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4.4 out of 5 stars28
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75 of 76 people found the following review helpful
on November 29, 1999
I am a parent of a 10 and a 12-year-old and I will use this book as I used my baby and childcare books when they were younger. This book is useful to identify if a condition or behavior is normal or typical, or not. The Roller Coaster Years covers many different aspects of pre-adolescence and adolescence by presenting different scenarios which are typical of this age group. This helps the parent to deal with each aspect or problem effectively. This also helps the parent realize when a problem has become more serious than it should be and when to seek professional help. The reader is provided with many statistics in this book. Some of the statistics are alarming but can be helpful for parents in understanding the scope of adolescent problems. Strategies are provided on how to steer your middle school child in the right direction. It touches upon such areas as academics, physical changes, sexuality, drug abuse, disorganization, peer pressure and other emotional ups and downs, hence the name "The Roller Coaster Years". I would recommend this book to parents because it was easy to read and understand and it offered practical, realistic solutions to everyday problems in the life of a middle school student.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on June 19, 2001
As the father of three mid- to late teens, I believe this book will be a great aid to young parents who have, or will soon be raising, the "middlers" (ages 10-15) that this book focuses on. My only regret is that I did not have the opportunity to read it when my children were beginning to move through this age group.
Had I read it earlier, I'm sure that it would have greatly improved my parenting skill because this book is practically a "how-to" manual for parents raising the 10-15 year-old child. Many, many topics are addressed by (what I feel, anyway) are two very readable and knowledgeable authors! Success in school, friendship & peer pressure, helping with the selection of appropriate media, drug and alcohol use, sexual awakening, and appearance anxiety are just some of the topics that are addressed in the book.
The book is a very fast "read" and is written in a light-hearted, yet informative manner. Humor and "street-talk" are used appropriately and effectively. The authors have certainly done their research and share a great deal of relevant and "eye-popping" survey material. Much of the material comes from the National Middle School Association, which also gives the book it "seal of approval".
I wholeheartedly recommend it to all parents who have children approaching those difficult high school years. You'll learn a lot of effective communication and parenting tricks which will make you a more effective parent, while at the same time making it easier for you and your "middler" to peacefully (and happily) progress through these trying 6 years! 5 stars!
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 1999
The authors of this book obviously took the time to get opinions and information from the appropriate sources. I have not found a chapter that did not cover some area of concern in our life with a middler. (I love that term, by the way.) I have questions and worries on so many topics from homework, schoolwork, sports, free time, to health, drugs and sex concerns and this book deals with each area as though it were written just for my husband, son and me. I have to say that I was relieved to find that many of my instincts were justified as I read common reasons for lack of interest in school and late or missing homework. (The authors mentioned the fact that kids this age suddenly have to become more organized having more teachers, homework, changing classes,and they are usually at a level of play in sports that requires their mental and physical attention at a greater intensity than before.) I have felt this to be the case with my son and several of his friends and it's reassuring to have this confirmed. It is amazing how much you can not only learn from this book, but how much you can be reassured that you are doing so many things right. What a relief to know that, since many books focus on what parents do wrong. I have recommended that so many of my friends purchase this book because I won't be giving up my copy any time over the next 14 years.(I've still got two girls to go through these years with.) They browsed through mine and felt the same reaction as I did immediately upon opening the book. It is a "must read" book for anyone with a child aged 10-15.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on April 12, 2000
I decided to order and read this book in an attempt to better understand the world my 12 year old daughter inhabits on a daily basis. This book was extremely informative and helpful in assisting me to remember what it was like to be in junior high. I found that once I was able to remember some of the difficult times, it was much easier to have understanding and empathy for my daughter. It helped to create a more peaceful, less combative atmosphere in our home. Each chapter is well thought out and simply written, offering very practical suggestions on how to deal with every topic that affects the lives of these "tweeners" and their families. I regard this book as a treasure and still look back at it when various problems present themselves. Well worth it!
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on June 29, 1999
I found this book easy to read and understand. The information is broken into relevant topics so you can read what applies to you and your middler at that moment. I recommend reading every word though, because you never know when you might need some of this information. This book gave me the empathy to understand and deal with my 12-year-old stepdaughter. As much as I thought I could remember of that age, this book supplied a much needed middler perspective. I highly recommend this book to anyone who desires a better understanding of the incredible journey kids must go through to become young adults.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on February 1, 2004
I have used this book successfully for the last two years with a 5th grade parent group we started to help ease the transition from elementary to middle school. "The Roller Coaster Years" is a non-threatening way to address issues in a group setting and provides parents with an excellent resource. The authors have an easy, calming style of writing that invites parents to read more. When we decided to try using a text, I was afraid if parents knew that I would have them read and discuss a book, they would not attend the sessions; however, once we began reading and sharing, our group size increased and more parents attended the meetings just to get their own copy of "The Roller Coaster Years".
I would highly recommend this book for principals, parent service providers, counselors, and parents in general who need assistance with managing the changes a child experiences during adolescence. It leads to great discussions about our own experiences and how times have and sometimes have not changed for our own children.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 9, 1999
This is the first book I've seen that specifically address the issues of those awkward middle years - when you're not a cute little kid any more, but you're not a teenager either. Talks about specific Battle Zones - such as Everyone's doing it, The messy bedroom, Mouthing off, and The look. This book is not one of those easy-to-read types, but it's worth the time to read through it. Also recommended: Perfect Parenting Dictionary by Elizabeth Pantley
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on March 25, 1999
After seven months of frustration from listening to my children's experiences at school, I picked up this book (and about ten others) trying to get a crash course on middle schoolers. After reading through the book, I was reassured to realize that my instincts had been right about our difficulties at the school. I also realized that the school is desperately uninformed about real life issues for my children and recommend every teacher, school counselor and principal use this book as a reference themselves. I checked this book out at the library but will purchase it to help us through these next few years. It will have an honored place, and I know we will refer back to it often. Thanks!
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on December 24, 1999
This is a great book. It is clear and goes to the point, the authors are very respectful to the readers and do have an open mind. What I like the most was the references in each chapter. It is a must read book, to help raise healthy and happy young middlers. The topics brought me back to " my good old days".
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 1999
The Roller Coaster Years is a great resource for parents of teens and preteens. This book helps me to understand my children better. It addresses nearly every facet of adolescent development. There are specific examples, statistics and explainations which gave me a greater understanding and acceptance for 'middlers' and their behavior. I also gained insight and guidance to my own response or reaction in many situations. The book was interesting and easy to read as well. I would recommend The Roller Coaster Years to all parents of teens and preteens.
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