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Yes, Your Teen is Crazy!: Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your Mind Paperback – November 8, 2002
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Bradley, a psychologist drawing on current brain research, argues that teenagers are basically nuts. While 95 percent of the brain -- Publishers Weekly
Bradley, a psychologist drawing on current brain research, argues that teenagers are basically nuts. While 95 percent of the brain -- Publishers Weekly on August 6, 2001
About the Author
Michael J. Bradley grew up in Philadelphia, where he attended parochial schools before entering LaSalle College on a military scholarship. After briefly serving as an officer in the U.S. Army, he entered law school and supported himself with a temporary job counseling troubled adolescents in an inner-city Philadelphia high school. To his amazement, he developed a passionate interest in his new sideline job and switched to graduate studies in psychology, ultimately earning a doctorate from Temple University. Since then, Dr. Bradley has worded with children, adolescents, and their families in treatment settings ranging from jails, to social service agencies, to private practice. His professional experience with children encompasses virtually every aspect of youth work. In addition to being a licensed psychologist, Dr. Bradley holds a specialized certification in the treatment of substance abuse disorders from the American Psychological Associations college of Professional Psychology. He is also a member and Fellow of the American College of Forensic Examiners.
Dr. Bradley, his wife Cynthia, and their biological son Ross adopted Sarah, a baby girl who was born cocaine-addicted and then nearly starved to death in a neglectful temporary home. After one terrible year, she began to blossom into a beautiful and loving little girl. This "gut-wrenching and incredibly rewarding" experience reinforced the core premise of Dr. Bradleys work with children, which holds that "love is indeed the most real, most potent aspect of parenting. And, in parenting, what doesnt kill you makes you stronger." A recipient of the William Penn Humanitarian Award, Dr. Bradley lives with his family in suburban Philadelphia, where he worries incessantly about his childrens impending adolescence.
Top customer reviews
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As I write this review, my son will be 16 at the end of the week. He's a superstar compared to the examples in this book.
This book discusses:
-The hormonal changes that make your teen "crazy." --I already knew some of this so it wasn't a surprise.
-Drugs and Alcohol
-Teen Sex and Drives
-Acting Out - fighting, name calling, screaming at parents and other people
And that was great. People need to be able to understand how all of that works. I read at least 3/4 of the book before I found information I was looking for and the information there was lacking. These are items like:
-School Work/Grades and life balance (I mean, we all want a work/life balance)
-Teen amnesia - the "I forgot"
-Sudden "blindness" or "deafness" - this is written about but I needed MORE.
I will say that one thing I got from the book was "talking points." My husband and I talk to our son about drugs, and he talks to us about them, so the stories the author shares were easy to work into conversations at dinner. My favorite is the one about the "red pill in the toybox." That was a good drug and trust conversation.
So yes, I'd recommend this book if you are in a high risk teen situation, but if you would consider your teen well adjusted but forgetful, spacy, and sometimes with a little attitude, this may not be the type of read you're hoping for.
Though meant to reassure (this is just a phase, albeit a long one), I was disheartened too that the next years would be rough, I'd be best to just tolerate them, and by the time they snap out of it they'll be in college and gone, so goodbye kids, let's get through it.
I did NOT want the remaining years of my kids at home spent that way! I want a relationship with them. Okay, not the sweet kids that once were, but these teens who are on a great journey into adulthood!
What a relief to find this book! Though my kids aren't near some of the extremes mentioned, I gained a lot from all of it. The book is eye opening, frightening, has made me laugh, cry, examine myself thoroughly, realize a whole boatload of things about myself and my teenagers & wish I'd read this before my oldest hit adolescence. That said, it has some great reassuring messages: this is a passage kids travel and there are great ways to handle it so you can re-establish or maintain a good relationship with your kids.
If you are struggling with a snapping opinionated (or even out of control) teen and you are mourning the loss of you sweet, kind, loving pre-teen, thinking you've lost your child, then don't hesitate. Pick this up.
Be prepared for some scary tales and statistics and to read 'from the couch' notes that will be alarmingly like your situation. They give MORE reason to carry on with the book, to tool you up to be the lighthouse your kids need in these tough years - in an era where been a teenager has more complicated and different challenges than most eras beforehand. Since finishing the book, I have been putting into practice some of what I learned. And wow, instant results on some things, and small progressive steps on others.
The first 1/3 of the book covers kids: what's happening to them, their generation and individually.
The second 1/3 looks at us, the parents. What's changed so we have to change our parenting methods, what baggage we might have, and what we might be doing right or doing wrong, and what are role is and needs to be.
The last 1/3 is the nitty gritty "what to do when..." - covers everything from dealing with teenage tantrums, curfews, drinking & drugs, sex, schoolwork, chores... the lot.
At times, you'd be forgiven for thinking Bradley is about letting kids have their rages and we have to ignore, but it's not at all.
It's more about ~
i) as the parent, don't come over as the bad cop. Be the calm one so you gain more authority and respect
ii) don't sweat the small stuff. Build a bank of respect so when you meet the bigger and harder teen issues, you have far more power over your child
iii) 'fear and control' is not the same as 'respect and authority'. Learn the difference and your teen will behave outside the home, not just when you're around
iv) Gaining respect includes ~
not always having to have the last word; not getting into shouting matches; being the parent not their buddy (a parent is far better and more important than a buddy!); apologizing when you mess up or lose control; forgive them and ask them to forgive you; being strong and calm; listening listening listening; ask questions, don't lecture; letting go of your emotional need to have your sweet little pre-teen back
v) Inoculate don't control. You know the saying "Integrity is how you behave when no-one is watching" - well, this teaches you how to teach that to your kids.
Great book and one I will be re-reading over and over. I bought on Kindle then bought a paper copy to share.
I have been recommending this book to all my friends and I find my understanding of this time in my boys life to be improved. I'm an RN, and I thought I understood 'mental conditions'. This puts everything into perspective. My boys' hormones and pressures are running them 'crazy' and it all makes sense! I find myself no longer mad, but empathetic.
Please get this book and even a couple more for your friends. It really helps keep your sanity and therefore be the solid rock your children need during this time in their lives! Good luck!