BY CHARLES E. SCHAEFER AND THERESA FOY DIGERONIMO JOSSEY-BASS 1999, 307 PAGES, $16.00
Arguably, raising teenagers these days is tougher than it was in former generations. One may justifiably take the position that, just as society-at-large has become more complex and stressful, so have the lives of teens--and their parents, those pillars of strength whose task it is to mold, teach, and guide their children through the rough, rollercoaster adolescent years. Psychologists have long held that it is during that stage of development when a child's sense of identity is crystallized. Effective conversation turns out to be an important medium through which healthy identity grows.
Thinking back to my years of clinical practice in psychology, one of the most frequent queries from anxious, frustrated parents--no matter what their intelligence or socioeconomic status--was, "How can I talk sensibly to my teenager?" After some discussion and suggestions, they invariably would ask, "When is a good time to say it?" Those important questions typically arose after many ineffective, often disastrous, communications with their child. The ability to speak is indeed a magical, innate human talent. What is often elusive, however, is when and how to use that talent, especially with kids.
How to Talk to Teens About Really Important Things is a well-written, practical book that illustrates a multitude of...