Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into Adulthood

Lisa Damour. Ballantine, $27 (352p) ISBN 978-0-553-39305-7
Psychologist Damour begins this clear-sighted parenting guide with an epigraph from psychoanalyst Anna Freud: “There are few situations in life which are more difficult to cope with than an adolescent son or daughter.” In response, Damour offers a hopeful, helpful new way for parents to talk about—and with—teenage girls. Raising a teenage girl doesn’t have to be the proverbial roller-coaster ride or feel like a “tangled mess,” she asserts. There is a predictable pattern to teenage development, and parents can learn how to understand and support their daughters. Damour identifies seven distinct, sequential “strands,” one per chapter, from middle school through high school: parting with childhood; joining a new tribe; harnessing emotions; contending with adult authority; planning for the future; entering the romantic world; and caring for herself. As Damour is careful to note, teens move along these strands at different rates. More descriptive than prescriptive, the volume is anecdote-driven, featuring entertaining, insightful stories drawn from the author’s experience. At the end of each chapter is a section entitled “When to Worry,” addressing issues that may require professional consultation. Parents will want this book on their shelves, next to established classics of the genre. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 12/21/2015
Release date: 02/09/2016
Genre: Nonfiction
Compact Disc - 978-0-14-752246-7
Paperback - 368 pages - 978-0-553-39307-1
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio
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