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148 of 149 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wolf's writing is wonderful and his advice is genuine.
Anthony E. Wolf has added another parenting guide to his list of help books. -Get Out Of My Life, But First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl To The Mall? offers advice and much needed assistance to parents who are raising teenagers. Wolf describes today's adolescents as the "new teenager who are different than teenagers of previous generations and many parents are...
Published on November 15, 1999

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146 of 156 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where are the consequences?
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...
Published on April 21, 2008 by VRhodes


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148 of 149 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wolf's writing is wonderful and his advice is genuine., November 15, 1999
By A Customer
Anthony E. Wolf has added another parenting guide to his list of help books. -Get Out Of My Life, But First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl To The Mall? offers advice and much needed assistance to parents who are raising teenagers. Wolf describes today's adolescents as the "new teenager who are different than teenagers of previous generations and many parents are finding them almost impossible to deal with. They are bolder, less obedient, and their world is much more threatening and complicated. Therefore, the parents of today's "new teenagers" need to alter their parenting skills to be better equipped to handle such matters and Wolf's book can help. Most adults view teenagers as immature robots of disobedience who are merely trying to be difficult and miserable. But Wolf describes adolescents and their behavior in ways which make them seem much more needy of their parents love, guidance, and compassion. Wolf's book does not administer a list of rules of what to do and what not to do when raising a teenager. Instead he offers a variety of real life situations and he suggests methods parents may use to deal with these issues. . And, if there is no solution, as is the case in some of the situations, Wolf is not afraid to say so. Also, Wolf goes beyond just describing these situations. He gets behind the problem and explains why teenagers act the way that they do. His words act as a translator for the very foreign language of teenage behavior and very often his descriptions make their behavior seem much less despicable and much more comprehendible. Wolf covers such areas as parental decision making, lying teenagers, confrontation and how parents should handle it, teenagers who continually break rules, and methods parents should use to make rules. Wolf also addresses more modern issues like divorce, parenting alone, sex, suicide, and alcohol and drug use. Wolf does a wonderful job of assuring the parent that it is o.k. if they make mistakes while raising their teenagers. He is sure to remind his readers that adolescence is a stage and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Most importantly, Wolf offers assurance to parents that their efforts during these teenage years, however fruitless they may seem at the time, are crucial. Through his writing Wolf speaks to the hearts of parents without using a preachy or condescending tone. His advice is genuine and his concern is real. `Get Out Of My Life' is a loving and compassionate guide to understanding today's teenagers. This book helps not only parents, but anyone who is involved with teenagers, truly understand their lives and not feel so angry at them all the time. Wolf offers his advice in a funny, easy to understand, real life, sensitive way, which draws the reader in and makes these difficult years seem much more survivable. He expels the monster image of adolescence that many people carry and replaces it with a much more lovable image that is needy of their parents attention. I applaud Wolf's work and strongly suggest it to anyone dealing with today's youth.
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79 of 79 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a book that didn't make me feel guilty, January 2, 1999
I am an avid reader and get most of my information this way. So, I've read many books to help me get through these teenage years, which stated half way through 6th grade (age 12) and continuing with frightening fury through age 14. Mostly, they have made me feel guilty for things I hadn't done. This books takes you where you're at as ugly as it may be. This is the first time I have been able to feel that my daughter is normal, that is an important first step in dealing with a teenager. Chapter 3 was most meaningful for me. It dealt with letting go and accepting the person you're child has become. We spend our child's lives raising them and protecting them and as if overnight, we are expected to stand back and live with our creation. I also appreciated how he recognizes some parents feelings that although we love them, we at times hate them and want to cause them physical harm. I too, feel like this was written about my child. I also feel that he must have heard some of the conversations we have had and repeated them verbatim. He wrote this book long before I ever dreamed those words could come out of my darling daughters mouth. I feel not so alone.
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146 of 156 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Where are the consequences?, April 21, 2008
This review is from: 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)
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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55 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Lighthearted Approach to Adolescence, November 23, 1999
Get Out Of My Life is a guidebook written to help parents understand and positively manage the difficult adolescent years. Suggestions on how parents can deal with adolescent turmoil, conflict, and real life issues are made.
The physical and intellectual changes associated with adolescence are discussed. How teenagers respond to these uncontrolled changes is remarkably similar within the individual sexes. On the other hand, they can be quite different between the sexes. For example, for young female teens fitting in is paramount. A young female teen's self esteem can be directly tied to their level of popularity. Friends are also very important to young male teens, but the boys are more accepting and less cruel in the process.
The interaction between parent and teenager is described and analyzed. Because the transition from childhood to adolescence is sporadic and out of character, parents are typically caught off guard and unprepared for hostile parent-adolescent interactions. This discussion is especially valuable in providing the bewildered parents examples of predictable teenage demands and how to handle them. For example, the parent of a new teen will immediately recognize the anecdotal descriptions the author provides like, "I don't care". Here the child threatens disobedience with the famous "I don't care what you say or do to me, I'll do what I want......." The author explains that it is the parent's job to discern actual disobedience from threatened disobedience and to avoid the ensuing fight at all costs.
Finally, the book examines the real world external challenges teenagers face and gives the reader statistics, tips, and advise on: peer pressure, drugs, alcohol, divorce between parents, trouble in school, and sex. Again, the author does a good job of building his points using anecdotal parent/teen dialogue. This provides, on the one hand, a mirror for parent's own behavior; while reinforcing the commonality of the teen behavior they are seeing in their children. Anthony Wolf has 30 years of clinical experience in adolescent psychology as well as experience with two of his own teenagers. His purpose in writing the book is to provide characteristic teenage dialogue, with a quintessential situation, and translate it into the naivete of adolescence that it is.
What I liked most about this book was the author's lighthearted approach to adolescence; as a parent of two adolescents myself, I could finally see the humor. It is much funnier when you come to realize that it is all normal and every family with an adolescent will experience it. Although I did not agree with all of his parenting advise, I agreed with the majority of his advice and found his book extremely insightful. I certainly would recommend this book to anyone who wants a better understanding of adolescence behavior.
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76 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Defusing parental anger, January 26, 2006
This review is from: 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)
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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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The truth shall set you free...., May 28, 2000
It's true! All the guilt feelings, the wondering if you are doing okay as a parent, the worry over your child's behavior (or lack of), the horrible sense that you just may have created a monster - it all goes away with this book. And pleasantly too! Any parent of teenage children will appreciate this book immensely. Sometimes just knowing that you are not alone is enough. Enjoy!
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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Get Out of My Life. . . A Parent's Guide to the New Teenager, January 5, 2000
Outstanding! I read numerous books trying to learn how to get along with my teenage daughter because I sure couldn't do it alone. From the very first page, I felt like this book was about us. I found that our problems were not unique and that there really was a better way to deal with the situation. It turned me completely around and conflicts have been minimal since reading this book. I recommend it to everyone who is fighting with their young teenager.
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37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let your teens read it also, April 13, 2004
By A Customer
This review is from: 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)
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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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Survival Guide that has actually led to my survival, September 16, 2004
By 
1eupho (Milwaukee, WI) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 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)
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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50 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a compact guide for real life families, December 13, 2002
By A Customer
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This review is from: 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)
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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