Packing in just the right amount of statistics and real-world scenarios, two doctors offer sound advice on how parents can...

THE STRESSED YEARS OF THEIR LIVES

HELPING YOUR KID SURVIVE AND THRIVE DURING THEIR COLLEGE YEARS

A parental guidebook to helping teens navigate the highs and lows of college.

As psychologist and marriage therapist Hibbs (co-author: Try to See It My Way: Being Fair in Love and Marriage, 2009) and Rostain (Psychiatry and Pediatrics/Perelman School of Medicine, Univ. of Pennsylvania; Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Adult ADHD, 2007, etc.) write, today’s “students experience the very real burdens of constant striving on behalf of uncertain futures, amidst swiftly changing political and economic landscapes. They’re also stressed by the 24/7 availability of the internet, by social media pressures and the resulting metrics of constant comparisons, whether social or academic.” Little wonder, then, that anxiety, depression, and suicide rates are also on the rise. The authors use case studies and research to discuss the issues affecting teens and give helpful advice to parents on how they can help combat the seemingly insurmountable problems faced by college-age youths. The authors encourage parents to let go of maintaining their child’s schedule before they head off to college so that they have a sense of independence and understand the full spectrum of their responsibilities. There are useful checklists that cover such topics as the early warning signs of mental health problems, how to curb the use of smartphones, methods for coping other than alcohol or drugs, and ways to assess the counseling available on campus. Much of the information is common sense and practical, and the authors spell everything out in an easily assimilated format. With “an explosion of mental health problems verging on an epidemic, with a sky-rocketing number of students seeking help,” this is the type of book every parent should read before discussions of college even begin.

Packing in just the right amount of statistics and real-world scenarios, two doctors offer sound advice on how parents can better prepare their children for the challenging college years that lie ahead of them.

Pub Date: April 23, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-11313-9

Page Count: 336

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: Jan. 16, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15, 2019

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AN INVISIBLE THREAD

THE TRUE STORY OF AN 11-YEAR-OLD PANHANDLER, A BUSY SALES EXECUTIVE, AND AN UNLIKELY MEETING WITH DESTINY

A straightforward tale of kindness and paying it forward in 1980s New York.

When advertising executive Schroff answered a child’s request for spare change by inviting him for lunch, she did not expect the encounter to grow into a friendship that would endure into his adulthood. The author recounts how she and Maurice, a promising boy from a drug-addicted family, learned to trust each other. Schroff acknowledges risks—including the possibility of her actions being misconstrued and the tension of crossing socio-economic divides—but does not dwell on the complexities of homelessness or the philosophical problems of altruism. She does not question whether public recognition is beneficial, or whether it is sufficient for the recipient to realize the extent of what has been done. With the assistance of People human-interest writer Tresniowski (Tiger Virtues, 2005, etc.), Schroff adheres to a personal narrative that traces her troubled relationship with her father, her meetings with Maurice and his background, all while avoiding direct parallels, noting that their childhoods differed in severity even if they shared similar emotional voids. With feel-good dramatizations, the story seldom transcends the message that reaching out makes a difference. It is framed in simple terms, from attributing the first meeting to “two people with complicated pasts and fragile dreams” that were “somehow meant to be friends” to the conclusion that love is a driving force. Admirably, Schroff notes that she did not seek a role as a “substitute parent,” and she does not judge Maurice’s mother for her lifestyle. That both main figures experience a few setbacks yet eventually survive is never in question; the story fittingly concludes with an epilogue by Maurice. For readers seeking an uplifting reminder that small gestures matter.

 

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-1-4516-4251-3

Page Count: 288

Publisher: Howard Books/Simon & Schuster

Review Posted Online: July 26, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2011

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INSIDE AMERICAN EDUCATION

THE DECLINE, THE DECEPTION, THE DOGMAS

American schools at every level, from kindergarten to postgraduate programs, have substituted ideological indoctrination for education, charges conservative think-tanker Sowell (Senior Fellow/Hoover Institution; Preferential Polices, 1990, etc.) in this aggressive attack on the contemporary educational establishment. Sowell's quarrel with "values clarification" programs (like sex education, death-sensitizing, and antiwar "brainwashing") isn't that he disagrees with their positions but, rather, that they divert time and resources from the kind of training in intellectual analysis that makes students capable of reasoning for themselves. Contending that the values clarification programs inspired by his archvillain, psychotherapist Carl Rogers, actually inculcate values confusion, Sowell argues that the universal demand for relevance and sensitivity to the whole student has led public schools to abdicate their responsibility to such educational ideals as experience and maturity. On the subject of higher education, Sowell moves to more familiar ground, ascribing the declining quality of classroom instruction to the insatiable appetite of tangentially related research budgets and bloated athletic programs (to which an entire chapter, largely irrelevant to the book's broader argument, is devoted). The evidence offered for these propositions isn't likely to change many minds, since it's so inveterately anecdotal (for example, a call for more stringent curriculum requirements is bolstered by the news that Brooke Shields graduated from Princeton without taking any courses in economics, math, biology, chemistry, history, sociology, or government) and injudiciously applied (Sowell's dismissal of student evaluations as responsible data in judging a professor's classroom performance immediately follows his use of comments from student evaluations to document the general inadequacy of college teaching). All in all, the details of Sowell's indictment—that not only can't Johnny think, but "Johnny doesn't know what thinking is"—are more entertaining than persuasive or new.

Pub Date: Jan. 4, 1993

ISBN: 0-02-930330-3

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Free Press

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 1992

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