Monday, October 10, 2011

The Six Most Important Decisions You'll Ever Make

I saw this book at one of my housecleaning client’s home and thought it would be a good one for Hannah to read just because it would be good information. Then for school she has six book reports this year. The first one was fiction and the second one has to be nonfiction. I thought about having her do a biography for the nonfiction, but when I looked at the list for the whole year, a biography will be required during their third trimester.
Hannah does not love reading. I find that I have to prod and pry her to read. It is hard for this prolific reader to have a child that cannot find reading for pleasure on her to do list ever!
For her fiction book report, I let her read Twilight by Stephenie Meyer because I also have it on cd. I put the book on her Zune (mp3 player) and she had to read along to the book while she listened. It worked pretty well except that she started a little late, and we had to do marathon reading and a big cram session to get the book report done on time.
I found The Six Most Important Decisions You’ll Ever Make at the library on cd and paper. I do think I will end up buying our own copy because the book form has some extra exercises and illustrations that are not included on the cd’s. I listened to the cds and just finished so that I can help Hannah with discussion and with getting her book report completed. I have found that it is hard for me to help her on books that I haven’t read as well. She seems to need a lot of assistance with finding reference quotes and general comprehension.
Sean Covey is the son of Stephen Covey, the author of The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. Sean also has a teen version of his father’s book, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens. He starts out the Six Decisions with a review of his seven habits as they are interrelated with the six decisions. I also checked out The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teens on cd and will let you know how it is when I am finished.
So the six decisions Sean Covey covers in his book are
1.       School
2.       Friends
3.       Parents
4.       Sex and Dating
5.       Addictions
6.       Self Worth
He does a wonderful job of talking about the high road in each of these areas. His delivery is very accessible for teen and pre-teen readers. He talks about that we all will make mistakes, but smart people learn from their mistakes and really smart people learn from the mistakes of others. He gives examples of teens who struggle in each area as well as examples of teens who are successful in each area.
I was a little wary of the section on sex and dating when I saw it was one of the decisions list, but it is handled very well. He comes at it from a standpoint based solely on principles and the consequences of making poor sex and dating choices. There is no explicit sex education, only what can happen as far as STD’s and unplanned pregnancies. He also addresses the emotional consequences of having sex as a teen. I really liked that he not only addressed sex but how to date and how to choose a good dating partner. He gives tips on what to do on dates so that sex doesn’t even have to be an issue. He gives some good phrases for teens to use when/if they are pressured to have sex. Overall I was pleased with the chapter.
For each of the decisions he talks about teens and people in general being made up of four parts: heart, mind, body, and soul. He addresses each of the parts for each of the decisions.
I would highly recommend this book for teens and preteens. I actually thought I wish I would have had this as a teen for myself. I think that might be why I didn’t ever have successful dating experiences; no one ever taught me how. I was making mental notes all the while I was listening!

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