"The Approximate Parent illustrates Michael’s depth of knowledge and experience with adolescents. But it’s a long and often challenging work that is better off taken chapter by chapter, as parents need specific information about their struggles with their teen. Michael’s chatty and authentic voice guides the reader throughout the book and The Approximate Parent makes great points that I’ll share with parents, as well as with the teens in my practice. Michael’s understanding of what teens face daily is really helpful when you’re getting frustrated and irritated with your own teen."
Lynn Lott, Co-author, Positive Discipline for Teenagers (and many other books in the Positive Discipline series)“The Approximate Parent is a must read for all parents...It is an insightful guide, a tool that can make a difference in your parenting style to get results. A definite 5 star read in my book.” Reader Views (January 2013)
If you are the parent of a teenager and you are paying any attention at all, you know that, besides dealing with the classic adolescent issues, your child is negotiating an environment that has been radically redefined by the new media the Internet, iPhone, Facebook world. If you are at all self-aware, you probably realize that you don t understand that environment very well. There are plenty of media experts out there and plenty of parenting experts too maybe too many - but, in Michael Simon, you have someone whose life's work has been in media theory and adolescent development. He has mastered the literature in both fields and has been putting it all to work as a high school counselor and therapist for almost 20 years. That is an extraordinary qualification and, with every innovation in technological connectivity, it becomes more and more essential. The Approximate Parent
is a brilliant synthesis of theory and practice, of research and application that aims directly at how teenagers actually live in this mediated world. --Thomas de Zengotita, Ph.D., anthropologist, teacher at New York University and the Dalton School and award-winning author of Mediated: How the Media Shapes Your World and the Way You Live in It
Michael Simon knows more about teenagers than anyone I know. For years, he has been helping parents all over the United States in his popular speaking series on parenting adolescents. Now, in The Approximate Parent,
parents can benefit from Michael's unique perspective by reading his book. This is not a simple 7 Steps to a Happy Teen type of book, because Simon knows his subject matter too well, and has too much respect for parents to oversimplify something as constantly evolving as adolescence and as humbling as parenting. Combining ethics, philosophy, science, psychology and sociology, Michael has written a book that may forever change how you look at your teen, and at the same time, provide you with all of the tools you need to get them where they need to go. The Approximate Parent
is a meticulously researched and psychologically solid book. I learned a lot and know that you will too. Highly recommended!! --Joshua Coleman, Ph.D., psychologist, national parenting expert, television and radio personality, and author When Parents Hurt: Compassionate Strategies When You and Your Grown Child Don t Get Along and The Marriage Makeover
Parenting teenagers is a risky business that requires the development of healthy risk-taking skills for parents as well as adolescents. Michael Simon's book, The Approximate Parent: Discovering the Strategies That Work with
, offers an important blueprint for parents who want to learn these skills. Michael also recognizes that parenting teenagers is neither black or white nor good or bad. Instead, it is a process of growing closer closer to your adolescent, yourself as a parent, and most important, closer to what works best for your relationship. Michael's non dogmatic approach is truly heartening. ----Lynn Ponton, M.D., Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at UCSF, is an international expert on adolescents and risk taking and the author of The Romance of Risk
and The Sex Lives of Teenagers
"Parenting isn't a science, and finding the exact answer is pretty hopeless. "The Approximate Parent: Discovering the Strategies That Work with Your Teenager" is a parenting guide that affirms for parents that no parent is perfect, and working with your teen is the key to being the best parent one can be, facing the realities of biology, development, and culture. Michael Simon presents his two and one-half decades of experience to help readers better meet their job as a parent. "The Approximate Parent" is worth considering for any parent who has the weight of perfection on their shoulders, driving then down into insanity."
The Midwest Book Review, August 2012
Michael Y. Simon is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice in Oakland, California (Lic. MFC 38305). Michael is a sought-after local and national speaker on teens and families who has worked with thousands of children, youth and families since 1990. He has also taught psychology, philosophy and religious studies at several American universities and colleges and in 1998 founded Practical Help for Parents -- a support organization for parents, educators and mental health professionals who work daily in support of pre-adolescents and adolescents. Michael began his professional career in psychology as Executive Director of the San Francisco Psychotherapy Research Group (SFPRG), working closely with Joseph Weiss, M.D., Harold Sampson, Ph.D., and other principals of the Research Group. The organization conducted and then disseminated the results of groundbreaking research on the psychotherapeutic process in order to more deeply understand just how and whether psychotherapy really worked. Michael's tenure at SFPRG helped advance the professional identity of the organization, growing an international following of researchers, clinicians and others interested in psychotherapeutic process research and education. In the early 2000s at Parents Place in Marin, California, he helped to develop a broad range of programs for parents of children (birth to 18), and brought many of these programs into the workplaces of busy professionals. In 2003 he consulted with a local independent high school and then was asked to develop a counseling program for the school. He founded the program and served as Director of Counseling for close to 6 years. Michael continues to speak around the country, write and publish on adolescents and adolescent development and sees children, teens, adults, couples and families in private practice. Perhaps most important, Michael is the proud parent of kind, former teenager who is busily engaged in trying to make the world a better place.