Sparks: How Parents Can Ignite the Hidden Strengths of Teenagers

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9780470294048: Sparks: How Parents Can Ignite the Hidden Strengths of Teenagers

In this practical book, Dr. Peter Benson, a leading authority on childhood and adolescence, describes a simple yet powerful plan for awakening the spark that lives inside each and every young person. Sparks—when illuminated and nurtured—give young people joy, energy, and direction. They have the power to change a young person’s life from one of “surviving” to “thriving.” Grounded in new research with thousands of teenagers and parents, Sparks offers a step-by-step approach to helping teenagers discover their unique gifts, and works for all families, no matter their economic status, parenting situation, or ethnic background.

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From the Inside Flap:

The greatest gift parents can give their children is to help them discover their purpose and passion.

In this practical book, Dr. Peter Benson, a leading authority on childhood and adolescence, describes a simple yet powerful plan for awakening the spark that lives inside each and every young person. Sparks—when illuminated and nurtured—give young people joy, energy, and direction. They have the power to change a young person's life from one of "surviving" to "thriving."

Grounded in new research with thousands of teenagers and parents, Sparks offers a step-by-step approach to helping teenagers discover their unique gifts, and works for all families, no matter their economic status, parenting situation, or ethnic background. The simple steps are:

  • Recognize the Power of Sparks

  • Know Your Own Teenager

  • Help Discover and Reveal Your Teen's Sparks

  • Be the Captain of Your Teen's Spark Team

  • Keep Your Teen's Spark Lit

Young people who identify their sparks and get support in developing them from caring adults have higher grades in school and are more likely to be

  • Socially competent

  • Physically healthy

  • Volunteers to help other people

  • Good stewards of the earth and its resources

  • Possessed of a sense of purpose

Isn't this what we all want for our teenagers?

Help your teen find his or her spark. Your role is crucial, and this book will give you everything you require to be the "spark champion" your child needs.

Young people who identify their sparks and get support in developing them from caring adults have higher grades in school and are more likely to be

  • Socially competent

  • Physically healthy

  • Volunteers to help other people

  • Good stewards of the earth and its resources

  • Possessed of a sense of purpose

  • Isn't this what we all want for our teenagers?

Help your teen find his or her spark. Your role is crucial, and this book will give you everything you require to be the "spark champion" your child needs.

From the Back Cover:

Praise for Sparks

"Peter Benson's Sparks is an insightful, step-by-step guide for parents who want to help their teenagers be happier. It deserves to be read by all adults looking for ways to inspire (and be inspired by) today's youth."
—Kathy Cloninger, CEO, Girl Scouts of the USA

"Dr. Benson provides an evidence-based and empowering breath of fresh air that reminds us that all youth need and deserve caring adults who support them to find the spark within."
—Judy Vredenburgh, president and CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America

"Sparks provides a whole new outlook on our relationships with teenagers. I hope it reaches and touches everyone who cares about our nation's youth."
—Irv Katz, executive director, National Collaboration for Youth

"Peter Benson's pioneering work has long been an inspiration for all who are dedicated to bringing out the highest potential in our young, and his new book is a wellspring of illuminating insight, sound practical advice, and a stirring call to action for raising the younger generation with the wise guidance they deserve."
—William Damon, Ph.D., professor and director, Stanford Center on Adolescence and author, The Path to Purpose

"A must-read for parents, this book is also an inspirational, practical guide for youth development professionals, teachers, coaches, and mentors who want to help teens discover their passions and enjoy meaning, purpose, and happiness."
—Roxanne Spillett, president and CEO, Boys & Girls Clubs of America

"The teen years can be the most challenging ones for both teens and their parents. At the same time they can also be the most rewarding. Peter Benson provides valuable, practical insights and advice in Sparks which parents will turn to time and again as they support their teenager in making healthy choices."
—Neil Nicoll, president and CEO, YMCA of the USA

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