Copyright : 2004 Simon & Shuster Inc. New York, NY ISBN:0-74326071-6
1. Making Sense of Adolescence/1 2. A Guided Tour of Their Brains /26 3. Why Adolescents Are Impulsive /39 4. Risky Business: Helping Teens Put on the Brakes /55 5. What We Have Hear Is a Failure to Communicate /74 6. Male and Female Brains: Sexual Stereotyping and Sexual Identity /92 7. Love, Sex and the Adolescent Brain /115 8. Monkey Wrenches in the Brain: Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs /137 9. Adolescents and Media /157 10. The Story Behind Tired Teens /175 11. When Things Go Wrong in the Brain: Adolescent Mental Illness /185 12. Psychological and Social Dimensions of Adolescence /210 13. The Importance of Connection and Guidance /229 14. In Conclusion /248
“Even smart kids do stupid things. It’s a simple fact of life. No one makes it through the teenage years unscathed-not the teens, not the parents. But now there’s expert help for both generations in this groundbreaking new guide for surviving the drama of adolescence”. (Walsh, 2004)
This book is an easy read. Walsh uses humor along with great stories from some of his actual clients and their families to explain why teenagers do the stupid things thy do. At the end of each chapter he has this section called the Parent Survival Kit. This section contains basic knowledge, along with attitudes and skills needed to raise teenagers. The more that you know-the better off you are. The survival kit is a set of questions to help you be better prepared. The more yeses you have the better off you are, no’s means you have to keep reading for help.
Their bodies are maturing at a much younger age then before. They have to learn to handle their sexually strong urges. They have to figure out how to handle explosive emotions. They have to deal with enormous peer pressure. They have to try to find the social network that they feel they fit into. They have ever changing mood swings. Happy one minute then angry the next. They need to learn to manage the temptations of tobacco, drugs and alcohol. They need to understand and choose their values. They need to maintain relationships with adults and other family members. They need to graduate school. They need to find time to get enough sleep. They need to be able to plan a future when they begin each day with uncertainties.
Get motivated and talk to your kids. Talking to them will not cause them to go out and have sex. If you don’t talk to them-someone else will. Get educated. Be well informed so that you have confidence in your ability to talk to your teen. They need to have this conversation with you. Be honest with your child. Tell them that your nervous about talking about sex. Your teen will appreciate your honesty. Have short conversations as your teen grows. Begin early and have discussions through adolescence. Don’t try to cover everything in one conversation. Talk in private, discuss dating and don’t preach. Ask questions and share your own values.
Always model responsible use. Your actions speak louder than any words can. Explain to your teens how damaging smoking and abusing drugs and alcohol can be to their developing brain. Set clear expectations and tell them that you do not want them in harms way. Enforce curfews. Get to know your adolescent’s friends and their parents. Ask your teen what they already know about these topics and listen carefully to what they say. If you are ever worried about abuse, seek professional help right away. Don’t ignore signs that your teen is drinking, using drugs or smoking.
Freshman are still loud and boisterous. Sophomores are still trying to figure out how to fit in. Juniors dislike their parents and teachers and Seniors are worried about their future. Our teens of today live very different lives then that of their Parents and Grandparents. Teens will continue to argue and disobey their parents and teachers, continue to make poor choices regarding their friends, drugs, alcohol, and smoking. This book is a wonderful guide that can help parents to understand and deal with their teenager. This book helps to keep parents sane through all the crazy years of growing up.