cover image TEENAGERS LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE: Parenting to Inspire Integrity & Independence

TEENAGERS LEARN WHAT THEY LIVE: Parenting to Inspire Integrity & Independence

Dorothy Law Nolte, . . Workman, $9.95 (340pp) ISBN 978-0-7611-2138-1

Following up on their first parenting manual (Children Learn What They Live) Nolte, a teacher, and Harris, a psychotherapist, here turn their attention to the difficult years of adolescence. Like the earlier work, each chapter is inspired by a line in a poem written by Nolte ("If teenagers live with failure they learn to give up"; "If teenagers live with too many rules, they learn to get around them"). The same philosophy—that teens, as well as children, are guided more by what parents do than by what they say—also holds sway here. Many examples of how a good parent-child relationship fostered in the early years will help teens better navigate the tricky waters of adolescence are provided. According to the authors, parents should set standards of behavior but recognize that they cannot and should not always control the behavior of their children. Decision-making is also an activity that teens need to learn by trial and error. When Morgan decided to skip her senior year of high school and go to college under an early admission program, her parents, although against the plan, chose not to overprotect their daughter. After a miserable freshman year, Morgan, who was academically but not socially prepared for college, learned from her mistake and also profited from the many supportive telephone conversations she had with her parents during this difficult time. A practical and inspirational guide for parents. (Jan.)