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Holding On While Letting Go: Parenting Your Child Through the Four Freedoms of Adolescence

Holding On While Letting Go: Parenting Your Child Through the Four Freedoms of Adolescence

by Carl Pickhardt
Holding On While Letting Go: Parenting Your Child Through the Four Freedoms of Adolescence

Holding On While Letting Go: Parenting Your Child Through the Four Freedoms of Adolescence

by Carl Pickhardt


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Harvard-trained psychologist and Psychology Today parenting expert Carl Pickhardt gives parents an eye-opening look at what to expect on rocky road of middle school and high school, revealing the Four Freedoms that every child must master to become a healthy adult—and how parents can adapt, encourage, and grow themselves during these tumultuous times.

Parenting a teenager is not for the faint of heart. It is during these roller-coaster years that frustrated parents find themselves at their wits' end, barely even recognizing their offspring as they move through the teen years. Carl Pickhardt, Harvard-trained psychologist and the voice of reason behind Psychology Today's advice column, "Surviving (Your Child's) Adolescence," shares critical insights and practical tools that parents need to know as their children move through the teen years toward independence and adulthood.

There's a reason the road is rocky—it's supposed to be. Children must pass through "four unfolding freedoms" in order to become competent, independent, and confident adults. How easily parents can navigate these twists and turns with less hand-holding, angst, and hitting the brakes directly correlates to how successful their children will be. The four unfolding freedoms are these:

1) freedom from rejection of childhood, around the late elementary school years, when they want to stop acting and being treated as children anymore.

2) freedom of association with peers, around the middle school years, when they want to form a second family of friends.

3) freedom for older experimentation, around the high school years, when they want to try more grown-up activities.

4) freedom to claim emancipation, around the college age years, when they decide to become their own ruling authority.

With each successive push for freedom, both parents and teens need to learn how to do less holding on to each other while doing more letting go. Dr. Carl Pickhardt will show them the way with compassion, experience, and time-tested guidance.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780757324239
Publisher: Health Communications, Incorporated
Publication date: 10/04/2022
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 1,137,513
Product dimensions: 8.40(w) x 5.50(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Carl Pickhardt, Ph.D., is a noted psychologist, speaker, and parenting expert, now retired from private counseling practice. He received his B.A. and M.Ed. from Harvard, and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He is a member of the American and Texas Psychological Associations. He writes a popular parenting advice column for Psychology Today and has writtten some of the most practical and helpful books about important parenting issues, including: The Connected Father; Stop the Screaming, The Future of Your Only Child and Why Good Kids Act Cruel. A prolific author, he continues to write three distinct kinds of books: illustrated psychology, of coming of age fiction, and of nonfiction parenting advice – Holding on While Letting Go the seventeenth of these parenting books. For a complete list of his books, see his website:

Table of Contents

Introduction: Get Ready, Get Set, Go! 1

Chapter 1 Adolescence Is Change 5

Chapter 2 Holding On While Letting Go 13

Chapter 3 Communicating While Growing Apart 41

Chapter 4 The Importance of Heeding Freedom's Call 65

Part 1 Freedom from Rejection of Childhood: The Late Elementary School Years

Chapter 5 Rejection and Identity 95

Chapter 6 Rejection and Adequacy 111

Chapter 7 Rejection and Order 125

Chapter 8 Rejection and Intimacy 139

Part 2 Freedom of Association with Peers: The Middle-School-Age Years

Chapter 9 Association and Separation 157

Chapter 10 Association and Membership 177

Chapter 11 Association and Mistreatment 187

Chapter 12 Association and Attachment 197

Part 3 Freedom for Advanced Experimentation: The High-School-Age Years

Chapter 13 Experimenting and Curiosity 215

Chapter 14 Experimenting with Dating 229

Chapter 15 Experimenting and Cheating 237

Chapter 16 Experimenting with Substances 249

Part 4 Freedom to Claim Emancipation: The College-Age Years

Chapter 17 Emancipation and Preparedness 265

Chapter 18 Emancipation and Demand 279

Chapter 19 Emancipation and Opportunity 291

Chapter 20 Emancipation and Expectations 303

Epilogue: The Fifth Freedom: Reconciliation 315

About the Author 319

Other Parenting Books by the Author 321

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