Reviewed in the United States on June 16, 2020

Middle School was what I swore I never wanted to teach, and yet after teaching there a few years in the beginning of my career and then spending the last nine years in the classroom with that age group, I was so wrong. I know firsthand that Lizabeth was a gifted teacher, because we actually taught in the same middle school for almost 9 years before I retired.
Today, I am still the Producer/Founder/CEO of a non-profit performing arts company, and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading and using so many of Lizabeth’s successful techniques in both teaching and working with parents. Even though she wrote them with middle school in mind, they are very applicable to late elementary through high school. Middle School Years Without Tears is a book every middle school parent needs to read. In fact, I will recommend it to every parent whose child is in my company. Lizabeth sets the stage in Chapter 1 by answering some important questions parents have as their child approaches grades 6-8. “What is MS, why do we have it, who are the teachers, why do they want to teach these kids, who is a MS student, what is their (teachers and students) day like, and finally lying (to themselves, their teachers, and parents)?” Lizabeth nailed the answers and certainly will open your eyes as a parent/teacher. She said it, and I have said it to my parents over and over again, middle school is not the time to walk away from your child and act like they are adults. They may push you away, but learn how to communicate with them.
That brings me to the 2nd section of her book that I feel is critical to all situations-communication! Lizabeth addressed every person regarding communication-what to say, how to say it, and when to say it! Wow! When I think back on all those years of teaching and the conferences I had-the good, the bad, and the ugly! The bad and ugly could have been so much more positive and productive if parents and students had a guide to follow back then. Well, today you have her book! Understand how important communication is and how it can positively affect your child. Mistakes are made every day, but we all learn that positive attitudes and expectations are the way through which we can make changes. I know the world today loves texts and emails, but I prefer face to face communication with all people interested in what is best for the child. That is another reason why everything Lizabeth lays out in this book works as long as every person wants the same outcome and is willing to work to make it happen.
In the world today, when we parents(yes, I am a parent to 2 adult children, and numerous other “adopted” former students and performers who refer to me as “dad”) have to help our child(children) overcome bullying, prejudice, and lack of self-esteem, Lizabeth shows us what to say to help them understand so they can move forward learning empowerment. She also points out how important it is to listen not only to what they are saying, but to what they are not saying. Parents and teachers have a very important role to know how children see themselves. Suicide is preventable if we are in tune with our children. Lizabeth has some real insight in this book about that topic.
I have given you some examples of how this book has influenced me both as a teacher and a parent. There are many self-help books on the market but Lizabeth’s “suggestions and strategies are based upon one premise: with loving parental guidance (not dictation), parents can empower their children to positively control and direct the events of their lives for the betterment of all instead of the events controlling their lives based on the understanding of Who We Really Are.”
Thank you, Lizabeth, for again giving parents a book that will surely help make those middle years rewarding and joyful!Chuck Long,
Professional Teacher

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