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Yes, Your Teen is Crazy!: Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your Mind Paperback – November 8, 2002
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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.--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.
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Top customer reviews
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.
What I can tell you is that parenting teens can be HARD. We all know parenting is the hardest job in the world and parenting teens is the hardest part of parenting. Michael Bradley's book, "Yes, Your Teen is Crazy!" is worth its weight in gold. I have read it and I recommend it very highly. (Read the whole book, not just parts!)
Bradley supports you with stories that let you know you are not alone in the struggle to grow your teen safely. He uses humor and he doesn't hold any punches, he tells it like it is even though it may be hard to hear.
Be ready for some self-examination. We are doing our best to grow our teens but in the process we are meant to grow as well. You may need to heal some of your own wounds from the way you were raised. You may need to develop new parenting skills. The good news is that you CAN do this. You are not alone. Yes, your teen is crazy AND you can get through this in spectacular ways.
One of the things Bradley wrote that is really sticking with me and that I've shared with a lot of other parents already is that your shining moments as a parent are not the happy, easy times. They are the challenging times when you rise. If you can stay calm in the face of insanity, those are your shining moments as a parent.
Read this book from cover to cover and then do it again as needed. We all fall on our face as parents AND we can get up and try again and do a little better each time.
Big blessings for a great relationship with your teen!
Mom to teens, and the author of the self-help book, "You Don't Have to Learn Everything the Hard Way."
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.