Latest Additions to Hot Button Series Prepare Parents to Discuss Difficult Topics
All parents were teenagers once, but with each generation there are new challenges that teens face, at least in a different way than their parents did. This has never been truer than today with the influences of social networking and a constant connection to the internet and media. It’s more important than ever for parents to be proactive in talking to their teens about hot-button issues such as the internet, dating, sexuality and drugs. As a resource to help parents have those difficult conversations with their children, Nicole O’Dell, author and popular radio host, has launched an innovative, proactive strategy parents can use to prepare their teens for difficult decisions with the release of the Hot Buttons book series.
What exactly is a hot-button issue? A hot button is any emotional or controversial issue that has the potential to trigger intense reaction. What topics fit in this category? “Pretty much everything that pummels your kids with temptation and threatens to pull them away from a walk with God. Music, dating, computer use, texting, partying, drugs, the list goes on and on,” says O’Dell. “These issues are real and often confusing. They require attention—before they arise—and ignoring them can have dire consequences.”
This summer, the Hot Button series debuted with the release Internet Edition and Dating Edition to be followed with the October releases of the Drug and Sexuality editions. Each book begins with a real look at the temptations and situations that teens are faced with, including current statistics. O’Dell outlines questions for parents to ask themselves before launching into a discussion as well as advice on how to approach their teens to begin conversations. Speaking from experience, she gives parents do’s and don’ts guidelines on what questions to ask and how to react.
The most unique and practical aspect of each Hot Button book is the strategic scenarios—short stories that allow parents to introduce certain challenges to their teens in a creative “what would you do?” question and answer format. Each Hot Button scenario is followed by three or four choices from which the teen can choose to resolve the situation. Parents are then encouraged to help their children explore, ask questions, and discuss the options so when the scenarios come up in real life, teens are prepared with their response.
O’Dell was inspired to start the series when looking for ways to talk to her own children. “I was searching for ways to lead my children to make good decisions. I decided it would be far better to talk to them proactively about issues they would one day face than it would be to wait until they were buried under poor choices,” she writes. “I believed it would be easier to control the way they perceived the information and far easier to help them see and understand the consequences of poor decisions if they could look at it objectively, without the added stress of peer pressure and other outside influences.”
These first four editions are just a start to the Hot Buttons series. Upcoming releases in 2013 will include books on Bullying and Image. Plans for an interactive app are also in development. The series has recently received the Focus on the Family seal of approval.