Teaching Kids to Be Good People


Teaching Kids to Be Good People: Progressive Parenting for the 21st Century

By Annie Fox, M.Ed. (2012)




What the Book is About:

Author Annie Fox has compiled a delightful, practical, and useful anthology of advice to parents of teens. The book is essentially a compilation of blog posts on various topics every parent of a teenager will face or deal with at one time or another.

Annie includes “Real World Assignments” in each chapter to direct parents to a specific action that will help them incorporate new skills related to the subject of that chapter. For instance, she suggests a Family Meeting and provides a Family Questionnaire in one chapter on doing the right thing and respect.

“Conversations That Count” is another useful section to get parents and teens talking about the topic of the chapter. Annie provides sample questions and helpful suggestions about how to talk with our teens, and subjects we ought to be exploring with them. For example, she suggests these questions in an early chapter:

  1. How do you know when you are faking it (pretending to be someone you know you’re not, or doing something you know isn’t you)?
  2. How would your life be different if you didn’t have to worry what other people think?”

Annie also includes in each chapter a wonderful section called “What Would You Teach Here?” This is a short scenario from real life for parents to reflect on what they would say to a teenager or another parent in this particular situation. Then, Annie provides her reply in an appendix hyperlinked to the scenario. Very useful.

The book is a practical and wise guide or handbook for parents from an experienced parent, counselor, and educator.

Keith’s Reflections:

Since 1997, Annie has been online answering teenagers’ questions about life and relationships. She is compassionate, wise, honest, insightful, direct, encouraging, challenging, and hopeful in the face of despair, struggle, doubt, regret, and confusion. And when she’s not, she admits it and corrects it. Beautiful.

The book clearly has the feel of a wise and seasoned teen counselor relating to teens and sharing stories so parents of teens can glean from her experience, ideas, and strategies. If you have teenagers, you can’t go wrong reading this book. If not every situation applies to you (and of course, I hope they don’t), many will.

This book will be a helpful resource to any parent of teens. 

Target Audience:

All parents of teenagers, clearly.

The Author:

When Annie Fox’s first book People Are Like Lollipops (1971, Holiday House, 2013 Electric Eggplant) was published, she wasn’t old enough to legally sign the contract! By the time she turned 21, though, she decided that helping kids was going to be her life’s work. After graduating from Cornell University with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies then completing her Master’s in Education from the State University of New York at Cortland, Annie set off on a teaching career. After a few years in the classroom, computers changed her life as she began to explore ways in which technology could be used to empower kids.

For More Information About Annie and Her Work:

See www.anniefox.com 



Click on the book image to find this book on Amazaon.



Recent Posts

When Our Kids Amaze us

Have you had one of those moments when one of your kids amazed you with how grown up they seem, how articulate they are, or how mature they’ve become, as if you missed a few years of their development somehow? And there they are now, standing before you as a wonderful young man or woman. Where did the time go?

Who is this lovely creature?

I had that experience last May when my two oldest boys, JD and Cal, now sixteen and almost fifteen, went to their spring formal dressed in sport coats and ties. I looked at these two handsome young men in wonder. And truly they looked like men, and they carried themselves that way. I shook my head, and I felt so proud of them.


I had that wonder-filled experience again a few weeks ago when a friend of mine, Dr. Lori, suggested she interview my youngest son, Kai, about an experience he and I had with one of my painting customers (I’m bi-vocational). She heard Kai tell the story earlier and thought it would be great for other dads to hear. They had so much fun planning it together, and the idea quickly grew to include several other subjects, all related to The Great Dads Project.

I shot the video, and stood there with my mouth hanging open most of the time. I could hardly believe this was my little twelve-year-old son still in braces. His thoughts, ideas, suggestions, insights, humor, and his way with words floored me. Seriously, this kid could be an actor. He was so comfortable on camera, and carried himself with such poise, grace, and presence. I’m not kidding. I know, I’m his dad, I’m bound to think he’s great. But seriously, check this out for yourself, and see if you don’t think he’s as great as I do. Enjoy.


If you like this, leave a comment below, and share
a story about a time one of your kids amazed you.


To read more from Keith, take a look at his book:

Large Book with Outline


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