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.
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.