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Behind The Book: The Parent Compass

Co-authors Cindy Clumeck Muchnick and Jenn Bowie Curtis share what inspired them to write The Parent Compass: Navigating Your Teen’s Wellness & Academic Journey in Today’s Competitive World. Read on to learn more about the book’s journey from idea to publication.

Behind the Book

In March 2019, Operation Varsity Blues (also known as The College Admissions Scandal) erupted. At the time, we were professional colleagues—educational consultants who devoted our careers to guiding teens on their academic journeys. Shocked as the news unfolded, we called one another lamenting the stories of bad parenting behavior overtaking the headlines before our eyes. That very day, the idea for The Parent Compass was born.

Our Observations: The Bad and The Good

In our work through the years, we had witnessed the insane lengths that some parents were willing to go to just to help their kids get into college. The current generation tweens’ and teens’ parents had gotten way off track. We felt compelled to offer a remedy. The Parent Compass messages emerged from our desire to put things right. To help teens survive these difficult years still happy, productive, and intact rather than frazzled, depressed, and burned out.

We observed too many parents who talked for their children and too many kids who had no opinions. Parents who were inflexible and kids who shied away from them, parents who got too caught up in the name-brand schools, and kids who were unable to find the best-fit college. We had seen the consequences when parents behaved swell-headed, believing in (and even bragging about) the status that accompanied an acceptance to a highly ranked school or acting disappointed when their child was admitted to a less well-known school.

But, at the same time, we had also seen so much of the good. Over the years, we observed the good parenting behavior that led to happy, successful, and balanced teens. We saw parents who trusted and kids who reciprocated, parents who respected and kids who likewise respected, parents who were present and took the time to get to know their children—and in turn kids who felt valued, clearly seen, and had the room to achieve their wildest dreams.

Our Book as a Remedy

The tools and anecdotes presented in The Parent Compass come from our observations and experiences as parents, as well as from situations we witnessed with our clients. In our research, we also consulted many experts. We conducted hours of interviews with educational leaders, teachers, school counselors, and heads of school who have boots on the ground in middle and high schools across the nation, authors researching our teen population, and teen psychologists, whose insights and research bolstered our parent compass movement.

We Empathize and Genuinely Want to Help

Together we understand that this life stage is a trying time. The Parent Compass is a guide that shows parents how to survive the tween and teen years while keeping the relationship with their child intact. And, in doing so, it helps teens find their next stage of happiness, self-reliance, and purpose in life’s journey to college and beyond. And who doesn’t want the joy and satisfaction of raising a happy, well-adjusted, contributing teen?

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