Most helpful positive review
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Only self-help book that ever helped
on March 17, 2004
My ex-wife and I read this book almost 20 years ago, when our two kids were teenagers. Our daughter, the eldest, was acting up (and out)--breaking curfew, staying out, experimenting with different substances, generally going through a volatile adolescence--normal "individuating," it turned out (thank God), but it was driving her mother and me crazy because we lived apart and both worked full-time. Two employed adults are no match for one teenager intent on getting her way. We were at the end of our tethers trying to keep tabs on her. Somehow we found out about HOW TO DEAL WITH YOUR ACTING UP TEENAGER. We both read it, decided it made sense and was worth a try, and had a family meeting with both our kids. We told them we wanted to try a new way of parent-kid relations that basically boiled down to, mutual respect. When we told them we were going to stop trying to control them--ground them, harass them about schoolwork and grades, etc.--they looked at us suspiciously. Was this some kind of trick? Some sort of parental sting operation? No, no, we assured them, we were on the level. And it worked. Our daughter stopped driving us crazy, we stopped driving her crazy, and relations improved. I can say unequivocally that this is the only self-help book that has ever actually helped me (and I've read a few). I recommend it without qualification. The authors, as I recall, were parents themselves as well as psychologists, and brought both their practical and academic experience to bear. Bless them both. I still tell people about this book when I hear about problems with adolescence, and am glad it's still available.