Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall?: A Parent's Guide to the New Teenager

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9780374523220: Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall?: A Parent's Guide to the New Teenager
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Describes adolescent behavior, stresses the importance of parental communication, and discusses discipline, behavior problems, divorce, school, sex, drugs, and suicide

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Review:

This is a survival guide for parents who find themselves marooned among volatile and incomprehensible aliens on Planet Teen. Area maps cover the obvious ground--there are chapters on school, sex, suicide, and so on--but it's the title of Chapter 2, "What They Do and Why," that best captures the book's spirit and technique. Anthony Wolf's modus operandi is not so much to make pronouncements about what parents should do, as to explain adolescent behavior in a way that's bound to leave parents with a changed view of the plausible options. Wolf is a clinical psychologist, and his writing is clear--even witty--and he doesn't resort to jargon. The expository text is punctuated with snatches of illustrative dialogue, which serve as concrete examples and help parents learn how to see, anticipate, and avoid "bad strategies." (One key mistake is getting dragged into no-win conflicts instead of having the wisdom to shut up at the moment when shutting up would be most effective--albeit the least satisfying--thing to do.) There are also some nicely tongue-in-cheek samples of "ideal" communication--the stuff we imagine might get said if only we were better parents. After one such rosily cooperative and considerate interchange between a father and his adolescent son, Wolf offers the following two-edged comfort: "The above conversation has never happened. Never. Not in the whole history of the world." Message: Parenting adolescents is inherently difficult. Don't judge your efforts by otherworldly standards. --Richard Farr

About the Author:

Anthony E. Wolf, received his Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the City University of New York. For the past twenty-five years he has been in private practice seeing children and adolescents in the Springfield, Massachusetts area. Married, Dr. Wolf is the father of two grown children. He has written five books on parenting and numerous articles, which have appeared in such magazines as Child Magazine, Parents, and Family Circle. He has also written a monthly column for Child Magazine.

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Wolf, Anthony E.
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