I just finished Rick Horne’s book Get Outta My Face: How to Reach Angry, Unmotivated Teens With Biblical Counsel. With a title like that, how can you not like it? I just love that title because any parents with an angry teen knows exactly what “get outta my face” looks like. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone with an angry teen in the house. My blog readers know that all my children are young and I don’t have a teenager in the house yet, let alone angry teenagers. However, I find the principles in this books to be beneficial even as I parent my little ones. I really appreciate this book because not only does Rick Horne’s 30+ years of counseling and parenting experience show clearly in the book, the principles and solutions he laid out in the book are very Biblical.
The book is divided into three parts:
Part I: What you must understand to connect with your teen
In this section the parents are called to seek first God’s glory as they parent their teens. The parents are also encouraged to examine their own sins and failures so to remove the logs in their own eyes.
Part II: What you must do to help your teen
Here Rick Horne discusses the acronym LCLP which gives the parents a plan on how to communicate and help their teens.
Listen Big – to build a bridge to your teen
Clarify Narrow – to expose the realities of your teen’s experience
Look Wide – to discover your teen’s solutions
Plan Small – to support changes your teen wants
Part III: How to make the changes stick
After the parents helped their teens change, they need to encourage follow-up conversations. Most importantly, parents are to point their children to the cross. Mere outward behavioral change is not the goal, but a heart change that’s from the inside out.
I am much encouraged by this book and I believe it gives real gospel-grounded hope to parents with angry teens. One of the key strengths of this book is the presentation of concrete techniques for parents to implement that are grounded in Biblical principles. Far from merely giving a theoretical theology of parenting, Horne manages to intertwine sound Biblical underpinnings with real and specific tools for any parent looking to more effectively parent his or her teen-aged child. And most helpful of all Rick Horne’s repeated theme of looking to Jesus Christ in our failures, problems, and sins. If you are a parent with any children still living in your home, you should read this book!