BOOK REVIEW: Your Ten-to-Fourteen-Year-Old

  Book: Your Ten-to-Fourteen-Year-Old  Louise Bates Ames, Ph.D. Gesell Institute of Human Development Review By Kenneth O. Peterman, Ph.D.

            When my son was a teen I used this book to help me understand him. Some may ask should a Christian counselor seek help from a secular book. In this case, the answer is yes because the Gesell Institute publishes books about young people that are effective. They actually allow youngsters to speak for themselves about their age-level characteristics. The Institute interviews hundreds of children and collates the results along with their own research to produce material that is extremely accurate. Each book evaluates the following important characteristics for every age level: physical, mental, emotional, sexual, daily habits, interpersonal relationships, activities and interests, school, and ethical sense.
This series will:
·         help you get inside their head
·         help you think their thoughts
·         help you see things from their perspective
·         help you communicate with them more effectively
            I don’t think I am exaggerating the benefits of this series. Each small (and inexpensively priced) paperback covers one year from ages one through nine. A separate larger single volume details the years from 10 to 14.
            Since these books do not come from a biblical perspective there may be some content that is questionable, but nothing that would prohibit their use. Certainly with any reference book we must “pick out the meat and throw away the bones.” These books have much more meat than bones. Aside from this one mild disclaimer, I highly recommend this series to help parents better understand the age-level characteristics of their children.
            As a child’s birthday approaches, I suggest parents read the book that outlines the material for their child’s new age level. These books give parents a “head start” in dealing with some of the pressures and problems their child will face in the coming year. Someone said, “To be forewarned is to be forearmed.” That’s exactly what these books do. They give you forewarning about the problems, pressures, and joys associated with each age level.
            After I read the material about my son’s age level, I realized that most of his behavior was not unusual or unique at all. He was just acting as a normal (if there is such an animal) fourteen- year-old. He didn’t have to adjust his behavior as much as I had to adjust my thinking.
            Please do not hesitate to comment or question this post. I would be glad to answer any questions you have about these books. After you read the one relative to your child’s age characteristics, I would love to hear your opinions, evaluations or questions.


By Kenneth O. Peterman (
At the turn of the last century G. Campbell Morgan, one of  England’s greatest preachers, stated that, “a nation must recognize the importance of God or come to ruin.” I paraphrase his thoughts further when he said if God is taken out of the national life of a nation, it will have no moral standard at all. When a nation has lost its moral standard, it has lost its strength of individual character and with it the concept of social relationships. If you don’t think this is true, just read today’s headlines. Let me give one current example of the validity of these stages. Several states in the U.S. have recently passed laws legitimatizing same-sex “marriage.” New York is the lastest to do so. When the governor signed the bill into law, those around his desk applauded. Such events show just how far we have fallen in our social relationships in this country. If Dr. Morgan is right, the degenerated social relationship of same-sex marriage demonstrates the loss of individual godly character signaling the abondonment of God’s moral standard. Just how important is God in America?