Get Out of My Life
This is the best survival guide for parents who find themselves marooned among volatile and incomprehensible aliens on Planet Teen. Area maps cover the ground - with chapters on school, sex, drugs, suicide, and so on - but it's the title of Chapter 2, 'What They Do and Why,' that best captures the book's spirit and technique. One key mistake is getting dragged into no-win conflicts instead of having the wisdom to shut up at the moment when shutting up would be most effective - albeit the least satisfying - thing to do. There are also some nicely tongue-in-check samples of 'ideal' communication - the stuff we imagine might get said by better parents. After one such rosily cooperative and considerate interchange between a father and his adolescent son, the book offers the following two-edged comfort: 'The above conversation has never happened. Never. Not in the whole history of the world.' Message: parenting adolescents is inherently difficult. Efforts shouldn't be judged by otherworldly standards.
by: Tony Wolf