The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens

Overview


Embrace Fearless Parenting

Have you ever been bewildered by the changes in your child and your sudden lack of effectiveness as a parent? When hugs and family fun have been replaced by silence, slamming doors and an ever-changing array of moods, you need new tools. Top teen expert Dr. John Duffy has encountered all of this and more in his family counseling practice and offers excellent advice, clear strategies and teen-tested solutions in The ...

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The Available Parent: Radical Optimism for Raising Teens and Tweens

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Overview


Embrace Fearless Parenting

Have you ever been bewildered by the changes in your child and your sudden lack of effectiveness as a parent? When hugs and family fun have been replaced by silence, slamming doors and an ever-changing array of moods, you need new tools. Top teen expert Dr. John Duffy has encountered all of this and more in his family counseling practice and offers excellent advice, clear strategies and teen-tested solutions in The Available Parent.

Dr. Duffy can help you shift the dynamic in your relationship with your teenager. Imagine what it would be like if healthy conversations replaced angry outbursts or petulant silence. Using the techniques in The Available Parent, you can begin to enjoy a healthy, satisfying, new kind of relationship with your teenager—one based on a foundation of radical optimism, rather than fear-based control. At a time when many "helicopter parents" micromanage and under-appreciate their children, Dr. Duffy's step-by-step guide is an innovative approach to taking care of teens and tweens. You'll see that it's the available parent that fosters an extraordinary teenager.

What you'll learn inside this book:
• How to understand the adolescent mind
• What teen rebellion is really about
• How to build your child's self-esteem and confidence
• How to create a successful behavioral contract

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"...a healthy dose of optimism and lots of practical suggestions."
—Publishers Weekly

"Every parent of a child or teen will benefit from keeping this wise book on their night stand. It's likely they will want it handy to read over and over again." — Judy Ford, author of Every Day Love: The Delicate Art of Caring for Each Other and Wonderful Ways to Love a Child

"Dr. Duffy provides a clear, straightforward, doable answer for parents: Stay in touch! Research clearly shows that an open, friendly parent-teen relationship is a major factor in protecting kids from harm. The age-old question for parents of teens has always been: ‘How do I relate to these new kids of mine—how should I manage them?’ The Available Parent provides a clear blueprint for a practical and effective response: Manage the problems you have to, but above all else, stay in touch!"
—Dr. Thomas W. Phelan, author of 1-2-3 Magic and Surviving Your Adolescents

"Dr. John Duffy's fresh new concept of availability in parenting is an idea that meets the moment. With the pace of society constantly accelerating, we need The Available Parent now more than ever! Dr. John's writing is smart, approachable and right on the mark. His blend of practical ideas and colorful examples delivers great insights. Most importantly, I am a better parent thanks to this book."
—Eric Langshur, Co-author of We Carry Each Other

"I couldn't put The Available Parent down because I found my inner voice kept saying "Yeah, that's right!" or "Oh, dang, I wish I had known that when my girls were teens." When I finished reading, I called my two daughters, now in their twenties, and asked them if my husband and I were Available Parents. They both reassured me that we were--and still are. John's a brilliant writer with keen intuition into how kids think and how parents can, sometimes unknowingly, sabotage their relationship. John has used his vast experience to provide parents with the inside dope into how kids view their lives, and what they really need from their parents to make the leap into becoming mentally healthy young adults. Best of all, John relays their amazing stories of growth in smooth, witty, and helpful prose. Any parent with a child--no matter what the age--should read and learn from this book.
—Eileen Norris, contributing writer and editor of the bestselling You: The Smart Patient by Drs. Mehmet Oz and Mike Roizen

"What a true gift. This outstanding book truly gives you a blueprint to fully be available to your teen son or daughter. You will marvel at your teen’s sense of competence, can-do attitude, and improved self-esteem. Teens and parents are both resilient; with the tools provided in the remarkable book The Available Parent, you and your teenager can both enjoy your new and improve relationship."
—Dr. Kate Smart Mursau, co-author of Smart Parenting: How to Raise Happy, Can-Do Kids

"Every parent who wants to give it their best shot in working with, and not in opposition to, their teen, needs to check in with Dr. John Duffy, and apply his "available parent" strategy. As a professional journalist, author, and mom of three teens who writes about parenting, I was so glad to have found Dr. Duffy in time to give me the tools to quickly understand what it means to be an available parent. To my surprise and delight, as I intentionally make myself more available as a mom, my teens are now purposefully reaching out to engage with me! Dr. Duffy is a trusted guide and cool guy. He truly cares and is all about helping parents and their children find the bright light in each other. He helped to open a whole new channel of communication for me with my teens, and allowed me to appreciate their uniqueness and focus on that, instead of the moments that "challenge."
—Mary Beth Sammons, author of Second Acts That Change Lives: Making a Difference in the World

"John Duffy has written one of the most eye-opening parenting books around, an inspiring, important tool for all parents. From his expertise and experience working with teens, John gives us the key ingredient for a healthy, successful parent-teen relationship…. being The Available Parent. What a simple yet profound title, and what a rude awakening for me! John masterfully defines available parenting and helps parents stop the unhealthy dance with their kids. He gives excellent insight, advice and approaches to become the effective parent we desire to be. And throughout the book, he uses real life excerpts from teens discussing their issues so parents can understand what is really going on in their world. This is a must-read and is essential to building a healthy relationship with your teen."
—Megan Walls, CEC, ACC, Founder, Conscious Connections Coaching

"The Available Parent is a valuable and thought-provoking resource that’s filled with many precious lessons and gives parents a unique perspective on cultivating a healthy relationship with their kids."
—Psych Central

Kirkus Reviews

Raising a teenager can be just as much of an emotional roller coaster asbeinga teenager, but clinical psychologist, certified life coach and parenting expert Duffy assures parents that it doesn't have to be such a turbulent ride for either party.

In his debut, the author insists that teens can be as endearing and lovable as they were before turning 13, as long as parents remain available. Among myriad other saintly qualities, the available parent is "unconditionally loving and accepting, and open to new and different ways of thinking...neither cruel nor dismissive." Blending self-reflective exercises for parents with words of wisdom from teens and parents whom Duffy has counseled throughout his career, the author raises valid points about the benefits of being an available parent and offers valuable insight into the unique psyche of a teenager. Duffy dedicates an excessive amount of focus to describing why lecturing, overindulging and other obviously ineffective techniques donotwork. The author's objective may be to educate parents on how to monitor and maximize the quality of their interaction with their teens, but despite admitting that he has the "luxury of objectivity" as a therapist, his neatly resolved counseling sessions are narrated with a somewhat self-satisfied air. This is particularly apparent when the author recounts his success rehabilitating apathetic teens, simply by bonding over music or admiring artwork they never showed their parents.

Idealistically implies that available parents will unfailingly raise well-adjusted teens, and fails to offer comprehensive strategies for tackling the more complex problems that teens and parents often face.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781573446570
  • Publisher: Cleis Press
  • Publication date: 5/10/2011
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 443,153
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author


John Duffy is a clinical psychologist and certified life coach with a thriving private practice in the Chicago area. Dr. Duffy works with both teens and adults and specializes in helping parents maximize satisfaction and minimize conflict in their relationships with their teenagers. In addition to clinical work, Duffy also consults with individuals, groups and corporations in a number of areas, including Emotional Intelligence, stress management, balancing work and family, conflict resolution, goal-setting and the power of thoughts in bringing about change. Dr. Duffy's highly satisfied clients include Sears, Allstate, General Electric, Household Financial, Exxon Mobil, Accenture, Bank of America and Hewitt Associates. The Duffy family lives in Chicago, Illinois.
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Table of Contents

Foreword xvii

Prologue and Author's Note xxi

Introduction xxv

The Nature of Availability xxv

Radical Optimism xxviii

The Good-Enough Teenager xxx

What Do I Know? xxxi

Availability: Your Mandate as a Parent xxxiii

Part 1 Your Teenager's Wild World 1

Too Much Data, Too Little Filter 1

This Isn't Kansas Anymore 3

The Adolescent Mind 5

Social In-security 6

Breaking Away 7

The Nature of Teen Rebellion 10

Sex 12

Intimacy: More Than Hooking Up 17

Body Image: The Locker Room Terror 18

What about the Gay Issue? 20

Part 2 What Never Works 23

Why Lectures Never Work 23

Why Vicarious Living Never Works 30

Why Micromanaging Never Works 32

Why Snooping Never Works 37

Why Underestimating Never Works 39

Why Blinders Never Work 43

Why Judging Never Works 49

Why Smothering Never Works 52

Why Coddling Never Works 54

Why Overindulgence Never Works 55

Why Bribery Never Works 60

Why "Good Cop, Bad Cop" Never Works 62

Why Waiting Never Works 63

Part 3 What Always Works 67

Check Your Ego 67

Don't Make It about You

Emotional Role-Modeling

Tapping Your Intuition

Gaining Traction 82

Deposits in the Emotional Bank Account

Simple Acknowledgment

The Multiple Benefits of Laughter

The Ozzy Connection

Communication and Connection 92

The Power of Music

Other Ways to Connect

The Friendship Debate

Shifting the Energy

Re-connecting

Protect Time 110

Step Away from the iPhone!

u cn txt ur kid, k?

Calm, Clear Consequences 116

Disciplinary Action

Punishment, Rewards, and Consequences

The Behavioral Contract

When to Say No: Following Your Intuition

See the Light 125

Fondness and Admiration

Finding Those Corners Where Strengths Dwell

Supporting Your Teen's Interests

Building Self-Esteem or Self-Mastery

What about the Weird Kid?

Be the Change 138

Inspiration by Example

When Not to Be Available: Parent as Consultant

Why Available Parenting Always Works 147

Final Note: My Hope for You 150

About the Author 151

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