|Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersLinksBook Reviews|100 Things Guys Need to Know3 NBS of Julian DrewA Guide to Asperger SyndromeA Tribe ApartA User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HDA Walk in the Rain With a BrainAdolescent DepressionAfterAggression and Antisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAll Alone in the UniverseAmelia RulesAmericaAnother PlanetAntisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsArtemis FowlAssessment and Treatment of Childhood Problems, Second EditionAutistic Spectrum DisordersBad GirlBetween Two WorldsBeyond AppearanceBeyond Diversity DayBig Mouth & Ugly GirlBill HensonBipolar DisordersBody Image, Eating Disorders, and ObesityBody Image, Eating Disorders, and Obesity in YouthBoyBoysBrandedBreaking PointBreathing UnderwaterBringing Up ParentsBullying and TeasingCan't Eat, Won't EatCatalystChild and Adolescent Psychological DisordersChildren Changed by TraumaChildren with Emerald EyesChildren’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness City of OneConcise Guide to Child and Adolescent PsychiatryConquering the Beast WithinContentious IssuesCrackedCutDancing in My NuddypantsDemystifying the Autistic ExperienceDescartes' BabyDilemmas of DesireDirtyDoing ItDoing SchoolDying to Be ThinEating an ArtichokeEducating Children With AutismElijah's CupEllison the ElephantEmerald City BluesEmotional and Behavioral Problems of Young ChildrenEvery Girl Tells a StoryFast GirlsFeather BoyFiregirlForever YoungFreaks, Geeks and Asperger SyndromeFreewillGeography ClubGeorgia Under WaterGirl in the MirrorGirlfightingGirlsourceGirlWiseGLBTQGood GirlsGoodbye RuneGranny Torrelli Makes SoupGrowing Up GirlHandbook for BoysHealing ADDHeartbeatHelping Children Cope With Disasters and TerrorismHelping Parents, Youth, and Teachers Understand Medications for Behavioral and Emotional ProblemsHollow KidsHow Children Learn the Meanings of WordsHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tHug MeIntrusive ParentingIt's Me!It's Perfectly NormalJake RileyJoey Pigza Swallowed the KeyJuvenile-Onset SchizophreniaKeeping the MoonKilling MonstersKim: Empty InsideKnocked Out by My Nunga-NungasLaura Numeroff's 10-Step Guide to Living with Your MonsterLearning About School ViolenceLeo the Lightning BugLet Kids Be KidsLiberation's ChildrenLife As We Know ItLisa, Bright and DarkLittle ChicagoLord of the FliesLoserLove and SexLove That DogManicMastering Anger and AggressionMind FieldsMiss American PieMom, Dad, I'm Gay.MonsterMore Than a LabelMyths of ChildhoodNew Hope for Children and Teens with Bipolar DisorderNo Two AlikeNot Much Just Chillin'Odd Girl OutOdd Girl Speaks OutOf Mice and MetaphorsOn the Frontier of AdulthoodOne Hot SecondOne in ThirteenOphelia SpeaksOphelia's MomOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the DustOvercoming School AnxietyParenting and the Child's WorldParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerPediatric PsychopharmacologyPeriod PiecesPhobic and Anxiety Disorders in Children and AdolescentsPINSPraising Boys WellPraising Girls WellPretty in PunkPrincess in the SpotlightProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Psychotherapy As PraxisPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsRaising a Self-StarterRaising BlazeRaising Resilient ChildrenReclaiming Our ChildrenRedressing the EmperorReducing Adolescent RiskRethinking ADHDReweaving the Autistic TapestryRineke DijkstraRitalin is Not the Answer Action GuideRunning on RitalinSay YesSexual Teens, Sexual MediaShooterShort PeopleShould I Medicate My Child?Skin GameSmackSmashedStaying Connected to Your TeenagerStick FigureStoner & SpazStop Arguing with Your KidsStraight Talk about Your Child's Mental HealthStrong, Smart, & BoldStudent DepressionSurvival Strategies for Parenting Children with Bipolar DisorderSurviving OpheliaTaking Charge of ADHD, Revised EditionTaming the Troublesome ChildTargeting AutismTeaching Problems and the Problems of TeachingTeen Angst? NaaahThat SummerThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook Of Child And Adolescent PsychiatryThe Arctic IncidentThe Bipolar ChildThe Buffalo TreeThe Bully, the Bullied, and the BystanderThe Carnivorous CarnivalThe Depressed ChildThe Developing MindThe Dragons of AutismThe Dream BearerThe Dulcimer Boy The Einstein SyndromeThe EpidemicThe Eternity CubeThe Explosive ChildThe Field of the DogsThe First IdeaThe Identity TrapThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Little TernThe Mean Girl MotiveThe Men They Will BecomeThe Myth of LazinessThe New Gay TeenagerThe Notebook GirlsThe Nurture AssumptionThe Opposite of InvisibleThe Order of the Poison OakThe Other ParentThe Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday LifeThe Real Truth About Teens and SexThe Rise and Fall of the American TeenagerThe Secret Lives of GirlsThe Sex Lives of TeenagersThe Shared HeartThe Spider and the BeeThe StepsThe Thought that CountsThe Unhappy ChildThe Vile VillageThe Whole ChildThen Again, Maybe I Won'tTherapy with ChildrenThings I Have to Tell YouTouching Spirit BearTrauma in the Lives of ChildrenTreacherous LoveTrue BelieverTwistedUnhappy TeenagersWay to Be!We're Not MonstersWhat about the KidsWhat Would Joey Do?What's Happening to My Body? Book for BoysWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for GirlsWhen Nothing Matters AnymoreWhen Sex Goes to SchoolWhen Your Child Has an Eating DisorderWhere The Kissing Never StopsWhose America?Why Are You So Sad?WinnicottWorried All the TimeYes, Your Teen Is Crazy!You Hear MeYoung People and Mental HealthYour Child, Bully or Victim?
by Scott Sells
St. Martin's Press, 2001
Review by Fred Ashmore on Jun 10th 2002
This book shows on the front of the dust cover 7
steps to re-establish authority and reclaim love and all my prejudices went
off at once. Was this to be another set
of facile head games? Why 7 steps, for
goodness sake? Why not 5 or 13 or
6½? But I opened up and got reading, as
a docile reviewer should.
I chose this book from a list offered by our learned
editor, on the basis that we have four teenagers in our house. (Well, one of them is twelve but she shows
teen symptoms already, and another is 22 but she retains many of them). I count my self reasonably experienced. At times I even think myself quite skilful
at dealing with them. They are all
still at home, generally pretty cheerful, progressing in their lives amid
thrills and spills. But Sells has a lot
to teach me, and I wish Id had this book years ago.
As a family we went through some rough periods, and
I replayed them in my head as I read this.
I replayed them, and I watched my self making mistakes, missing
opportunities and doing quite a lot right as well, thank goodness. I think that the guidance I read here would
have helped us reduce the scale of those tough times, helped us to keep things
at the level of tiffs instead of confrontations and still maintain sensible behavior
on both sides. Maybe one of our kids
who went through some very difficult periods would have been spared a lot of
pain if wed been more skilful, and I think this book might have helped us be
I laughed like hell when I read Sells description
of age regression. Basically, the
longer you stay in face to face confrontation with your teen, the younger you
get in your emotional state
I certainly remember that now. I read about button pushing and how to deal
with it, and nodded sagely while recalling all the time I let my buttons be
pushed. I read his suggestions on
countering teenager aces, and nodded, thinking, Yes, we did that and it
worked, and we didnt do that and it didnt work.
Teenager aces? you ask. Theyre a set of behaviors of ascending vigor that are designed
(maybe not consciously, but certainly skillfully) to reduce a parent to
compliance? Nervous wreck? A state of uncontrolled emotional
turmoil? One or all of these. Heres the list, and I bet it has a grisly familiarity
to any parent of a teenager.
or failing grades
pregnancy or sexual promiscuity
or drug abuse
or acts of violence
We had the lot, bar number 7. We handled them more or less, we went
through a great deal of pain and we came out the other side, but
.. I recall
years ago reading a book called Baby Taming which described the early years
in semi-military terms, and certainly the metaphors of conflict spring to mind
when one reads about the teenager aces.
I know we could have done better!
Lets get down to the nuts and bolts. You can tell that I think this is a valuable
book for any parent. Whats in it for
you? Heres a list of chapter headings.
why your teen is out of control
an ironclad contract
how to think two steps ahead of your teenager
pushing why your teen wins arguments
your teenagers seven aces
is strength in numbers
love between you and your teenager
to do if these steps fail
Most of the content seems to me very sensible,
clear, suggestions rather than prescriptions.
There are clear pointers to when the parent would do well to bring in
skilled outside help, and I reckon most of these pointers are accurate.
Whos it for?
Parents or others in responsible charge of teenagers in some way. But basically parents. It might be helpful for a general counselor,
and certainly Dr Sells strongly suggests that the handling of serious
out-of-control teen problems requires special skills and knowledge, with which
I have a couple. First, this
seems to be conceived for an American small town family. Some of the suggestions on enlisting neighbors
might not work in a European social context, or even in a big city, I suspect.
But who knows? I never thought
of many of them, and never tried them, and maybe, just maybe
Second, I have some experience of the alcohol and
drugs recovery methods. I think that
the chapter on these issues is relatively weak though it does have some great
suggestions on how to deal with the behavior as it affects the home. Dr Sells might find it worth reading a bit
more widely before the second edition because I bet theres going to be one,
and misuse of alcohol and drugs is still going to be there as a problem.
A worthwhile book, full of things I was glad to
learn and wished Id learned earlier.
2002 Fred Ashmore
Fred Ashmore is still learning about his teenagers
and does not intend to show them this book.