139 of 149 people found the following review helpful
Where are the consequences?,
This review is from: Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me & Cheryl to the Mall: A Parent's Guide to the New Teenager, Revised and Updated (Paperback)
After several recommendations by friends with teens, I've almost finished this book after a couple of days of reading. Helpful points include the reminders to not engage in pointless arguments and to state my position clearly and concisely and not to lecture. My problem with the book is the lack of any apparent consequences for bad behavior. Teen comes in an hour past curfew? Re-state the appropriate curfew time and move on. Teen lies about grades on homework? Overlook the lie and re-state expectations about homework. Teen calls parent a f-ing b*tch? Ignore the name calling and remain silent. While I agree it creates ongoing conflict to call kids out on these behaviors and punish them, I think that is a necessary part of the landscape and to think otherwise is unrealistically permissive.
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Initial post: Aug 16, 2013 6:26:56 AM PDT
So true! This book appears to be from the liberal Dr. Spock genre, where parents observe the kid's behavior, and take a "this too shall pass" attitude rather than taking corrective steps to change it. Seems dangerous to me! Parents can learn from this book, but would be wise to read books from two other authors, Meg Meeker and Leonard Sax, to understand teens and respond better to their real need for guidance and structure.
In reply to an earlier post on Mar 29, 2014 8:11:32 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 29, 2014 9:07:06 AM PDT
I do think teens need guidance and structure, and I think the book does provide some examples e.g. homework.
Re. "Consequences" - all I can tell you is regularly throwing out consequences got me nowhere, except more anger, more arguments, and no improvement. I think the book is just more subtle, suggesting parents just quietly insist or simply state their case, then leave alone, which I have found much more effective. The constant confrontation seems to have been taken out of the equation, and much to my surprise there seems to be a much more pleasant atmosphere of co-operation.
I think my son is picking up that I'm "not on his case", its just that some things need to be done so lets do them! Also about doing things "now" rather than "later" makes things so much easier. Later means never (for a teen), cue more pointless arguments. But that's just been my experience so far.
I have also gained a much clearer understanding re. my son's need to separate. I hadn't realised how overly-concerned in his welfare and future I was (understandable though it is for a caring, conscientious parent). Yes, I still needed to be there for him, and provide some support and guidance. But much more than that - now he is no longer young - I had to let him free, to be himself, to make his own mistakes, take responsibility for his own life, and make his own decisions. The book was also about my 'letting go' as much as anything. I think raising that understanding was the true kernel and gift of the book, and a lot of things naturally flowed from that.
I also think the authors do suggest that your growing children do remain influenced by you, its just more subtle, that there's no need to lay it on with a trowel. We can relax!
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