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Getting to Calm: Cool-Headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens + Teens Paperback – June 1, 2009

4.7 out of 5 stars 111 customer reviews

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Parenting in a complicated world
Strategies to help you be the best parent you can be. See more
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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Parenting a teenager is tougher than ever, but new brain research offers new insight into the best way to connect with teens. With humor, wisdom and a deep understanding of the teenaged brain, noted teen expert Dr. Laura Kastner shows parents how to stay calm and cool-headed while dealing with hot-button issues everything from rude attitude and lying to sex and substance use -- with clear, easy-to-follow suggestions for setting limits while maintaining a close and loving relationship. Find out why Dr. T. Berry Brazelton calls Getting to Calm required reading for any parent who struggles with their teen!

About the Author

Laura S. Kastner, Ph.D., is a clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the University of Washington. A psychologist and mother of two, she writes and lectures widely on adolescence and family behavior. She and Jennifer Wyatt, Ph.D., are the co-authors of three books, including Getting to Calm: Cool-headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens and Teens; The Launching Years: Strategies for Parenting Senior Year to College Life; and The Seven Year Stretch: How families Work Together to Grow Through Adolescence.

Jennifer Wyatt, Ph.D., is a writer and the mother of four. With Laura Kastner, she co-wrote Getting to Calm: Cool-headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens and Teens; The Launching Years: Strategies for Parenting Senior Year to College Life; and The Seven Year Stretch: How Families Work Together to Grow Through Adolescence.

 

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Parent Map; 1 edition (June 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0982345402
  • ISBN-13: 978-0982345405
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #65,687 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Ok, the first thing you need to know is that I'm not a psychologist, or teacher or social worker. I'm a 50-something male attorney on my third teen! The next thing you should know is that this isn't a book I would have picked up at the bookstore on my own. However, since my wife "gently" suggested I read it, I gave it a go. The first chapter struck home ("Why are Today's Teens so Rude?") and I was hooked from there...didn't stop until I finished the last page. The book is full of down to earth, easily understood advice and although it was not intuitive for a 50-something attorney who often falls into debate mode with his kids, I found it incredibly helpful. Highly recommended reading for those looking to steer clear of courtroom drama with their teens!
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Format: Paperback
This book would have been a powerful resource for me to have been able to recommend to parents when I was a secondary school teacher for thirty years. In the book the authors say that teachers are experts, and yes, they are a good resource, but this book is amazing. They don't just tell you about strategies; they walk you through conversations between teens and their parents showing not only the content, but also the process, analyzing what each participant's responses. They point out mistakes that parents make and explain what parents should avoid, but also show how to be more successful talking with teenagers.

The book covers so many issues which come up. The chapter, "When You're Fighting About Grades", is just one of many that could be so helpful to all parents. The section titled "Seven Top Tips for Boosting School Achievement" in that chapter offers excellent guidelines as does "The ABC'S of Family Health" in the chapter about getting stressed out. They also deal with drinking, smoking, dating, and the use of electronic devices all while pointing out what it is like to be a teenager.

By the end of the book the reader is shown two scripts where two different fathers take diverse approaches with a daughter who has received a poor progress report. The successful parent shown is "calm, careful and skillful" and as a reader, I felt empowered to use their strategies not only with teenagers, but with any family member. The thought-out careful approach can make all the difference.

I would recommend this book to all parents of teenagers. Would anyone want to miss the section about "More Responsibility for Kids"?
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Format: Paperback
Getting to Calm: Cool-Headed Strategies for Parenting Tweens and Teens

This book is quite readable and reasonable. I particularly liked the up-to-the-minute brain information, which explains teen behaviors (and parents', too)in ways that take the moral sting out of negative behaviors. I found the language helpful; for example, "rudeness" is a better description of typical teen behavior than "defiance." And "discipline" is really, at its root, about learning, not punishing. The chapter on entitlement and indulgence is superb.

I have no hesitation in recommending this book for all parents, even if they don't yet have teens!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My daughter was way beyond 'wit's end' with her 13-year old. A battle to get her up and send her to bed, with non-stop Attitude between. The household was so disrupted by the endless emotional commotion that they were thinking seriously about medications and psychiatrists. I heard this book mentioned, ordered a copy, read it in one night, and handed to my daughter. "Read it now," I said. "You need this book."

Have the problems disappeared? Certainly not! We have a 13-year old girl in our lives! But her mother has a new and powerful tool. When conflict begins, Mom dashes away for a quick consultation; the chapters and sections are designed to work this way, offering on-the-spot, targeted strategies. And the hidden secret of this book is that the "Getting to Calm" begins with calming the parents. It works so well that my daughter refers to the book as "my valium!" And, faced with relaxed and confident parents, my granddaughter is sailing through her "moments" with much greater ease.

The book is realistic, about both teens and their parents. The calming begins when you realize that you don't have the only child that behaves this way and that you aren't the only parent who is hurt & angry. The book takes time to discuss what is happening, physiologically and psychologically; it helps to know that this stage is as necessary and natural as it is trying. The case studies are realistic, the voice of the book is wise & friendly, and the recommendations really really work.
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Format: Paperback
"Getting to Calm" provides useful examples of constructive (and destructive) interactions between parents and teens, highlighting many of the traps we easily fall into as we struggle to parent teenagers through the myriad of challenges they face as adolescents. This book is packed full of wise advise for parents of teens, written in an extremely accessible style. I particularly appreciate the authors' suggestion to hold debriefing sessions following teen missteps -- first, listening with empathy, then asking the teen to critique their own behavior, reflecting on where they went wrong and how they might have made different decisions. Parents are shown how to sidestep power struggles and avoid destructive patterns of accusation and labeling, instead using mistakes as a platform for learning, growth, and relationship building.

The models of effective parenting presented in "Getting to Calm" demonstrate parents communicating respect and caring, while sticking to the boundaries and guidelines so needed by teenagers. The book provides samples of dialogue where, by adopting a "calm" approach, parents are able to convey faith in their child, and a sense that even in the throws of a crisis situation the teen is fundamentally a good kid and wise person who may have made a big mistake and can learn from it. The authors provide practical strategies and advice for helping parents manage their own sometimes less that ideal reactions and responses and guide their teen in making wise choices. This book provides tangible solutions for parents struggling with the common difficulties of raising teens.

Lorinda R. Rowledge, Ph.D.
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