Book Nook: Hot Buttons by Nicole O'Dell

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If you’ve got tweens or teens, odds are they know how to push your buttons. But did you know that being a proactive parent means you get to push some buttons yourself?

The Hot Buttons series of books is a unique approach to parenting. Each edition focuses on a specific area of concern: Dating, Internet, Sexuality, and Drugs, with 2 more topics (Bullying and Image) due out in May, 2013. They are designed to equip parents with up-to-date information and statistics of temptations and situations that are facing your kids, probably long before you think they are.

But statistics only go so far in usefulness, right? Parents can feel so paralyzed, wondering how they can broach sensitive topics with their kids, worrying that by doing so they may be planting ideas and causing their worst fears to materialize.

Not so, says Christian author and youth culture expert Nicole O’Dell. She gives parents step-by-step guides for when and how to have these conversations. She provides “scenarios” to role-play with your kids, teaching them to think through their responses in advance rather than in the heat of the moment, and giving you a chance to discuss the pros and cons of their options, also in advance.

Interested in seeing a sample scenario from the Dating Edition? You’ll get an idea of how the system works as well as the deep concern the author has for youth.

Nicole O’Dell is also the author of the “Scenarios for Girls” fiction series, in which girls can test out alternate endings to decision they might make. She’s also written the “Diamond Estates” series for older teens. A mother of six herself (including preschool triplets), Nicole is the founder of Choose Now Ministries, dedicated to guiding parents and teens to victorious choices. With that in mind she hosts 2 one-hour radio programs on Friday mornings, Parent Talk and Teen Talk.

Four Hot Buttons books are currently available in the church library.


is a published fiction author with a strong interest in local food security. She and her husband farm, garden, and keep bees in the Creston Valley.

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