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The Good Teen: Rescuing Adolescence from the Myths of the Storm and Stress Years

The Good Teen: Rescuing Adolescence from the Myths of the Storm and Stress Years
Author: Richard M. Lerner PH.D
ISBN 13: 9780307347589
ISBN 10: 307347583
Edition: 1 Reprint
Publisher: Harmony
Publication Date: 2008-08-05
Format: Paperback
Pages: 272
List Price: $14.95

Who says the teen years have to be terrible?

Although the word teenager has become synonymous with trouble, the evidence is clear: Adolescents have gotten a bad rap—and this according to a landmark eight-year study of 4,000 teens from twenty-five states. In The Good Teen, acclaimed researcher Richard M. Lerner sets the record straight. The book:

• Explores the academic origins of “the troubled teen,” dismantling old myths and redefining normal adolescence
• Presents the five characteristics of teen behavior that are proven to fuel positive development—Competence, Confidence, Connection,Character, and Caring—and specific ways parents can foster them
• Envisions our children as resources to be developed, not problems to be fixed
• Clearly shows parents what to do when things really go wrong—all teens, no matter how troubled they seem, can be helped
• Encourages new thinking, new public policies, and new programs that focus on the strengths of teens

“There is no one in America today who understands teenagers better than Richard Lerner.” —William Damon, author of The Moral Child, professor of education, and director of the Stanford Center on Adolescence, Stanford University

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. (Oct.)

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