Book Review: The Teen Code

Book Review: The Teen Code
The Teen Code by Rhett Godfrey

Whether you remember your own parent’s attempts at conversations with you as a teen or you are trying to find the best way to talk to your own teen, you know that conversations between teens and parents can be difficult at best. Especially when it comes to the more “sensitive” topics. You know the ones: drugs, sex, and relationships. Most parents face these conversations with dread and harbor strong doubts that their words are making a difference.

Recently I was asked to review a unique book on the topic of conversations between parents and teens. This book is entitled The Teen Code by Rhett Godfrey. Rhett is a seventeen year old high school senior from New Jersey. He has spent the past three years talking with over a thousand teens across America about the conversations that their parents have had with them and what these teens would suggest to make these conversations more productive.

Each chapter addresses a different topic - drugs, alcohol, cigarettes, sex, self-expression & privacy, school, money, divorce and remarriage - and reveals Rhett’s conversations with other teens including their various opinions, his own perspective, and concludes with the views of his mother, author Neale S. Godfrey, and other experts from various fields. The candor of these teens is enlightening and often very revealing for a parent who would like to know not only where their teen stands, but also how to make sure they hear where we stand without causing them to tune us out.

Being a teen himself is obviously part of Rhett’s success in getting other teens to share with him their experiences with their own parents and their suggestions on how these experiences could have been better. His mother’s excellent parenting skills have nurtured in him the wisdom to understand the importance of good parenting in the life of a teen. The combination of these is a wonderful aid for the parents of teens – and for teens themselves.

I have always believed that I had a very open and honest relationship with my own teen daughters. However, as I read this book I quickly learned that if I wanted more productive conversations where they listened and we all learned, I had a few things to learn. Learn I did! In fact, I have already used a few of the suggestions pointed out by Rhett and they work amazingly well. The truth is, as open as our conversations have been up to now, I have since experienced not only more productive conversations with my daughters, but ones in which we were all three much more at ease than ever before. I have Rhett and his mother – and this book, The Teen Code, to thank for it. The relationships with my daughters were good, but now they are…and will continue to be…even better.

I highly recommend The Teen Code for the parents of pre-teens and teens. In today’s world, we cannot take the risk of not making the most of those important conversations, and the insight of both teens and parents are excellently represented in this book. Including his mother in the process was an excellent idea for gaining a wider target audience. If you are looking for fresh ideas and inspiration for renewed communication skills with those elusive teens, this may be exactly the answer for which you are searching.

Rhett Godfrey’s The Teen Code can be found at

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