurrent of before it’s too late. I appreciate how the sections were broken down into palatable bites: changing friendships, sexuality, criticism and technology, to name a few. I came away from this read with concrete ways in which to start sometimes challenging conversations with my children as well as precisely what not to say. Michelle Icard has made me feel less hesitant to have these important conversations sooner, rather than later. And I am going to listen, armed with all of the wonderful knowledge imparted on me from this fantastic resource.

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Every parent should read this book — part tips, part prompts — this is a detailed guide to having meaningful conversations with your teenagers on crucial topics. I intend to use these suggestions and questions with my son and will recommend this to other adults.

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I have a tween and we have slowly been going through the conversations in this book. I found this incredibly helpful to organize my thoughts and be able to really engage in the topics with my daughter. It gives you the tools to have the conversations without feeling like you have to follow a script. I was really pleasantly surprised how much this book enabled me to have good thoughtful conversations. I would highly recommend for parents whose kids are starting to enter the hormone and emotional stage. (Love the tween stage! :) ) Definitely worth a read!

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I enjoyed this book! So many good pointers for parents who may think their kids are the only ones challenged by the bizarre underbelly of middle school. Thank you to the author, publisher, and Net Galley for the advance digital copy! #FourteenTalksbyAgeFourteen #NetGalley

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This book is so refreshing!!! My daughter just turned 12, and is already experiencing some of the dynamics Michelle expressed in this book. I love how simply explained it was, and lots of examples. She even gave examples of WHAT NOT to say to make the situation worse. I am so grateful for this book and I know I will using it as a reference as my daughter gets older. I will definitely be recommending this book to my friends.

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Having been a middle school teacher for twenty years I knew this book would be filled with plenty of wisdom that I had already picked up on. As a parent of an eleven and fourteen year old I read it anyway. I'm so glad I did. We've had some very difficult conversations with my daughter over the last six months or so and I know that we have more ahead of us with her as well as with my son. Michelle Icard's BRIEF model is a valuable tool to use and easy to remember so I expect to put it into good use. I loved her real-world examples and I love that the model is flexible enough to only use the parts necessary in a given situation. I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to create an open two-way dialogue with their kids instead of the automatic one-way lectures we so commonly steer towards.

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Michelle Icard lays out an easy to follow, casual formula for talking to your tween. The topics range from common sense living advice to more serious issues such as consent and sexuality. The book features a quick "crash course" at the end of each chapter to highlight the key points presented.

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