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Yes, Your Teen is Crazy!: Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your Mind Paperback – November 8, 2002

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Bradley, a psychologist drawing on current brain research, argues that teenagers are basically nuts. While 95 percent of the brain develops in early childhood, the most advanced parts aren't completed until adolescence is nearly over. As a result, teens can appear unstable, dysfunctional and unpredictable, with temporarily impaired judgment and decision-making processes. In addition, Bradley argues, contemporary culture further challenges teens' thinking capabilities; the prevalence of sex, drugs and violence makes the teen's job of cognitive balancing even more precarious. The good news is that parents do make a difference, and Bradley clearly explains how parents can encourage and guide their kids through these tumultuous years. Stressing that teens are still "children," Bradley encourages parents to respond like "dispassionate cops," teaching and remaining calm even when teens behave outrageously. While Bradley's prose which he admits might be shocking and offensive at times may be initially off-putting to some, the book is compelling, lively and realistic. Using crisp, believable anecdotes that are alternately poignant and hysterically funny (while avoiding generic examples, jargon or psychobabble), Bradley homes in on real-life scenarios, showing parents, for instance, how to respond when their teen is "raging," and how to set curfews and limits. Bradley draws a vivid picture of what the teen is going through, and gives parents the tools to tackle contemporary issues together. An invaluable parachute to parents diving into the teen years. (Sept.)Forecast: A $100,000 marketing campaign, a 10-city author tour, the recent widespread media coverage of related neurological data and above all, the need for sensible, funny books on raising teenagers all bode well for this book's sales.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

For parents who have tried everything but still have teens who are out of control, Bradley's Yes, Your Teen Is Crazy! is a funny, blunt, and reassuring book. Philadelphia psychologist Bradley approaches the subject from the viewpoint that teens are, well, a little nuts; using current brain research, he points out that the most sophisticated parts of the mind are not developed until the end of adolescence ergo, the acting out, mood swings, ADHD, depression, suicide, anorexia, etc. The basic premise is that parents are still the most influential force in their kids' lives and that the old rules of parenting are not only unhelpful but destructive. Adults must take the blame for ignoring rampant alcohol addictions among teens, allowing sex to saturate culture so much that kids don't even know what intimacy and commitment are, and believing that raising children in 2001 can be easy. Rejecting peer pressure as an excuse for unacceptable behaviors, Bradley distinguishes between "normal" and "insane." One chapter describes negotiation, decision-making, and the enforcement of rules; another deals with the new phenomenon of teen rage and how to survive it. Overall, the message is that kids can become fine people even if they screw up a lot, and you need to play the parent, not the cool confidante. Therapist and professor Sells (Savannah State Univ.; Treating the Tough Adolescent) deals with teens whose behavior falls into the realm of "insanity": kids who are enraged, push buttons endlessly, steal, ditch school, use drugs or get pregnant, and defy authority in general. Good, well-meaning parents, he notes, are worn out, and these families need immediate help. Sells's approach is all "how-to": he provides seven basic steps, backed up with lists of strategies in the "What do I do if..." mode. These steps will empower parents to regain authority, bring families out of deep trouble, and begin to restore the love parents and teens once held for each other. Sells's extensive work and research with teens and parents is evident. Both books are excellent choices for public libraries. Linda Beck, Indian Valley P.L., Telford, PA
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 363 pages
  • Publisher: Harbor Press, Inc.; 1 edition (November 8, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0936197447
  • ISBN-13: 978-0936197449
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.8 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (210 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #17,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

224 of 229 people found the following review helpful By Donald Mitchell HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 2, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Before reading this review, you should know that this book contains language and subjects that would cause it to exceed an �R� rating if it were a motion picture. These vulgarities, sexual references, and violence are essential to the book�s content. The author also apologizes for the need to employ them.
If your teenager had a serious case of the flu, you would be sympathetic and helpful. When the same teenager acts in ways you disagree with, are you inclined to be unsympathetic and challenging? Dr. Bradley argues in this intriguing book that your reaction should be very similar. Both are usually natural occurrences of body dysfunctions from which your teen will recover. Although that may sound like a psychological metaphor, Dr. Bradley points out that research with MRIs shows that the growth of the corpus callosum (which coordinates cross-brain functions) and development of the prefrontal cortex (which civilizes responses that the �old brain� stimulates) are both occurring during the teenage years. Until those brain developments are more complete, your teen will react in bizarre ways that she or he will be unable to explain. I found that way of thinking about teenage behavior to be fascinating.
My own description of the teenage years experienced by our children was that boys� behavior generally went downhill until age 13 when it bottomed out, to begin gradually improving thereafter. For girls, the decline in behavior seemed to begin around 13, and started to improve after age 20.
Dr. Bradley points out that teens have always been like this. So what has changed? �We�ve created a world dripping with sex, drugs, and violence and plunked our temporarily insane children in the middle of it.� Parents often treat their teens as though they can handle it.
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112 of 113 people found the following review helpful By RLF on November 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover
Get the book and read it...
Memorize it and practice Dr. Bradley's suggestions until they become your first reaction to the teenage craziness around you. I don't say this casually. I say this because I know, for a fact, what Bradley says works. It works when nothing else seems to and when you are absolutely certain you have no idea where that ex-child, now crazy person, came from. Less humorously...his suggestions work when you are desperately close to watching your son or daughter become a statistic. It works when nothing else has and, believe me, if you are at this point in his or her life, nothing else might. Simply put, Dr. Bradley saved my son. Now, he will say that I did, and I may have been the one who was mouthing the words and acting the part, but the words were his and the role was his, both borne from years of sensitive and insightful counseling of parents and their teenagers.
I know. I sat on the couch across from his. He watched and listened and I was hysterical. He made the same suggestions (quietly and dispassionately!) to me in my insanity that he shares in his book. He pounded them into my head and I became convinced of a few things: my son was crazy and I was his anchor. It is a few years later and my son and I are emerging from the insanity of those years, but I keep the book close by and I read and reread his words and I hear them echo and I vow always to follow them: "dispassionate cop" "short sentences, few syllables" "apologize (me, not my son)." Of course, I sometimes fail, but teenagers have a generous way of providing more opportunities to practice. I knew I had been given one of those chances and succeeded when I responded calmly, and dispassionately in a short sentence of few syllables and my son said, "Mom...
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86 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Deanna Johnson on May 9, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've been a long-time Amazon customer and this is the first time I have felt absolutely compelled to write a review. I have a 17 year old son, and I wish I had read this book 5 years ago! The book is written in 3 parts - Part 1 on teens and the issues in their lives, Part 2 on parents, and Part 3 on strategies for dealing with those issues. (He even includes a section on internet obsession - a big issue in our house.) When I finished reading this book, I felt so hopeful. The author provides a guideline for staying sane while dealing with the craziness, and at the same time maintaining a connection with your kids in a way that fosters strength, love, compassion, and most and best of all - mutual respect. Not a small feat, and he does it with a warm sense of humor to top it off. I would have given this book more stars if I could!
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65 of 69 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 10, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Our daughter was absolutely a delight! She's beautiful inside and out, makes straight "A's," liked to hang out with her father and I, had special days with just me where we'd just hang together, at HER request, loved to read, hated boys or talking on the phone; it was amazing! I had already imagined her high school years, homecoming queen, valedictorian...I found out last month that she's been sneaking out of her room and has had sex with her 14 years old. She dresses so strangely, hardly speaks to us, wants to "die" over the "dumbest" things. I felt like I wanted to die, to tell you the truth. She is my "baby," younger by 10 years than her next sibling, and the light of my life. Although we've gone for counseling and things have changed a bit, I still was raging her, at god, at my husband, I couldn't seem to get a grip on this. Me, who believes all things are exactly as they are meant to be, couldn't find peace and acceptance in this. Finally, a few days ago, I asked the angels or "someone" to please help me. That day I went to the bookstore and "for some reason" found this book. It has changed my life. It's still not easy but at least I realize I'm not alone, I haven't lost my mind, there isn't anything I could've done differently, it's just that she's a teenager.
I recommend this book to everyone, whether you're having trouble or not, it will help you understand why teenagers act the way they do. I only wish there was an audio version so we could listen to it in the car, I know it will take my husband forever to finish it. Good luck to you all!
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