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Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood Paperback – April 4, 2017
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“Finally, there’s some good news for puzzled parents of adolescent girls, and psychologist Lisa Damour is the bearer of that happy news. [Untangled] is the most down-to-earth, readable parenting book I’ve come across in a long time.”—The Washington Post
“Anna Freud wrote in 1958, ‘There are few situations in life which are more difficult to cope with than an adolescent son or daughter during the attempt to liberate themselves.’ In the intervening decades, the transition doesn’t appear to have gotten any easier which makes Untangled such a welcome new resource.”—The Boston Globe
“Damour offers a hopeful, helpful new way for parents to talk about—and with—teenage girls. . . . Parents will want this book on their shelves, next to established classics of the genre.”—Publishers Weekly
“For years people have been asking me for the ‘girl equivalent of Raising Cain,’ and I haven't known exactly what to recommend. Now I do.”—Michael Thompson, Ph.D., co-author of Raising Cain
“An essential guide to understanding and supporting girls throughout their development. It’s obvious that Dr. Damour ‘gets’ girls and is one of the few experts in the field who works with them day in and day out. She clearly understands the best way for any adult to help them navigate the common yet difficult challenges so many girls face.”—Rosalind Wiseman, author of Queen Bees & Wannabes
“Untangled is a gem. Lisa Damour deftly blends insights from her clinical experience working with girls, time-honored wisdom on adolescence, the latest social science and neuroscience research, and frank descriptions of cultural trends and media messages. From the moment I read the last page I’ve been recommending it to my clients (including those with sons!) and colleagues, and using it as a refreshing guide in my own work with teenagers and their parents.”—Wendy Mogel, Ph.D., author of The Blessing of a Skinned Knee
“An arsenal of strategies to respond to your daughter’s ever-changing brain, feelings, and choices, Untangled will become your dog-eared travel guide to the mysterious world of teenage girls.”—Rachel Simmons, author of Odd Girl Out
“So chock-full of practical wisdom that I read it straight through twice, then recommended it to every person I know who has a daughter. This book will, no question, make you a better—and a saner—parent of your adolescent girl.”—Peggy Orenstein, author of Girls and Sex
“There are books about teenagers that are smart. And there are books about teenagers that are practical. Lisa Damour, thankfully, provides us with one that is both. With palpable empathy and understanding for adolescent girls and their families, Damour equips parents with a flexible blueprint for anticipating challenges and encouraging growth in their daughters. If you have a daughter (or were a daughter!), Untangled is mandatory reading.”—Madeline Levine, Ph.D., author of The Price of Privilege
“This is the book parents have been waiting, hoping, and praying for, because it’s far more than a book. It’s a map, flashlight, and GPS device for navigating the landscape of adolescent girlhood. Dr. Lisa Damour proves to be the perfect guide and companion: wise, whip-smart, and relentlessly practical on every page. As the father of three teenage girls, I wish I’d had this book years ago—and I hope that it is read by every parent, teacher, coach, administrator, and human being who wants to help girls grow and thrive in today’s world.”—Daniel Coyle, author of The Talent Code
“In exceptionally clear prose, Lisa Damour—a clinical psychologist—skillfully blends research analysis, psychological insight, and stories of girls and their families into a compelling narrative about what’s right about our daughters. She illuminates the seven transitions that girls must untangle to become fully themselves, with each offering a corresponding opportunity for parents to stretch and transform themselves. Throughout, Damour offers unstintingly practical advice to parents about how to talk with their daughters about what matters most and in ways that they are likely to be heard.”—Kimberlyn Leary, Ph.D., associate professor, Harvard Medical School
From the Hardcover edition.
About the Author
Lisa Damour, Ph.D., graduated with honors from Yale University, worked for the Yale Child Study Center, then received her doctorate in clinical psychology at the University of Michigan. She is the author of numerous academic papers and chapters related to education and child development. Dr. Damour directs Laurel School’s Center for Research on Girls, maintains a private psychotherapy practice, consults and speaks internationally, and is a faculty associate of the Schubert Center for Child Studies and a clinical instructor at Case Western Reserve University. She and her husband have two daughters and live in Shaker Heights, Ohio.
From the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
Damour helpfully illustrates and clarifies her points with engaging and realistic anecdotes, many taken from her years of experience working as a psychiatrist and director at Laurel School's Center for Research on Girls. The stories are interesting and easy to relate to, which I appreciated.
I think the most powerful aspect of Untangled, though, is Damour's ability to talk about this potentially tense subject in a straightforward and honest way while also remaining patient with and kind to both young girls AND their parents. She's fair. And forgiving. She doesn't take sides, and her attitude stays flexible. "When it comes to parenting," she says, "there are many, many ways to get it right." Even when she is encouraging parents to have, discuss, and enforce boundaries with their daughters, she also asks them to be understanding and open. In other words, her approach is collaborative--and it made sense to me.
Ultimately, Untangled ended up being an informative read. I learned a lot--and I calmed down a lot, too, honestly. Damour is so very soothing and so completely confident that we are all capable of figuring out this madness and working through it. I couldn't help but feel consoled, uplifted, and strengthened by the book's message.
I laughed at the humorous asides that deftly lightened the mood when discussing the frustrating task of guiding a young woman when she is in an intractable state of mind. I recognize better how to engage and when to back off on a subject. The benefit from reading this book was evident immediately and profoundly . Now having just finished ( I had to stop myself from reading in one sitting ) I am ready to set it aside for a short time and then re-read in a more leisurely manner as there is much that I want to ponder and learn on a deeper level than my initial consumption of the material allowed.
I frequently see trite comments like 'must read' and ' should be required reading for every parent ' on the sleeves of dust covers and the comment sections online of books that have done little practical good for me personally and have in fact raised my anxiety level precipitously by heaping disturbing statistics on top of mortifying anecdotes without much in the way or any kind of resolution, advice or support. Basically - here is a worst case scenario told in near pornographic language , designed intentionally to horrify unsuspecting parents, backed up by sometimes outdated, misinterpreted statistics that are either too broad or too narrow in scope in apply to your specific environment - and the kicker is it's essentially unavoidable so ' good luck and happy parenting'. ( Girls & Sex : Navigating the Complicated New Landscape - I'm looking at you!)
Untangled was a calm , humorous , and informed read with relatable anecdotes and a real compassion for the parent and the teen, that still covered the tricky subjects of teen sex and drug and alcohol abuse ,but in a way that is praiseworthy rather than cringeworthy . In an effort to be transparent , I admit that some of the suggested responses seemed somewhat inadequate to the demand of the situation and I could reasonably see a few of them backfiring in my own circumstances. However, if you believe that I am sincere in my comments and you find yourself in a position of wanting to improve your parenting because of the love and compassion you have for your teen and want practical, applicable, and insightful suggestions on how to do it, then I can give this book my highest recommendation.
I found Dr. Damour's book to be very helpful in understanding the seemingly insane behavior of my stepdaughter. I estimate that about 50% of the examples and explanations presented in her book correlated with my observations.
Better yet, about 30% didn't correlate. This caused be to conclude that, on the whole, I have a pretty good kid and, with a little effort, have a good chance of keeping her that way.