Wednesday, March 4, 2009

The Good Teen: Rescuing Adolescence from the Myths of the Storm and Stress Years by Richard Lerner M.PhD

From Publishers Weekly
The book jacket promises Groundbreaking Research Reveals Everything You Think You Know About Teens Is Wrong, but what the book really delivers is simply the notion that the teen years need not be a time of sullenness, angst and rebellion. Lerner encourages parents to promote healthy, positive, admirable, and productive behaviors in our young people. His approach focuses on the Five C's: Competence, Confidence, Connection, Character, and Caring. He theorizes that a kid secure in the Five C's will probably be equipped to avoid real storm and strife during adolescence.
The how tos of such an enterprise are a bit hard to pin down, so Lerner uses anecdotes to examine how parents might guide a teen's behavior in a specific situation. For parents with kids in serious trouble (unsafe sex, drugs, violent behavior, etc.), a small chapter toward the end of the book will have to suffice. Lerner's positive approach to parenting sometimes may be a little simplistic, but his optimism is encouraging. Parents worried about the negative teen behavior they see exploited in the media may well respond to Lerner's average-reader friendly voice and proactive advice.
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