Where does Anthony Wolf come up with his wonderful titles? First, it was Mom, Jason's Breathing on Me! ; then Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall? and now this. Fortunately, Wolf's talents for a fine-tuned ear don't stop at the cover. As a clinical psychologist, he grapples every day with the complexities of parent/child communications. I'd Listen to My Parents If They'd Just Shut Up, his latest ventures in these perpetually stormy waters, draws on that experience with its winningly specific advice on responding to unresponsive teens. Just the roll-call of issues discussed in this useful tome will convince you of its pertinence: family interactions; curfews and rules; sex, drugs, alcohol, and other forms of risk taking; schoolwork; social networks and videogames; and character development. A boon for puzzled parents.
Clinical psychologist Wolfe has an uncanny ear for kidspeak. Author of Mom, Jason’s Breathing on Me and Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall?, he reveals, with warm humor, much professional experience, and a great deal of patience, what kids really mean in their offhand, cajoling, vituperative or even monosyllabic communications with their folks. An additional boon to parents is Wolfe’s ability to translate quite handily parental comments and requests into what tweens and teens infer, thus helping moms and dads fully comprehend what information is actually exchanged. Wolfe notes a hallmark of adolescence is that teens feel they can no longer be little children but don’t yet have the skills to be independent, so high emotions and unpredictable behavior are to be expected. His fly-on-the-wall observations and word-for-word responses will facilitate positive give-and-take and help parents steer clear of what doesn’t work in multiple situations, including school; family interaction; control and rules (the issue isn’t power, it’s accountability); character development; sex, drugs, alcohol and risk-taking; electronics; and privacy. Wolfe lets readers know how and why it’s important to pick their battles, stick to “no,” and get kids to do what they don’t want but need to do, eventually building a strong parent-teen relationship. Strong competition to Faber and Mazlish’s classic How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk, this entertaining book is full of understanding, advice, and support. (Nov.)