Monday, October 08, 2018

Parenting Through Puberty: Read an Excerpt, Interview, and Review ~ and Enter to Win the Book!

PARENTING THROUGH PUBERTY
Mood Swings, Acne, and Growing Pains
by Suanne Kowal-Connelly, MD, FAAP

Not since baby’s first year has his or her body and brain changed as rapidly as it does during puberty. Dr. Suanne Kowal-Connelly’s PARENTING THROUGH PUBERTY: Mood Swings, Acne, and Growing Pains (September 1, 2018 / American Academy of Pediatrics / Trade Paperback Original / $16.95) is a comprehensive roadmap for parents to the newly emerging young adult in their family.

Dr. Kowal-Connelly lays out a step-by-step approach to understanding the physical, emotional, and social changes a child will experience during puberty. She offers medically based, straightforward information, along with reassuring strategies, resources, and guidance to help every parent usher their child through this powerful metamorphosis.

Dr. Kowal-Connelly reassures parents that puberty is not to be feared, but to be celebrated. She offers specific guidance for parents to help ease the anxiety and discomfort of emerging adolescence. PARENTING THROUGH PUBERTY covers:
  • The five stages of puberty -– what’s normal, what’s not
  • Overcoming “this can't be happening yet” syndrome
  • Understanding the “puberty brain”: risk-taking, decision-making, boundary testing
  • Helping adolescents develop healthy trust, self-discipline, self-control and emotional resilience
  • Recognizing the warning signs of eating disorders, self-harm, substance abuse, low self-esteem, bullying, social isolation and more
  • Nutrition for the changing brain and nervous system
The last section of the book focuses on the importance of health and wellness for the adolescent. Parents often worry about their teen’s food choices, sleep habits or lack of physical activity. Adolescents understand and want to make all kinds of health and wellness adjustments, but they can’t do it in a vacuum. They need parents to help and to model healthy habits. PARENTING THROUGH PUBERTY: Mood Swings, Acne, and Growing Pains equips parents with the information they need to navigate the physical and emotional changes shaping their child.

An Excerpt from PARENTING THROUGH PUBERTY

Welcome to Puberty (Again!)

No doubt you have heard more than your fair share of information on this stage of life. This wonderful and magical period is when your child’s evolution into adulthood begins. Before your eyes is the metamorphosis of your child’s body and mind into a young adult. At no time since the first year of life has anything happened this rapidly. It is the gateway to the wondrous world ahead.

So why then is this period fraught with such ambivalence? Why do we as parents, and sometimes as pediatricians, not choose words, such as magical, to describe the anticipation of adolescence and puberty? I think a big stumbling block is that puberty and adolescence are a complex and somewhat chaotic time.

One element that adds to the complexity of this period is the indisputable pace at which physical growth and thinking patterns are changing. It is difficult to grasp the enormity of the multitude of marvelous though nuanced changes that are taking place. The last time you had to deal with so much rebelliousness was around the age of two. However, it is so much cuter to deal with 2-year-olds stamping their feet and demanding their independence than it is with 14-year-olds. Yet this stage is no less magical and, in many ways, more profound. I aim to help you parent through puberty with less fear and more joy.

My strategy is very simple. By sharing meaningful information, evidence-based knowledge, and anecdotal experiences relevant to topics that have come up regularly within my practice, teaching, and school health career, I hope you have a more comprehensive perspective of puberty and the adolescent issues that are present, making it easier to feel more secure and confident.

My Thoughts
"My teenager is driving me crazy! Is this normal?" Yes, it is. Dr. Kowal-Connelly, a pediatrician, assures parents that your teenager's mood swings and bad attitude are a result of all the physical changes taking place in his or her growing body. And when we understand these changes, we can have more patience and empathy for our teen. Best of all, Dr. Kowal-Connelly assures us, this is all temporary. There is usually a light at the end of the tunnel once your child enters late adolescence. However, this isn't to downplay the challenges during those early and middle years of adolescence, and Dr. Kowal-Connelly gives parents some tools for dealing with issues such as weight gain, risk-taking, depression, sleep issues, chronic illness, and more. Obviously, if your child is going through an extreme issue, more personalized care is required. But if you want a basic understanding of the physical and emotional changes affecting your adolescent -- as well as your entire family -- then pick up a copy of PARENTING THROUGH PUBERTY.

An Interview with Dr. Suanne Kowal-Connelly, author of PARENTING THROUGH PUBERTY

Suanne Kowal-Connelly, MD, FAAPis a practicing pediatrician with more than 30 years’ experience and now serves as the Director of Pediatric Clinical Quality for the Long Island Federally Qualified Health Centers (LIFQHC) in Nassau County. Additionally, she works as the district physician in many of her local school districts and performs as a New York State trainer for child abuse and neglect. Finally, she is a sports enthusiast and an avid triathlete. The many different aspects and interests in her life have been instrumental in shaping the way that she envisions and delivers healthcare to families. She is a contributor to HealthyChildren.org, the official AAP website for parents. And is the ultra-proud mother of three grown sons.

How did you come to write Parenting Through Puberty with the AAP?
As a pediatrician with over 30 years in practice, I wanted to build a platform to deliver quality health and wellness information to families via a blog, social media and other channels. I reached out to the American Academy of Pediatrics in the hopes of contributing to Healthy Children, their parenting magazine. I was a huge fan and was overjoyed to write articles for them. I guess they were impressed as well because they approached me about expanding my literary efforts to write a book, and puberty was at the top of my list! There’s a dearth of good information about this incredibly difficult period of human development, and I wanted to present a mix of my clinical experience alongside real-life stories and situations. The rest is history!

What about puberty do you find so interesting?
Puberty is a time in a child’s life that often gets a bum rap, and it’s also a period of great anxiety for parents. More than anything else, parents going through puberty with their child tell me that they are worried. They might not all worry about exactly the same things, but they are all worried about something. As a pediatrician, for over 30 years, and the mother of 3 grown sons, as well as a step-daughter, I felt that I could offer a great deal of evidence-based knowledge and anecdotal material to help families feel less worried and more confident and secure raising their teens.

I love that a chapter of your book addresses adolescents who suffer with chronic illnesses. What are the reasons that you felt you should include that in your writing?
I feel very strongly about promoting equity, and for me talking about children who live with chronic illness is just another way for me to be inclusive. Children are the same whether they have a chronic illness or not; it does not define them. Children who have asthma should be described as "Bobby who has asthma," not "Bobby the asthmatic." It is also valuable to recognize that the challenges of puberty remain the same for all children, but can be multiplied many times over when the child has a chronic illness. Addressing these particular parents’ struggles is very important.

What is the main importance of the chapter on the private time pediatricians spend with their patients?
I think all parents at one time or another have wished that they could be a fly on the wall when we ask to speak with their child alone. As a parent myself, I believe that I have a lot of sensitivity about this, but I also carry a great deal of conviction about why it is important. So being able to write about this and make it available for parents to read in detail seems like something that would both give parents a lot of relief and could be very helpful. It seems very important to discuss problems related to depression, anxiety and mood disorders, but can a pediatrician help with that concern?



GIVEAWAY

One lucky reader will receive a paperback copy of Parenting Through Puberty: Mood Swings, Acne, and Growing Pains, by Suanne Kowal-Connelly, MD! Enter through the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway is open to U.S. residents only and ends at 11:59 PM Eastern time on Sunday, October 21, 2018.

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Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book to facilitate my honest review. This post contains my Amazon affiliate link, and I will receive a small commission on purchases made through this link.

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