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

4.20  ·  Rating details ·  807 ratings  ·  139 reviews
In the follow-up to her bestselling book, The Blessing of a Skinned Knee, Dr. Wendy Mogel shows parents how to navigate the teenage years.

When a child becomes a teenager, her sense of entitlement and independence grows, the pressure to compete skyrockets, and communication becomes fraught with obstacles. Dr. Wendy Mogel emphasizes empathy and guidance over micromanaging te
Hardcover, 208 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Scribner
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4.20  · 
Rating details
 ·  807 ratings  ·  139 reviews

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Oct 20, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, parenting
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
Jun 11, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
May 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Aug 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Apr 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jordana Horn Gordon
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Wendy Mogel, you are super smart and kind. I hope I can be a tenth of the parent you are!
Dec 23, 2017 rated it liked it
As a teacher of early teens, I thought I could find some nuggets to improve my teaching and my understanding of my students. And maybe I've found a few, but I realize that I don't have enough time with my students to pursue many of these strategies. 2 hours per week and 2 dozen students. Impossible!
May 09, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book so much I went out and bought it. As my son approaches high school graduation, I can honestly say that Mogel's commonsense philosophy and reassuring words helped me keep my sanity these past two years.

I first found this book when I googled "overparenting." I realized I had a problem when I was more worried about my son's grades than he was. This book explained a lot about what teenagers are experiencing now in school and how over protective, interfering parents can make it wor
Jun 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. Our church used her first book. "Blessings of a Skinned Knee" years ago, and I have had this one on my to-read list for some time.

Wendy Mogel calms my parenting brain, and she reminds me how much I love my kids. Both on the days when they are lovely and sweet, and also on the days when they are stubborn and well, stupid. Her words help me remember that these little people are wonderful works in process, and there really is a method to their madness. If I could meet her, I woul
Apr 18, 2011 rated it really liked it
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.
Laura Lawlor
Jun 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jun 11, 2013 added it
Well, now that my boy will s nearly 12, this was more relevant. Sensible advice, nothing new.

This seems really good, but it's definitely about teenagers. I'll put it away for 2 more years at least.
Melody Warnick
Nov 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
The upshot of this warm, wise book: "Chill out, it'll all be okay."
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
My new bible! Great practice advice for the stage of parenting I'm in now. And bonus: I'm not doing everything wrong!!
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: education, wishlist
I wish I had read this book 10 years ago. It would have helped me so much with setting boundaries with everyone, which is a skill I certainly need to work on.
Adam Housley
I saw Wendy speak at a conference and did not hesitate to pick up all of her books. As a dad of two (soon to be three) teenagers, I started with The Blessing of a B Minus. As an educator, I am all too familiar with the parenting traps Mogel discusses, and I found myself nodding my head throughout. As a father, I enjoyed her examples and general advice to parents. While I imagine parents fighting some of the battles she mentions will find her advice overly simplified, I find it realistic and welc ...more
Nov 18, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this during Thanksgiving break, when I was spending a lot of time with my teenagers and feeling some frustrations with some of their behaviors. I felt like the first couple of chapters especially were helpful in reassuring me that teenagers by nature are unpredictable, focused on their needs and wants above others', and needing to figure out their place in the world. As with most books like this, it's not rocket science, but there are a few helpful sections about how we can appreciate our ...more
Jenny Wheelbarrow
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoy this author's approach to parenting using Jewish teachings. You could in some ways replace Jewish with other faiths. I will revisit this as the teen years come. For the lay reader it reminds you of where your children are developmentally without citing theory. Her advice gives you permission to parent your child to match where they are and remind you to not take it personally while explaining why the teen years can be (don't have to be) so hard.

Great book.
Cheryl M
Sep 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book helped me with some of my challenges with parenting my teen. Specifically, it helped me choose the battles to fight and figure out my method of fighting those battles. It also reassured me that what we are experiencing is relatively normal.

The audible version is solid.
Oct 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I should have read this years ago! Think I need to own a copy so I can re-read as needed...
Diana schiewer
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great insight on the development of teens and best parenting practices to mold to one's family.
Jan 23, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Prep for school talk. And trying to keep up with Justine.
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
Perfect timing for understanding my teenagers - some good nuggets of wisdom!!
Mar 10, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011-books, parenting
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
Ashley Cobb
Feb 07, 2013 rated it it was ok
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
Sheryl Sorrentino
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The Blessings of a B Minus is a delightful tutorial for developing your parental acumen. This guidebook offers spot-on lessons for understanding and dealing with your teen—regardless of your family’s religious affiliation or secular persuasion—and is a must read for parents of teenagers and pre-teens.

The actual religious teachings are minimal and are presented in a modern context we can all relate to. Alongside the ancient Judaic wisdom, Wendy Mogul peppers her book with witty snippets of typica
Amy Brown
Mar 11, 2016 rated it liked it
I read The Blessing of a Skinned Knee: Using Jewish Teachings to Raise Self-Reliant Children back when my kids were skinned-knee age, and it resonated with me at the time. Mogel's thesis, in that book and this one, is that kids have to suffer some slings and arrows in order to grow resilient and self-confident.

She examines this premise through the lens of Jewish teachings, but you don't have to be Jewish to get value out of this book. In fact, she even makes accommodations for us atheists.

Katherine Relf-canas
May 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
Kat Myers
Feb 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
A quick read and a good reminder of what I'd consider "common sense" parenting, through a Jewish lens. I enjoyed learning more about the Jewish culture and the various concepts that Mogel introduces to the reader (i.e. "Yetzer hara", or the natural human inclination towards selfish gratification--very common in teens, especially). I especially appreciate the fact that she condemns treating your teen like a prince/princess who deserves to think about no one but him/her self. One example she gives ...more
Mar 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
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
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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
“We take a snapshot of our teens in their current phase and mistake it for the epic movie of their entire life.” 1 likes
“A cornerstone of Jewish thought is that God created each of us to fulfill a specific purpose during life in this world. Each person is responsible for discovering and carrying out their divinely intended purpose.” 0 likes
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