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The Blessing of a B Minus: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Resilient Teenagers

4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  560 ratings  ·  101 reviews
New York Times bestselling author, internationally known clinical psychologist, and lecturer Wendy Mogel returns with a revelatory new book on parenting teenagers.

Mogel’s sage advice on parenting young children has struck a chord with thousands of readers and made her one of today’s most trusted parenting authorities. Now, in a long-awaited follow-up, Mogel addresses the q
Paperback, 224 pages
Published September 13th 2011 by Scribner (first published October 12th 2010)
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If you have children between 11 and 20 (or if you plan on your kids reaching those ages, for that matter), go get this book right now. Mogel's take on parenting teens is compassionate,wise, and inspired. Much like her earlier book The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, which was geared toward parents of younger children, Mogel draws from her understanding of Jewish teachings to reframe some of the challenges children face (and the associated frustrations of parenting them) into blessings.

In The Blessin
Okay, I'm struggling with my own issues when it comes to living with an adolescent who is so unlike me… and so I have been seeking self-help/parenting books. Of the two that I have read/listened to, this one resonants with me the most. I thought her first book _Blessings of a Skinned Knee_ lovely (read as part of a parenting book club), but this one speaks more directly to me and my issues.

Similar to _Parenting From the Inside Out_ in many ways, it really does address the issues of parents' expe
Jordana Horn Gordon
Wendy Mogel, you are super smart and kind. I hope I can be a tenth of the parent you are!
The title of this book intrigued me. What, I asked myself, is the blessing in a B minus? Other chapter headings include "The Blessing of a Bad Attitude," "The Blessing of a Lost Sweater," "The Blessing of Staying Up Late," and so forth. The author manages to find a bright side to many of the frustrations of parenting teens. She emphasizes how important it is to let them fail and learn from their mistakes now rather than later in life when the stakes are so much higher. This book was a good remin ...more
Words of wisdom from a funny woman. I loved Skinned Knee and this one was almost as good. My favorite take away is an umbrella thought: our children, at all ages, need to see and believe that we believe in them. That we trust in them to try, to fail, to succeed. That we aren't always afraid. That we believe they are capable, more than capable. How can they believe it if they don't believe that we do? Stop doing for your kids (I'm talking to myself here) and show them that you believe they can do ...more
I was hooked on this book by its title: The Blessing of a B Minus: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Resilient Teenagers. Back when I was in a MOPS (Moms of Preschoolers) Group, the mentor mom called me the laid back mom, and for the most part I accept that moniker gladly. Still, our culture today (or maybe it's just the area where I live) can lead one to feel that every parenting decision is do-or-die.

This book discusses how parents of teens should just basically relax and enjoy their kids for wh
Apr 18, 2011 Carol rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: all my mom friends!
I read this book just before I read the "Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother" and I could not have had 2 books more opposite!
I have told many of mom friends about this book. I found most of the book practical and very useful. I really liked the approach the author used Jewish beliefs and applied those practices to teens. I am not Jewish but found the book made sense. I am actually feeling just a LITTLE more confident (or at least understand a little better!) as my daughter moves into her teen years.
A important book to all of those who are teen's parents or are going to be in the near future. Tip and tricks of how to deal with misbehavior, profanity, laziness, and distance most if not all teens express to their parents. Wendy Mogel does a great storytelling but at the same time explains professionally why we have to constrain of confronting our teens but keeping basic core rules. A must if you have a boy or girl in this journey: Puberty.
Katherine Relf-canas
This is a pointed yet meandering conversation that reassures newbie teen wrangling parents using Jewish spiritual themes for the modern day. I think it is suited to parents of any (or even no) faith because it is accessible. Among the knowledge it imparts are practical approaches and checklists (and scripts) for parents to use to guide their not-yet-adult children into becoming responsible for their actions, words, and responses and lack there of. It offers workarounds to day-to-day crises of al ...more
Laura Lawlor
A must-read for anyone trying to navigate the tween and teen wolf stages of their offspring!
Also the prequel: Blessings of a Skinned Knee should be on every parent's bedside table.
You don't have to be Jewish to love these books...sound, non-sectarian advice for floundering and frustrated parents.
Ashley Cobb
I knew this was a book on parenting, but as an educator, the title of the book is what piqued my interest. The book can be simply summed up by saying: "Don't rescue your kids. Instead, allow your children to experience the natural consequences of their decisions and actions". On, the whole, I agree with the premise but book seemed to lack heft. The chapters were extrapolations of that theme stretched out over several areas of teenage life (social, academics, materialism, etc...). After a while, ...more
I read this, along with The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children, to prepare for a parent reading group and author visit by Wendy Mogel. This is a luke-warm rehash of Skinned Knee, scaled up to adolescence with slim to nil additional research or insight. I gather that Mogel's motivation was partly to write in response to her own changing experience as a parent, but mostly to stay on the book talk circuit. Interesting, since I found her talk to be cond ...more
Remembering that children are a loan from God and that we guide them towards adulthood was helpful. The book reiterated the powerful principles of moderation, celebration and sanctification, but was very current with regards to handling today's teenagers. It also was a great reminder to parents that children are not here on earth to live out our dreams, but to fulfill their own specific purpose, which they must discover and carry out on their own. We can help our children to discover their own u ...more
L.A. Matthies
This should be considered mandatory reading material far all parents(myself included) who have ever wondered "What happened to my sweet/thoughtful/kindhearted child and who replaced them with this alien?" There are moments in all parents lives when Invasion of the bodysnatchers seems to become real.
It is during these times when a book like "The Blessings of a B Minus" may well be your salvation.
What I loved about it was the frank,no-nonsense,realistic suggestions that Wendy Mogel tempers with he
Great parenting book for Jewish families with tweens/teenagers.

A very good parenting book if you have teens & read the Bible, even if you're not Jewish.

If you're just looking for a parenting book to solve your current teen development issues, this isn't it.

Highly recommended reading for Jewish Teen parents, especially if you have already read the Blessings of a Skinned Knee. (one of my all-time favorite parenting books...) Even if you have teens, I'd say read Skinned Knee first - then if you
The reviews of Mogel's book made me think it would be helpful in navigating the stress of college applications for both parents and children. Although most of the advice offered is sensible, it didn't seem particularly new or enlightening. Even when we, as parents, don't act in the optimal way, I thing most of the target audience for this book knows only too well where we fall short ("overparenting", mostly, trying to control too much).

Also, the materialism of a lot of the situations seemed a bi
Kimberly Simpson
Best book about teenagers ive read yet. Loved it

"supervising and guiding teenagers is a shocking amount of work. Its as grueling as chasing after a toddler all day but lacks the immediate rewards of cuddling an affectionate contented enchanting child"

Raising teenagers is an endurance race, not a sprint
I write a lot about parenting, yet I don't often read parenting books. But parenting teenagers is already proving to be a challenge--and they just turned 13. This book came highly recommended and now I highly recommend it. I wish I had read her earlier book, The blessing of a skinned knee, when my boys were younger. She offers solid advice and valuable reassurances. I got this copy from the library but now need to get my own. And yes, she refers often to Jewish teachings. I'm not Jewish, but I l ...more
This book was a great reminder that we need to let youth make a few mistakes in order to learn from them and not be the helicopter parent that we see so often in society today. As a teacher and a parent it offers valuable insights on patience and wise guidance for young adolescents.
My kids aren't teenagers yet, but we are just beginning to deal with issues that are covered in this book with our tween so I found Mogel's common sense, non-alarmist approach to be refreshing and reassuring. I especially appreciate that she reminds us that kids NEED to make mistakes, and NEED to separate from us. She encourages detachment so that we don't internalize our kids' problems so much. I feel like this is endemic among parents of my generation, that we let our anxieties about out kids ...more
Didn't love this one as much as "Blessings of a Skinned Knee" -- which is still the best parenting book I've read to date -- but there is some good advice in here. I plan to come back and read it again when the girls hit their teens.
I loved most of this book. Mogel is an expert in teenagers (she carefully lists her professional credentials, then graciously admits that professional experience still did not prepare her for her own teenagers) who approaches child-rearing from a deeply religious perspective. even though I am not Jewish, I found the emphasis on a connection to the divine to be helpful and insipiring. Mostly, she teaches that children need to learn from their mistakes, not be protected from them by overly involve ...more
I don't know that I liked this more than the author's first book, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, but it was nice to hear that an expert agrees that parents do too much for their children and they need to back off and allow them to make their own mistakes while they are under the safety net of their parent's roof. Otherwise, those mistakes are likely to be made later in life where they can result in far more serious consequences. Further, the overindulgence of today's children and the lack of fo ...more
Debbie Glickman
This is by far the most insightful, relevant parenting book I have ever read. Dr. Mogel is funny, compassionate and oh so wise. Every parent who has tween/teenagers should read this book and then realize that they are not alone and that it is our responsibility as parents to give our children roots and wings. Sometimes the wings get injured and that just makes them stronger more resilient adults. As soon as we all realize that we are not doing our children any favors by flying so low in our heli ...more
My edition leaves off the "in a Nervous World"--interesting!

Excellent-I recommend it to anyone with pre-teens or teenagers. As she did in her first book, 'The Blessing of a Skinned Knee', Mogel offers practical, wise advise to parents. It is based on Jewish teachings, but even if you are not of that faith it all is very helpful and in the end encouraging. I think the fact that Mogel survived these challenging years with her own two teenage daughters definitely is an added bonus and gives the boo
Sep 28, 2012 Jane rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All parents of teens, especially Jewish parents of teens.
Finally, a parenting teens book that didn't leave me feeling dismayed. After reading books like "Reviving Ophelia", I was left feeling like it was almost impossible for my children to escape the many pitfalls of adolescence. I actually felt calmer about parenting my teens by the time I finished this book. As a Jewish mother I appreciated the Jewish wisdom included in the book however I think that this book can certainly be appreciated by a parent of any religion. This book also includes such top ...more
Ginger Rue
I'm not Jewish, but I loved this book. I learned a lot about Jewish culture and also got some great advice about how to apply principles from the Jewish faith to parenting teens and tweens. The book is extremely well-written, so it was entertaining to read. I probably won't use all the advice given in the book, but I feel better equipped to deal with the upcoming turmoil of teens in the house. I feel like I got some perspective from it...there really is "no new thing under the sun," so perhaps b ...more
Christy Coughlin
Hey, I will take all the help I can get! I have heard Dr. Mogel speak twice. Her contemporary views and guidance on raising teens, has given me so many tools I can use. One example, is saying "no" and meaning it when your kids ask for something and badger until you cave. She suggests sticking with the "no" with the "because I said so" as a sufficient response. She compares this to your child's saying "no" in future situations, with no explanation needed to their peers-think drinking, sex etc. So ...more
I am big fan of Mogel's previous book The Blessing of a Skinned Knee -- probably my favorite in the child rearing genre. I am delighted that she has a follow-up book for adolescents, just as mine are entering that phase. Though no new concepts from her previous book, Mogel expands upon her previous opinions, using solid examples and situations for teens. In addition, familiarizing myself once again with her sound advice, reminds me to stay the course during these blessed weird years...Now for Ed ...more
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Wendy Mogel, PhD is the author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children published by Charles Scribner's Sons in 2001. Mogel is a nationally known speaker and author who looks at every day parenting problems through the lens of the Torah, the Talmud, and important Jewish teachings.

Mogel graduated from Middlebury College and completed an Internship and
More about Wendy Mogel...
The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children

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“We take a snapshot of our teens in their current phase and mistake it for the epic movie of their entire life.” 0 likes
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