Hot Buttons by Nicole O'Dell

About the Books:

Nicole O’Dell helps address the Hot Buttons in teens’ lives before the issues become problems 
From dating to drugs, modesty to purity, morals to popularity, teens face all sorts of tough issues. How teens respond to these hot-button issues can have lasting effects on who they want to be and who they actually become. What if parents can help their teens prepare for these hot buttons–before the issues become a problem?
The uniquely packaged Hot Buttons Series is an accessible, quick-reference resource that parents can use to equip their children to make the right decisions, even in the face of peer pressure and outside influences. More than just another how-to manual, Hot Button Dating Edition offers practical real-life situations that parents can read and discuss with their preteens. Topics include: physical activity, missionary dating, and violence/abuse in dating relationships.
Author, mom, and broadcaster, Nicole O’Dell provides short scenarios followed by three or four responses that a teen might choose in that particular situation. Parents are then encouraged to help their children explore the issue, ask questions, and discuss the options, so when a similar situation comes up in real life, the teens are already prepared to respond.
Hot Buttons Dating Edition offers practical real-life situations that parents can read and discuss with their preteens. Topics include: physical activity, missionary dating, and violence/abuse in dating relationships.
Hot Buttons Internet Edition helps parents prepare their teens for online challenges they may face. Topics discussed include: internet activity, file sharing, social networking, and internet predators.
Hot Buttons Drug Edition braves the scary world of substance abuse, equipping parents with facts, warning signs, and real-world scenarios on: alcohol; Marijuana and other drugs; inhalants; and prescription drugs.
Hot Buttons Sexuality Edition offers the facts about teen sexuality, backed by statistics; specifics for how to talk frankly about sex with your kids, discussion about the growth of homosexuality and bisexuality among teens; and compassionate advice for guiding your teen to reclaim purity.

About the Author:
Youth-culture expert, Nicole O'Dell is the host of Choose NOW Radio: Parent Talk and Teen Talk and the founder of Choose NOW Ministries, dedicated to guiding teens through tough issues and helping parents encourage good decisions. On air, O'Dell covers peer pressure, dating, purity, drugs, alcohol, modesty, popularity, and anything else that comes up along the way. Nicole writes and speaks to preteens, teenagers, and parents about how to prepare for life's tough choices. As an author, O'Dell writes both fiction and nonfiction. Her popular YA fiction includes the Diamond Estate Series and the Scenarios for Girls interactive books that feature alternate endings, allowing young girls to decide the outcome for the main character. Her nonfiction for teens includes Girl Talk, which she wrote with her two daughters based on their popular advice column. O'Dell, resides in Paxton, IL, with her husband and six children-the youngest of whom are toddler triplets.

My Review:
I wanted to review this set of books because I have 5 children, two of whom are already teens and two are very near being teenagers.  I also work with teens in our church, so I see the things they struggle with and the questions they have.  

I really like this quote from page 22 of the Dating Edition:

The battle we fight in protecting, shielding, and preparing our teens for life's hot-button issues isn't as
 black-and-white as a physical battle in which the wins and losses can be easily quantified.  
We must often blindly face battles for our kids, operating more on faith than on sight,
 being obedient to the call of Christ and reliant on the leading of the Holy Spirit.  

We aren't in a battle of wills with our children, we are in a battle against Satan and the temptations he puts in our path.  With the help of the Holy Spirit and God's Word, we can help our children fight and WIN this battle.   Nicole's books are a wonderful guide on facing the temptations the world has to offer head-on and winning!

Each of the four books has four parts (fill in the blanks with Dating, Internet, Sexuality or Drug) :

      * __________Hot Buttons
      * Identifying the __________Hot Buttons
      * Pressing the ___________Hot Buttons
      * Parent-Teen Study Guide

Within each section, there are several chapters that deal with each of the 4 main headings (Dating/internet/Sexuality/drug Hot buttons, Identifying, Pressing and Study Guide).  There is a lot of information in these small 6x6 books, and I love that there is plenty of Scripture to  back what Nicole has written to help us breach this topics with our children.  

In the Parent-Teen Study Guide there are Strategic Scenarios that the parent is supposed to share with their child.  The parent is supposed to tell the child the given story then offer the given options (choices) with no commentary.  Then, use the things you have learned in the previous sections to guide a discussion with your teen about the choice they made.  In this manner, you deal with the situations before your teen is faced with the given situation/temptation. 

I wouldn't suggest reading verbatim from the book aloud to your child ... I would say study up on it and then when you are having alone time with the child you want to approach the given subject about, the given scenario is a great place to start.  

These books would be a great read for parents of teens, preteens or anyone who works with teens.  You can click on the above titles of the books and purchase them there.


  1. I had not seen this book before. Thanks for your thoughts and the review. Hope you have a great week! :O)


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