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


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Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall: A Parent's Guide to the New Teenager, Revised and Updated + Yes, Your Teen is Crazy!: Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your Mind + Getting to Calm: Cool-Headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens + Teens
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux; Revised edition (August 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0374528535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0374528539
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.6 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,288 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This updated edition (a chapter on gay and lesbian teenagers and the ramifications of the electronic world have been added) will be as useful to parents as the 1992 version. 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.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Review

"Funny, sound, and compassionate, Get Out of My Life will truly help you talk with your kids and not get mad . . ." --Beth Winship, The 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

More About the Author

Anthony E. Wolf, Ph.D., is a practicing clinical psychologist and the author of many bestselling books. He has worked with children and adolescents for more than thirty years and lectures widely on parenting topics. He lives in Suffield, Connecticut.

Customer Reviews

I would recommend this book for any parent with a teenage!
Crazy Daisy's Mom
Parents who want to control and restrict the freedom of their teenagers need to understand the impact it will make on their relationship with their kids.
SD_Dad
This is a helpful and humorous book on being a parent of teenagers.
James Moon

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

126 of 133 people found the following review helpful By VRhodes on April 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
After several recommendations by friends with teens, I've almost finished this book after a couple of days of reading. Helpful points include the reminders to not engage in pointless arguments and to state my position clearly and concisely and not to lecture. My problem with the book is the lack of any apparent consequences for bad behavior. Teen comes in an hour past curfew? Re-state the appropriate curfew time and move on. Teen lies about grades on homework? Overlook the lie and re-state expectations about homework. Teen calls parent a f-ing b*tch? Ignore the name calling and remain silent. While I agree it creates ongoing conflict to call kids out on these behaviors and punish them, I think that is a necessary part of the landscape and to think otherwise is unrealistically permissive.
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65 of 67 people found the following review helpful By V Helmbreck Mascitti on January 26, 2006
Format: Paperback
After raising two and a half teens (my older kids are in their 20s, my youngest is 13) I have to admit that very few childrearing books prepared me for the insanity of the teenage years. Except this one.

I don't think the book is that magic bullet guide we all thought must exist somewhere. But Wolf's observations and suggestions are among the most realistic and common sense ideas I found. He suggests we learn to live with the ultimate reality of kids: They are individuals who will, in the end, do what they want. This doesn't mean their parents should give up or give in. It also doesn't mean that our standards of behavior can't be high or consistent. We must only be willing to acknowledge that they will not always be met and that this process is crucial to growing up.

I found this approach took much of the anger and frustration out of parenting for me. I stopped seeing my kids' resistance to rules and instruction as a personal rejection of my life, my hard work and my ideas. Rather, I came to see it as their own exploration of the world by testing the limits of behavior. Many of the most valuable lessons they learned came from the mistakes I would have liked to have prevented -- but didn't. Teaching them that just because they broke a rule didn't mean that the rule changed or my love for them was somehow diminished helped us all survive without losing our self esteem or respect.

In the long run, learning how to balance guidelines and freedom is the trick of being a parent. Being a rigid authoritarian may feel like the right thing to do at times, but short-term cooperation is no substitute for longterm responsibility and respect for the individuals our children will be -- no mater how well or how badly we raise them.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By 1eupho on September 16, 2004
Format: Paperback
I spent my childhood as a male, 'only' child. This did not prepare me for my current situation: the father of multiple female teenagers. I used to cry out to the universe "WHY, WHY, why me? what did I do to deserve to be subject to this abuse?" Mr. Wolf provided the insights into teenage psyche that has allowed me to survive the daily test of wills. He asserts that teenage girls argue with parents not to win, but simply to argue: It is their method of staying connected to parents while expressing independence. I found this to be exactly true. My blood pressure has even retreated to 'pre-hypertense' from the 'imminent stroke' range. I simply refuse to argue, using 1 word replies like 'no' or 'whatever'. I could go on and on with simple realities of teen years I learned from this book. It is an absolute must-have.
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46 of 51 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 13, 2002
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the best how-to-parent-a-teen book I have found, after reading quite a few. It is succinct and humorous and covers the situations that really happen to parents and their teen aged kids. This book gives the best advice I've seen on how to reduce conflict, how to avoid unecessary conflict (he gives explicit advice on how and when to pick your battles), and how to handle conflict when it does occur, as sometimes it must. However, this book really convinced me that a lot of parent/teen conflict is unecessary and superfluous to really trying to raise a good kid into a good adult without trashing the relationship and spending several miserable years. It shows how we often react in a way that negates our true intentions, and gives better options for interacting. I have gone back to this book a number of times and I always come away feeling I've gotten advice that I can put into practice with real (and positive) results. I think my son and I are happier and closer as a result of this book.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 13, 2004
Format: Paperback
As a therapist who specializes in adolescents, I have recomended this book to dozens of parents. They all love it and always recognize their teens. I tell parents to let the teens read the book also, they do, they laugh, they learn. It is the best book about teens I have ever read or used in my practice.
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27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 31, 2004
Format: Paperback
I loved reading this book. It helped me realise that it's normal for my teenager to swear at me, be rude, refuse to do things for me, prefer her friends to me, and so on. This is all part of a necessary step of growing up. As a parent, you need to keep restating the rules and boundaries, make sure the limits are there, but not totally lose it when they are transgressed.

This book has helped me to get a more objective -- and much more sympathetic -- view of what's going on in her head.

The fact that my darling little 14-year-old girl has gone gothic and spends hours playing heavy metal on her electric guitar suddenly seems more endearing than worrying! Now I can focus on the more important things, like the fact that she also seems happy, relaxed and is doing well in school. Any amount of black nail varnish is worth that!

It's an easy-to-read, fairly light book, but despite its simplicity it has made me feel much more confident about my ability to deal with her teenage years. I'm currently reading "Yes, Your Teen is Crazy" which is a good complement to "Get Out of my Life".

PS - It's refreshing to see a book that has realistic dialogue. Swearing and all.
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