THE SECRET OF A GOOD LIFE WITH YOUR TEENAGER by Angela Barron McBride

THE SECRET OF A GOOD LIFE WITH YOUR TEENAGER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

McBride (The Growth and Development of Mothers, 1973) focuses here as much on the adjustments and emotional reactions of parents of teen-agers as on the behavioral and emotional changes in their offspring. Almost every parent of preteen or teen-age children will be familiar with some of the emotional traumas and situations McBride eloquently describes. Most parents, she says, suffer bewilderment, frustration, exhaustion, or anger when a once-delightful child begins questioning family value systems, adopts bizarre clothing and hairstyles, rebels against every rule, suddenly starts ""going steady."" Because the young are trying to fred themselves and make the transition to adulthood, parents, in turn, should radically change their child-rearing methods. Instead of answering all questions, the parent should help the child to his or her solutions. Mistakes will be made; but, says McBride, these are part of learning. Parental tirades, hard-and-fast rules, sermons and sarcasm are counterproductive--though often hard to avoid. A sense of humor helps. It's okay to express your opinions and to let the child know (without rancor) when your feelings have been hurt. The real trick, says McBride, is to discover what the child is trying to tell you via often confusing verbiage and behavior. She admits this virtually requires the skills of a board-certified psychiatrist, but adds: ""Give the child wings and the child will use them to fly back to you."" A wise book, with no pat answers; but filled with empathy for parents and with numerous suggestions on how to learn ""to live with ambiguity.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1987
Publisher: Times Books