Rethinking Your Teenager: Shifting from Control and Conflict to Structure and Nurture to Raise Accountable Young Adults

ISBN : 9780190054519

Darby Fox
288 Pages
156 x 235 mm
Pub date
Mar 2020
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  • Written by an author who serves as a regular commentator on TV and has considerable media contacts and a strong network from which to promote the book
  • Focuses on teenage years—Darby's area of expertise—separating it from other books on crowded "Parenting" shelves
  • Offers a positive alternative to the "survival" mentality with which most parents approach teenage years
  • Written in an accessible and engaging style and based on the best available research and science, the book will appeal to parents and mental health professionals in schools and family and community practices
  • Features bespoke illustrations, graphics, and figures that provide visual reinforcement for some of the key concepts in the book

The teenage years. . . parents fear this stage, dreading it even while watching their adorable toddlers explore the world. When it arrives, they try to control their teenager, in turn causing their teenager to push back more intensely. It's a natural instinct on both sides: teenagers are changing in every way while trying to assert their independence, and parents are faced with the challenge of coming up with rules, expectations, and standards for behavior without a genuine understanding of what is happening. But the result of this pattern is a parent-child relationship defined by conflict and reactivity—a breeding ground for stress, anger, and anxiety, all of which reinforcing those same cultural stereotypes and worst fears.
But it doesn't have to be this way. In this book, family therapist Darby Fox challenges parents to redefine the goals of adolescence by reorienting their focus from what they want their child to be to on who they want their child to be. Darby not only equips parents with the insight to understand the changes taking place in their child's brain and body and support their adolescent's bid for independence, but also offers an approach that allows parents to engage their adolescent in a relationship instead of struggling in an endless battle for control. The book is organized around a series of persistent myths about adolescence, each of which the author tears down with a combination of cutting edge neuroscience research, developmental psychology, and her own mix of clinical observations and experience raising four children.
Darby offers a new model for the parent-child relationship, encouraging parents to let go of the attempt to control their teenager and focus instead on creating mutual respect, providing structure and nurture, and encouraging independence in their developing teenager. She walks through the keys to combining structure and nurture and teaches parents how to connect with their teen while holding them accountable for their behavior. If parents approach teen years with the same thoughtful preparation, sense of awe and wonder, and responsibility that they do the early childhood years, it can be an enjoyable and rewarding developmental stage that deepens, rather than damages, parent-child relationships.


Foreword, by Dr. Habib Sadeghi, author of The Clarity Cleanse
Chapter One. The First Myth: Teenagers Are Young Adults Who Choose to Act Immature
Chapter Two. The Second Myth: Teenagers Behave Badly Because of Raging Hormones and There Is Nothing We Can Do About It
Chapter Three. The Third Myth: Adolescents Shut out Adults and Listen Only to Their Peers
Chapter Four. The Fourth Myth: Adolescents Don't Need a Lot of Sleep, They're Just Lazy
Chapter Five. The Fifth Myth: Adolescents Are Amazing Multitaskers
Chapter Six. The Sixth Myth: Alcohol and Marijuana Only Temporarily Impact My Teen
Chapter Seven. The Seventh Myth: Teenagers Engage in Risky Behavior to Irritate Their Parents
Conclusion. Redefining Achievement and Failure

About the author: 

Darby Fox, Child and Adolescent Family Therapist, Private Practice, CT and NY
Darby Fox, MSW, is a child and adolescent family therapist in private practice in Connecticut and New York. With over twenty years of experience, she is an expert on parenting, child psychology, and family topics. Appearing regularly on air and in print media, Fox covers a range of topics, from parenting questions and discipline techniques to current trends in child development. She has also collaborated with Meath Media Group to develop a television series called Fractured Family with Darby Fox.

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