I don’t do many book reviews, but was very eager to read the book Hey Back Off by Jennie Withers with Phyllis Hendrickson, M. Ed. Teen Harassment has become much more dangerous in recent years. Just last night on my local news was a story about a gang of boys tackling other students at school and simulating sex acts on them. I was both shocked and horrified while watching the story. What would you do if this happened to your child or if your child were the harasser?
The book Hey Back Off is one that I highly recommend for both parents and teens. It is sectioned off in a way that is easy for parents and teens to read what is applicable to them. Although I recommend parents read the entire book. It begins by providing an understanding of harassment. I think this portion of the book is so important for teens to read, because so much harassing behavior has become accepted today. They need to understand what is and is not acceptable behavior by their peers. It also uncovers many of the myths about harassment.
There are many true stories of harassment included in the book that teens may be able to relate to. Chances are they heave either experienced first hand or witnessed similar situations.
For me personally, the most important thing I took away from this book are the tools to help identify if your child is being bullied. There is a story about a girl named Sissy who had always taken good care of her hair but then suddenly grew her bangs out and left them to hang over her eyes. After noticing this change, Sissy’s mother was able to pick up on other behavior changes and discovered that Sissy was being bullied. Sissy was withdrawn and trying to hide from the world behind her bangs.
The book includes neat personality quizzes for both parents and teens to take. They help to identify if you are passive, assertive or aggressive. Each one of these personality types is discussed in depth. I learned that I am an assertive parent which is where I want to be.
Throughout the book are writing activities at the end of each section. I think there is a lot to be gained by doing these activities. They really got me thinking about some things.
Also in the book you will find information on the laws governing harassment and what rights you have as a victim. As well as ways to personally cope with bullying and the important topic of cyber bullying.
In my opinion, Hey Back Off is a must read for both parents and teens. Even a teen who is a bully will get a lot from reading this book. You can buy your copy online here.