Psychological Self-Help

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reader, several videos show parents how to handle many child rearing
problems (see Research Press, Champaign, IL) 
Because a teenager must struggle to become his/her own person
(to be independent while still dependent) within a controlling
environment, the complicated relationships between parents and
teenagers have to some extent already been covered in the chapters
on anger and dependency. Good general references for coping with
this stage of life are Ginott's (1971) highly respected and
recommended Between Parent and Teenager, Elkind's (1984) All
Grown Up and No Place to Go: Teenagers in Crisis, and his (1994)
Parenting Your Teenager, Clarke et al's (1990) Help! For Parents of
School-Age Children and Teenagers, and Steinberg & Levine's (1990)
You and Your Adolescent: A Parent's Guide for Ages 10-20. There are
circumstances no doubt when "tough love" is needed (get tough, make
demands, and let the teenager take responsibility for his/her actions),
but many mental health professionals are skeptical of this approach
(York, York & Wachtel, 1982). There is little or no research. The
experts prefer a gentler approach involving a show of understanding
and care, long thoughtful discussions, and warm tolerance instead of
cold, immutable punishment (Santrock, Minnett & Campbell, 1994). A
good book is Faber & Mazlish's (1980) How to Talk so Kids Will Listen
and Listen so Kids Will Talk.
One of the more mysterious phenomena in human development is
the loss of self-esteem in girls during puberty. Several changes are
occurring at this time, such as bodily developments in both sexes, sex
hormones surging in boys, sudden intense attractions to boys, looks
and popularity become much more important than intelligence and
careers, and self-confidence or self-esteem plummets. This problem is
discussed in more detail later in this chapter. Look for a flood of books
dealing with this problem (Orenstein, 1994; Pipher, 1994), but more
research is really needed for us to understand this developmental
Another pool of ignorance thwarts us as parents, namely, how to
raise boys into good men. Considering the level of violence by men,
the chauvinistic attitudes of men, their engaging in date rape and
sexual harassment, their high rate of unfaithfulness and divorce, and
their abandonment of children (not marrying their mothers or
infrequently seeing the children and paying support after divorce), why
wouldn't any parent worry about the morals of his/her sons? Several
psychoanalytic books (Bassoff, 1994; Pittman, 1993; Silverstein &
Rashbaum, 1994) address the problem but little relevant research
exists, as yet, in this vital area. One area of research is interesting:
some boys raised in homes without a father tend to be hyper-
masculine, i.e. aggressive, violent, tough, criminal, etc. Girls raised in
fatherless homes have sex earlier, get pregnant more often, and have
Children in the next chapter.
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