“The Stranger in Your House” by Gregory L. Jantz, PhD

When Your Teenager Becomes…The Stranger in Your House

He’s in his room for days at a time and barely responds when I talk to him…  

She’s teary every day, one minute demanding I tend to her needs and the next minute demanding I leave her alone…

What’s going on with your teenager? Is it just the ups and downs of adolescence, or is it something more? In Dr. Gregg Jantz’s new book, The Stranger in Your House, parents will learn to distinguish between normal adolescent behavior and clinical depression.

Few things strike fear into the hearts of parents more than the approaching adolescence of their children. They have heard horror stories from family and friends about what it was like with their kids and dread the unknown. Will their happy-go-lucky child turn into some sort of sullen monster? Will the childhood skirmishes of yesterday turn into open teenage warfare?

The roller coaster of adolescence is so prevalent, so stereotypical in some ways, that it has developed into a sort of cultural shorthand. Just say the words “teen angst” to a group of parents of adolescents and heads will nod. It’s a universal catch-phrase for anything from explosive anger to all-is-lost despair. Even kids who weather their teenage years with relative calm still undergo their seasons of adolescent squalls. With all of that swirling around in our heads, how can we know if our teen’s season of discontent is just that or something more?

Depression has the ability to derail a teenager’s progress toward healthy adulthood while confusing and frustrating parents. With years of experience, Dr. Jantz will answer the hard questions about the most critical season of your child’s life:

  • Is this “just a phase,” or is it clinical depression?
  • How do hormones affect my teen’s behavior—and what can I do about it?
  • How can I get help when I see the warning signs of suicidal thoughts?
  • Why does my teenager seem to need me some days and hate me other days?
  • How can I be a source of peace in my child’s life, especially when I feel stormy too?

The Stranger in Your House will help parents to push beyond the closed door that is adolescence and open the door to hope.

The Stranger in Your House by Gregg Jantz with Ann McMurray
David C Cook/October 2011
ISBN: 978-1-4347-6622-9/224 pages/paperback/$14.99
www.davidccook.com and www.aplaceofhope.com

Best-selling author Dr. Gregory L. Jantz offers hope and help for parents of teens.

Adolescence is a frightening and complicated time – for teens and parents. Keeping the roller coaster of the teen years on track takes work and wisdom. Many parents simply don’t know where to start. With Dr. Jantz’s help they can stop worrying about the turbulence of adolescence and take action. With included resources, reflection questions, and guidance from a Christian perspective, parents learn how to become a port in the storm for their teenager, discovering the God-designed future and promise that awaits.
He’s the founder of The Center for Counseling and Health Resources, a leading healthcare facility near Seattle that specializes in whole-person care. Jantz has appeared on numerous shows, including CNN’s Headline News and the 700 Club. He has been interviewed for CNN.com, as well as the New York Post, the Associated Press, Family Circle, Women’s Day, Yahoo.com and MSNBC.com.

My Review:

This is one of most strategic books I’ve read on teenagers and how to ascertain how their lives are going.  Is this just a phase?  Is he/she depressed? Where is he/she with God?

One of the important issues, in addition to ascertaining where your teenager is, is to understand yourself.  Are you making assumptions about your teenager based on where they are, or on how you handled things when you were a teenager?  It’s vital to distinguish between the two.

Another point is that parenting has never been for the faint-hearted.  You are the most important person in your teen’s life whether they will admit it or not.   They use you for a backboard to set limits, boundaries, morals, faith, etc.

The topics that Dr. Gregory L. Jantz hits on pertinent to your life as a parent and your teen’s life.  All are vital and helpful in guiding your teen’s life:

  • Who are you, and What have you done with my child?–vital tips
  • What’s going on with your teen?–shedding skin
  • Emotional roller coasters aren’t very fun–loving God and yourself
  • Shaky Connections–Serenity Prayer for parents and teens
  • This is your body on adolescence–boys vs. girls
  • When there’s more along for the ride–companions and behaviors changes
  • When it’s time to get help–when and where
  • Crisis of Belief–the God talk
  • Powerful parenting–your faith walk

The ‘Bringing it Home’ section in each chapter brings it down into bite-size pieces and helps you determine what is going on and if something needs changing. It’s vital that you spend time in prayer for your teen(s) and for yourself as the parent(s).  If your teen is willing, pray with them about specific issues they bring up. God is for you and your teen.  He has a hope and a future for all of us.

This is a book we could have used a few years back.  Please, take advantage Dr. Jantz’s book, The Stranger in Your House.   It’s filled with Godly advice and wisdom to guide your teen on his/her journey to a healthy and productive adulthood.

This book was provided by Audra Jennings of The B&B Media Group, Inc., in exchange for my honest review.  No monetary compensation was exchanged.



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