68 of 69 people found the following review helpful
on July 20, 2004
I have been reading about child and adolescent development since my graduate school days. Later, when my children were born I was also a voracious reader of all the major writers on child and adolescent development. How I wish I had this book when my kids were in junior and senior high school!
Dr. Walsh has absolutely nailed adolescence. Amazing. He has taken an enormous amount of scholarly research and delivered it to us in readable and useable form. He clearly loves what he does and his passion for kids shines through in every chapter. It is a joy to read such a powerful combination of scholarship and common sense.
Someday I would love to meet this man. I am sure I would learn a lot. I recommend this book without reservation to every parent and teen out there who wants to understand these years.
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This will likely benefit anyone who is a parent of an adolescent. I think that it would also be helpful to adolescents themselves (if they would read it) in understanding some of their own behavior.
Walsh provides a lot of information on the latest research in brain development from adolescence to adulthood and its effects on attitudes, behavior, etc. He also discusses hormonal changes as well as cultural and other influences that are helpful in understanding the teen years.
Along with the scientific research he provides, Dr. Walsh also compares parenting styles, discusses activities for kids that can help in the short and long term, and provides realistic ideas for parenting during these tumultuous years. One of his particularly good suggestions is behavioral contracts. He provides a couple of specific examples of these, which are quite good.
One great quote that he has to start off chapter one makes it clear that surviving adolescence has been an issue for millennia: "Our youth now love luxury. They have bad manners, contempt for authority; they show disrespect for their elders and love chatter in place of exercise; they no longer rise when elders enter the room; they contradict their parents, chatter before company; gobble up their food and tyrannize their teachers". This is attributed to none other than Socrates in the fifth century, B.C.
Walsh clearly defines adolescence: "it begins at puberty and ends ... sometime".
Interwoven with the scientific information and helpful tips, he relates some stories, funny and otherwise, that most parents of those in this age group will be able to understand. One that I found particularly humorous related to ultra cold weather and adolescent dressing habits. This can be found on page 214.
I recommend this book.
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on August 30, 2004
What's most remarkable about this book is how easy and fun it is to read. There are lots of stories sprinkled in with the scientific information, and Walsh's friendly, engaging voice comes across on every page. I wish I'd had this book when I was a teenager. It would have been nice to know that pains and dramas that afflicted me were the part of the process of literally growing into my adult brain. I know this book is intended for parents, but I think there are a lot of kids out there who would find it a good read too.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on July 21, 2004
This book brings the reader upfront and close to what is happening in the brains and lives of teens. It is one of those rare nonfiction books that the reader doesn't want to put down. David Walsh's conversational style of writing, peppered with many examples from his own work and life with teens, is thoroughly engaging. The added plus is his many useful and practical ideas for connecting with adolescents. He is clear and concise in offering strategies both for loving and coping with teens. His integration of the latest brain research with his expetise and years of experience working with teens makes this a classic for parents, teachers and anyone having contact with teens.
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2004
As a developmental psychologist, I understand how children develop and behave. As a father, I understand how perplexing their behavior often seems. Dr. Walsh has managed to use the latest information in developmental neuroscience to tie these two sides together in a way that the lay reader will comprehend, which ultimately will help parents of adolescents to stop being so perplexed and to be able to interact with their adolescents in a positive way.
Dr. Walsh, as always, mixes science with common sense and humor, and provides research-based advice that all parents can use. This is one reason why his organization, the National Institute on Media and the Family ([...] has become such a trusted resource for parents, educators, and policy-makers.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on July 16, 2005
I was a hard sell when given this book. I was concerned that it was going to offer One Big Excuse for sorry teen-age behavior. I was already seeing the headlines: Teen Not Guilty; It wasn't his fault; His PFC made him do it!
Instead, I learned a great deal from this book. I wish the science had been there years ago. Besides getting a peek into the seemingly unfathomable teen-age brain, Walsh gave valuable information about how to handle the problems that come up as a result of the difficult transition known as adolescence. I see this information not so much as an excuse for poor behavior as it is a guide to lead people away from it. I recommend this book to teachers or anyone who has a child younger than 25!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on January 17, 2007
We have found this book to be extremely helpful. Raising a teenager is an amazing experience and it helps to have some expert, non partial advice that is backed by research. We especially appreciated the fact that the author does not offer excuses, but helps everyone remain responsible for their behavior, including parents. It was so helpful for us that we bought it as a gift for two different families that are raising teenagers. It was passed on to us by another family that is raising teenagers. Parents are looking for sound instruction. This book provides great insight to what is really going on inside those mysterious heads.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2005
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Dr. Walsh must have known my son. I felt like he wrote this book for my family. His explanations were easily understood and very insightful, but, not an excuse for the teen's behavior. It was hard at times to put the book down. I really wish my parents had read this book.
Thank YOU, Dr. Walsh. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
M. Weedman, Merritt Island, FL
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2005
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I read it in two sittings. There were so many good and funny examples of real life situations that as a parent of a teenager, one can relate to all too well.
The author is well informed and the information about the human brain development is critical to understanding how to connect and deal with you teenager.
Highly recommend to all.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 3, 2008
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I have ordered probably dozens of books on Amazon.com and never felt compelled to write a review of a book.
I have a 13 year old girl and although we have not yet experieced any serious behavior issues (she has exhibited some unexplainable verbal outbursts and moodiness) I want to do everything in my power to maintain a good relationship with her and limit the chances that she does experience serious issues like drug and alcohol abuse, anorexia, depression, etc. as she goes through these difficult years.
I have read many books, and feel this is the first book that has enabled me to have an understanding of teen behavior and feel confident my husband and I have a game plan on how to deal with the various issues which will arise.
I suggest that anyone who comes into contact with teens--parents, teachers, etc.--read this book!!!