SOCIAL SCIENCES

Surviving Adolescence: Helping Teens Endure the Roller Coaster Ride

Rowman & Littlefield. Apr. 2021. 156p. ISBN 9781475857252. $36. CHILD REARING
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Roller coaster ride may seem like an apt metaphor for those navigating the junior high and high school years. Gilbert, a professor, guardian ad litem for children in abused and neglected situations, and a father and grandfather himself, stresses how important it is for parents to help their child develop a sense of worth. Parents must start by looking inward, as remembering their own adolescence is crucial in understanding their child. Next, he encourages the development of a strong partnership between parents working as a team, discussing expectations and consulting each other before decision-making. Gilbert doesn’t leave out single or divorced parents, or stepparents. He then moves further outside the circle to discuss the family as a unit and the importance of good friendships. Sex, cyberspace, substance abuse, and other common topics of concern during the teen years each has a dedicated chapter. The chapter on communication may provide an especially helpful framework for conversations as it explores the personality type of your teen and how that can affect how to best proceed in having discussions.
VERDICT Straight-talking and practical, this book is a quick read with guidance on many of the topics parents “google.”

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