Why Every Teenager Needs A Parrot by Alicia Drummond Review


Reviewed by Nicola Erickson

The book is a positive and practical guide to understanding and parenting 21st Century Teenagers. It is an easy to use manual that will help you find the right balance between letting your teenagers go and keeping them safe as they negotiate all that the modern world will throw their way. From alcohol, drugs, relationships and pornography to social media, on line safety and gaming this book covers the lot and will give you the tools and confidence to set your teens up to be successful despite their unhelpful brain wiring, drive for independence and peer pressure.

I am a mother of a 16 year old “young adult” who is currently going through all the turmoil and excitement of finishing school, parties and going to college so this book was a must for me. My teen talks very little and eats a lot so I needed to find out what’s going on in his head and what he’s getting up to socially (regardless of what he tells me he’s doing)!

After receiving this book next day in the post I was surprised and relieved it wasn’t the size of a thesaurus as we all know teenagers are complicated, so thought a 140 page book would not be enough to tell me all I needed to know. It came in a sealed bag and small enough to be posted which meant that I didn’t have to sign for it so no waiting in and no embarrassment to my teen.

At first I was intrigued by the title of the book and the picture as the boy on the front cover looked strikingly like my son, headphones on and beer in hand, so I instantly wanted to find out more about the book and said parrot. I quickly learnt that instead of me constantly nagging my teen, if done right, the parrot will do it for me through instilling good morals, encouragement and communication from the start which I’m sure is a relief for all parents of teens or children going through puberty to know we’re doing right.

This book is fantastic as it firstly explains the eight stages of personality that a child goes through from birth to sixty five and why it’s believed to contribute to who we become as adults. Eric Erickson the Psychologist theorised in the 1950’s.

Stage One 0-2 years  = Trust
Stage Two 2-5 = Autonomy
Stage Three 5-7 = Initiative
Stage Four 7-12 = Industry
Stage Five 12-20 = Identity
Stage Six 20-30 = Intimacy
Stage Seven 30-65 = Generativity
Stage Eight 65+ = Integrity

Stages one to five are explained in the book but the further stages are not discussed in detail as they don’t apply to the target market of this book (the author advises that further information on this subject can be found online).

Once I had read about the stages of personality I had a greater understanding of what makes our Teens the person they are and how they discover their own identity.

The book then goes on to explain how our teens change physically and mentally and is full of helpful advise on how to support and encourage them without being too much of an embarrassment.

This book deals with what your teens are up to on the internet and social media sites (I had no clue) and how to monitor what they are exposed to and how to limit this. Unfortunately they are watching porn (hard to digest I know) and may encounter cyberbullying etc… regardless of how much you try and keep on top of what they are doing on the net, teenagers are crafty. Website addresses are provided as a guide for you should you want to get “in the know”.

The book then goes on to discuss sex, drugs, alcohol, parties, festivals, fake ID, cars and responsibilities and gives you guidance on how to talk to your teen around these tricky subjects.

Overall I thought this was an interesting and informative book that was easy to read, in fact I read it all in one hour and couldn’t put it down. I now feel I have more of an insight into what is going on with my teenager and can breathe a huge sigh of relief that he’s perfectly normal. Although, due to reading this book I will question it less 🙂

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has a teenager in the family and would give it full marks.

Rating: 5/5

RRP: £11

Available to buy from Amazon here.


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