How do you talk to your kids about...?

Latest Additions to Hot Button Series
Prepare Parents to Discuss Difficult Topics

Nicole O’Dell helps address the Hot Buttons
in teens’ lives before the issues become problems
All parents were teenagers once, but with each generation there are new challenges that teens face, at least in a different way than their parents did. This has never been truer than today with the influences of social networking and a constant connection to the internet and media. It’s more important than ever for parents to be proactive in talking to their teens about hot-button issues such as the internet, dating, sexuality and drugs. As a resource to help parents have those difficult conversations with their children, Nicole O’Dell, author and popular radio host, has launched an innovative, proactive strategy parents can use to prepare their teens for difficult decisions with the release of the Hot Buttons book series.

What exactly is a hot-button issue? A hot button is any emotional or controversial issue that has the potential to trigger intense reaction. What topics fit in this category? “Pretty much everything that pummels your kids with temptation and threatens to pull them away from a walk with God. Music, dating, computer use, texting, partying, drugs, the list goes on and on,” says O’Dell. “These issues are real and often confusing. They require attention—before they arise—and ignoring them can have dire consequences.”

This summer, the Hot Button series debuted with the release Internet Edition and Dating Edition to be followed with the October releases of the Drug and Sexuality editions. Each book begins with a real look at the temptations and situations that teens are faced with, including current statistics. O’Dell outlines questions for parents to ask themselves before launching into a discussion as well as advice on how to approach their teens to begin conversations. Speaking from experience, she gives parents do’s and don’ts guidelines on what questions to ask and how to react.

The most unique and practical aspect of each Hot Button book is the strategic scenarios—short stories that allow parents to introduce certain challenges to their teens in a creative “what would you do?” question and answer format. Each Hot Button scenario is followed by three or four choices from which the teen can choose to resolve the situation. Parents are then encouraged to help their children explore, ask questions, and discuss the options so when the scenarios come up in real life, teens are prepared with their response.

O’Dell was inspired to start the series when looking for ways to talk to her own children. “I was searching for ways to lead my children to make good decisions. I decided it would be far better to talk to them proactively about issues they would one day face than it would be to wait until they were buried under poor choices,” she writes. “I believed it would be easier to control the way they perceived the information and far easier to help them see and understand the consequences of poor decisions if they could look at it objectively, without the added stress of peer pressure and other outside influences.”

These first four editions are just a start to the Hot Buttons series. Upcoming releases in 2013 will include books on Bullying and Image. Plans for an interactive app are also in development.  The series has recently received the Focus on the Family seal of approval.


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.
978-0-8254-4240-7 (June 2012)

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.
978-0-8254-4239-1 (June 2012)

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.
978-0-8254-4241-4 (October 2012)

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.
978-0-8254-4242-1 (October 2012)

$9.99/ 168 pages each / 2-color interior / paperback


Readers can get updates on the series, interact with Nicole O’Dell and more by visiting the Hot Buttons Facebook Page, following Hot Buttons on Twitter, or visiting

Parents and teens can join O’Dell for a special online live chat on November 1 (more details will be available soon).

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.

While her YA resources encourage and equip teens, Nicole also works to bridge the communication gap between teens and their parents. The Hot Buttons series helps parents discuss tough issues with their tweens and teens before the issues pop up in real life. Watch for future Hot Buttons books on subjects like bullying, image, prejudice, friendships, politics, and more.

O’Dell, resides in Paxton, IL, with her husband and six children—the youngest of whom are toddler triplets.

Learn more about Nicole O’Dell and her books and Choose NOW podcasts at She has special sections set up for both teens and parents. Readers can also keep up with her via Facebook and Twitter.


Thomas said…