Get Out of My Life: But First Take Me and Alex into Town

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9781846680878: Get Out of My Life: But First Take Me and Alex into Town

This is the best survival guide for parents who find themselves marooned among volatile and incomprehensible aliens on Planet Teen. Area maps cover the ground - with chapters on school, sex, drugs, 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. 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-check samples of 'ideal' communication - the stuff we imagine might get said by better parents. After one such rosily cooperative and considerate interchange between a father and his adolescent son, the book 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. Efforts shouldn't be judged by otherworldly standards.

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About the Author:

Tony Wolf is a psychologist and author of a number of successful guides on different aspects of parenting. He has teenage children. Suzanne Franks is a television producer, journalist and author of Having None of It (Granta). She has a teenage daughter and two younger children. She lives in London.

Review:

Reassuring, very funny and spot-on -- Michelle Hanson, author of Treasure the Teenage Terror A handbook for parents on the front line. * Herald (Glasgow) * Funny, sound, and compassionate, Get Out of My Life will truly help you talk with your kids and not get mad -- Beth Winship * Boston Globe * Get Out of My Life has Spock's common sense, the insight of Freud, and the wit of Bombeck. I welcome this book. -- Dorothy Zeiser, Ph.D., Chairman, Department of Child Study Wolf, a clinical psychologist who works with adolescents (Why Did You Have to Get a Divorce? And When Can I Get a Hamster?), clearly has a feel for both the angst of young people who must deal with an evermore complex world and the difficulties parents face when a cooperative loving child morphs into a teenager who lies, talks back and avoids parental company. Humorous and insightful, Wolf describes what is, rather than what mothers and fathers of rebellious and thoughtless adolescents wish would be. He is forthright in stating that "you do not win the battle for control with teenagers... usually the best you get is imperfect control." Despite the best efforts of parents, today's adolescents frequently drink, experiment with drugs and are sexually active. According to the author, however, it is still important to have rules even though a teenager may break them. If parents clearly state their expectations of behavior and restate them when a teen disobeys, their son or daughter will, to some extent, internalize the rules and abide by them sometimes. In addition to providing excellent advice on particular situations, including divorce, school problems and stepparenting, he makes the often obnoxious manner in which teens communicate with their parents understandable as a rite of passage that they will eventually outgrow. * Publishers Weekly * [A] wise and comforting classic. -- Patrick O'Neill * The Oregonian * A book that friends with adolescents have sworn is their survival bible ... One friend told me, 'I swear, it's like he was sitting in my kitchen writing down our exact words.' The dialogue and analysis are completely on-target and so full of sense ... Wolf's tone is playful, astute, and made me scurry to find his [other] book[s]. * The Chapel Hill News *

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Tony Wolf
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