Reader Reviews

Beyond Helpful  October 7, 2013

Although my children are not teenagers, they are 8 and 6. I think if I start using these tools now, the teenage years might be a bit easier! I know that children do not come with manuals and The Tool Box, Tricks of the Trade for Raising Teenagers, does not claim to be a manual. I do fully believe that it is the closest thing you will get to one!

The real life examples make "The Tool Box" easy to understand and apply. I would say that the following phrase applies to anyone being grumpy! HALT: Hungry, Angry, Lonely, Tired

Give this book a try. You won't be disappointed! by K. Reading

Great Tool  October 6, 2013

This is a great book for parents who are dealing with the teenage angst problem. Give it as a gift to someone you know whose child id just getting to that stage like I did. Get clear sound advice on how to deal with specific scenarios and ones that can be used ad infinitum. H.A.L.T is an acronym I first learned about in an AA meeting and never thought I would see it applied to child rearing but it actually makes sense. Just as when they are newborns, a baby will only cry if they are hungry, angry, lonely or tired(if they are not sick or wet) and if you apply this to older children acting out you will find that these fit them more times than not.

Children do not come out with a manual or a "How To" booklet. The Tool Box, Tricks of the Trade for Raising Teenagers by Karen J Garrity is as close as you will come to it. You will learn the tools you need to develop effective strategies in communicating with the surly teen, how to identify the real issues and how to navigate conflicts. Dealing with teens effectively means that you need to know what true compromise is and how to pick your battles. As a parent of adult children I wish they had this book back in the day. That is why I bought a copy for my son and daughter to use with their brood since both have tweens right now.  by Anita Simmons

Insight October 3, 2013

 Karren Garrity's "The Tool Box, Tricks of the Trade for Raising Teenagers" offers a powerful insight into the world of teenagers and how to relate to them as parents. I was generally impressed by the tips and words of wisdom offered in the book. I would suggest that this book is not only for parents but for the more mature teenager who wants to understand herself or himself. This is a well-structured guide to becoming a more educated parent for your teenager, and I highly recommend it.  by D. O'Keefe

Got kids?   September 29th 

How about teens? Check this book out today! If you are a parent, then you are familiar with the stresses of raising a teen or teens. This book will help you guide you through specific scenarios and offer sound advice plus clear, practical strategies. Tool Box has a pretty nice focus on criteria backed by some therapists I've had in the past, so I was able to identify easily. Hopefully if you buy and and read this, you will see positive results and a happier family unit!  by S.V. Seebaran

Great help!, March 21, 2013
This book is amazing! Sensible solutions to real problems with kids and teenagers, applicable to the world we live in. This book isn't just about teenagers, it helps deal with younger kids just trying to grow up and cope with the world. I would definitely recommend this book to every parent!    by Mom of 5 and counting

 Great book!!, March 21, 2013
I bought this book as my grandchild is entering the teenage years and it sounded like it would be helpful for the upcoming years. It is written very well and it has given me many suggestions that will help my relationship with my grandchild. I plan to share it with my husband and my daughter. Highly recommend it to other grandparents and parents!!  by Grandma
H.A.L.T. spells understanding, April 3, 2013
Whenever our little ones are crashing my wife and I H.A.L.T. and walk right into an answer. If our kids are inexplicably cranky, they are always either:
Lonely or
Garrity has given us a quick key here, but her book is filled with ways to unlock how a kid is feeling. I've check out lots of parenting books, like Why do they act the way the do, and I've found the toolbox to be more accessible on the go, when I really need it. Some parenting books are hard to read in that they are just so sad and the examples seem so extreme. This book is grounded in reality and easy to read. Highly recommended for all families.
By JoshuaHess 
Love the Tools, April 1, 2013
I thought this book was an incredibly helpful "tool" for my me and for my son. It doesn't suggest solutions that sound manipulative or "one-size-fits-all' in terms of parenting. I also love the fact that nothing here sounds high minded and using the names of real tools brings the messages right down to earth.

I guess that's what I like best...not feeling like Ms. Garrity is some authority (which I believe she actually is) but rather someone who has been there and is simply sharing clear and simple 'tools' that help parents work through things in a practical way....even though I sometimes feel like it might take a wrench or a hammer to get a message through to my son :)) The book is VERY approachable and useable!  By Strong Girl

 An essential book for parents and teachers, March 22, 2013
The Tool Box is an essential and elegant book about communication. The chapters are full of real life examples and situations that will ring true to everyone. The author has written an easy to use guide which can be used in the home, in school and everywhere adults interact with preteen and teenagers. The 'tools' analogy really makes sense as do all of the author's ideas and suggestions for navigating your relationship with children/young adults.
By C.M. Mazza
 Sage Words, March 30, 2013
My brother recommended this book to me and his kids aren't even teenagers yet. The book is full of fresh ways to look at continuing problems, helpful. I particularly like her methods for creating communication.  I'd offer my copy for sale but I keep refering back to it for her words. Buy you own!   By Daniel Bain

 Practical and effective tips for parents of teens, March 21, 2013
I loved this book, and have recommended it to several friends and parents of teens (and even "tweens" like my twin girls). The underlying metaphor is that better parenting is something that is made easier by discovering and learning to use a collection of simple and effective "tools". You dont need a degree is family counseling (though it sure seems to have helped the author :) to reframe some simple ideas into practical and effective tools (e.g: "HALT" and "ABCDs") to use when coping with your teens and helping your teens cope with life. 
By Seth Bain
Real Advice, April 14, 2013
This book is practical and useful and easy to read. It felt like I was having a conversation with a friend. I highly recommend this easy-to-follow guide to parenting, teaching, and/or mentoring a teen.   By Tasha Goodwin

Helpful  February 11, 2013
Karren, In doing research about going back to school, my mom told me about the book and then sent me a copy. It's wonderful! Congratulations! Polly Tobin


  1. So my kid comes home today with less than stellar grades, and Im thinking my way through the tool box for appropriate countermeasures....Time for the Teen Comandments!

  2. This is an opportunity to talk about grades and what they mean to your son (and you). For many kids they do not see how the grades are connected to the bigger picture; it just doesn't seem relevant to them. Or, he may be as frustrated with the grades as you are and hides behind an air of 'whatever'. Try using the ABC's in chapter 6: 3-in-1 Oil, The art of problem solving and compromise. The goal is to get your son to be a part of creating the solution.