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Boomerang Kids: A Revealing Look at Why So Many of Our Children Are Failing on Their Own, and How Parents Can Help Paperback – August 1, 2011

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Timely and practical book...rife with useful life lessons." (Publishers Weekly 2011-05-16)

About the Author

Carl Pickhardt, PhD, is a psychologist in a private counseling practice. Dr. Pickhardt, whose books include Why Good Kids Act Cruel, The Connected Father, The Future of Your Only Child and Stop the Screaming, is married with four grown children and one grandchild. He lives in Austin, TX.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks (August 1, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 140224858X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402248580
  • Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #834,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Zabrina Caldwell on August 23, 2011
Format: Paperback
I want to start off by saying, I loved this book! Pickhardt has a great theory of how to prevent your teens from becoming "boomerang kids". Boomerang Kids are the kids who really aren't kids anymore, but still can't make it on their own. They always end up where they started. Hence like a boomerang. This book is intended to help parents prevent their children from failing after high school and college on their own.

Pickhardt does a wonderful job describing the reasons behind the 20 to 30 somethings and their procrastination, bad decision making, and terrible planning skills, as well as some other negative points. However, this book draws out the main causes and how to fix them before it is a problem. Pickhardt has broken this book down into stages that are very easy to understand and utilize. Most of the issues young people have today are emotionally based. Through having your children talk about their problems and express their anxieties, they tend to deal with independence much better. They are able to handle more stress and compute it correctly. He also shows how parents should and shouldn't support their children.

In encouraging children, teens, etc, to express themselves, they will then use those skills with their children, and help out other peers and so on and so forth. Thus creating a chain of happy, diligent, more independent young adults. I believe myself to be somewhat of a boomerang kid. I can handle things on my own, but when times get tough, it is almost like the carpet is pulled from under my feet and I end up struggling. I am not saying my parents didn't prepare me to be on my own, but some of these skills would have been nice to have. I am someone who keeps everything to myself instead of expressing my feelings/emotions.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on April 29, 2012
Format: Paperback
For the most part I really enjoyed the parenting prescriptions Pickhardt offered at the end of each chapter. However, I found Chapter 10 outdated and not current with present studies in peer-reviewed journals. Today, studies have shown that separating emotion from logic in impossible given the construction of the brain.

During adolescence and young adulthood, the parts of the brain contributing to the presentation of the emotional and reasonable mind are developing at different levels: the emotional parts of the brain (limbic regions) develop faster than the reasonable part (prefrontal regions). The reasonable parts of the mind catch up later in development. The imbalance of this growth is proposed to result in risky choices and impulsive behaviors. Thus, it is important during this stage of development for parents to foster the balancing of these parts of the brain by helping their children use both emotional and rational thought processes in decision making.

Thus, I recommend that the Parenting Prescriptions for Chapter 10 read as follows:

Getting counseling help. Support your child's getting counseling to learn from emotional crisis, and respect his or her privacy in getting that help.

Integrating thinking and feeling. Encourage your child to make decisions by integrating thinking and feeling in their decision making process.

Changing the emotional context. Teach your child skills and strategies to quiet their minds, calm their bodies, and identify and manage their emotions effectively.

A book that offers techniques on building emotional intelligence in children, including adolescence and young adulthood is Building Emotional Intelligence: Techniques to Cultivate Inner Strength in Children by Lantieri and Goleman.
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Format: Paperback
Every parent of teens expects difficulties as their children go through adolescence. But what's less expected and talked about are the issues that arise when children move into their late teens and early 20s and move away from home to either continue their education or work full time.

In his new book, Boomerang Kids: A Revealing Look at Why So Many of Our Children Are Failing on Their Own, and How Parents Can Help, Carl Pickhardt, PhD, looks at many of the issues both parents and young adults face during this time. Pickhardt begins with the premise that late-stage adolescence is when parents need to move from managing their children to mentoring them. He goes on to examine 11 challenges young adults commonly face, and he talks about what parents can do to encourage their ultimate success.

Pickhardt has the experience to back up his advice. He is a psychologist in private counseling, writes a weekly parenting blog for Psychology Today, and is the author of many other parenting books. He talks directly to parents without relying on a lot of industry terminology, and the examples he uses make it easy to understand each challenge and how to approach it.

Chapters also end with helpful "parenting prescriptions" that recap what came before and include suggestions for how parents can react to the challenge presented. My daughters are both in the age range Pickhardt writes about, and they are on the cusp of what he refers to as "trial independence." I imagine I will keep this book handy and refer back to it for years to come, as my husband and I move through this stage with our daughters. I can also see how it would be helpful to parents of younger adolescents, as it can help them understand some of what their children are going through and how that may play out in the future.
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