Survival Guide
This
book is exactly what it says it is – a Guidebook or Manual for both parents
and teens that offers insight and advice on a wide range of adolescent
developmental concerns. Organized into convenient topical sections for both
parent and teen readers, the text can be easily consulted when seeking advice on
a particular issue, or simply read cover to cover. Either way, the reader will
find a wealth of practical advice for both parent and teen. The authors approach
their subject in a sympathetic and sensitive manner in an effort to ameliorate
typical parent/teen confrontations. Sections intended for teen readers are
highlighted in blue and written in a conversational style where the author is
talking to the teen reader. Numerous quotes from other teens are interspersed
within these sections to give the material a very user-friendly feel. Parents
will find these sections very useful in that they provide a supportive and
understanding perspective. They give teens a chance to step into the shoes of
their parents and ponder their situation within a wide range of potential
parental concerns. The primary content of the book is intended for parents and
goes into more depth than a typical teen section. Illustrated with easy to
follow graphic organizers, the section intended for parents is packed with
numerous case histories, tables and charts, questionnaires, dialogues, and
issues common to families with teenagers. Of particular importance are the case
histories, dialogue, and issue boxes. The case histories are taken from
real-life situations and present both problem and solution for a wide range of
situations. These stories present the point of view of both parent and teen,
which the reader can compare and contrast to his or her own situation. They also
provide insight into the probable cause of the conflict as well as explaining
how the problem was actually resolved. The issues sections present problems that
parents and teens tend to argue about. Issues such as style of dress and
friendships are written is such a way as to provide a helpful "middle
ground" position for parents to take while struggling with a recalcitrant
teen. The dialogue boxes present scenarios common to families dealing with
teenagers. In addition to presenting a typical parent/teen conversation (such as
playing music too loud or talks about drugs) these sections offer insight on how
to discuss certain issues with your teens. Having such models to follow can be
very helpful to a parent or teacher searching for the right words or ways in
which to approach a controversial subject. In addition to the dialogue, the
authors have also included advice at the end of dialogue sections that suggest
several ways in which the stated problem might be reconciled. The numerous
tables found throughout the text provide convenient, up-to-date data on a wide
variety of issues. Parents and teachers alike can make good use of these tables,
in particular, the section in the first chapter dealing with physical
development. Entitled "Milestones of Early (ages 11 to 14), Middle (ages 15 to

16), and Late Adolescence (ages 17 to 18)", this section presents various
developmental milestones in the context of the consequence for the child as well
as the potential effect on the family. Of all the issues and concerns expressed
in this book, the only section which parents may find objectionable concerns
chapter eleven – sexuality in adolescence. The authors seemingly approach this
subject with a no-holds-barred policy. They discuss all possible sexual issues,
from the more innocuous dating and foreplay concerns to controversial issues
such as homosexuality, masturbation and pre-marital sex. Parents with strong
religious convictions may take issue with a number of the authors’
perspectives and recommendations. For instance, concerning the issue of early
sexual experimentation the authors say: "...in itself early...sexual
experience is not necessarily either abnormal or deviant... early sexual
behavior – although it may shock or disappoint you – should not be regarded
as a major catastrophe." Pg. 127 Concerning homosexuality the authors say:

"...you have no choice but to accept that this (homosexuality) is the way
things are. They cannot help being gay and they cannot change – even if they
want to." (Pg. 131) On the issue of deciding to become sexually active the
authors say: "You (the teenager) are the only person who can make decisions
about your body, your feelings, and your life." (Pg 132 in a section intended
for teen readers) On the issue of "safe sex" the authors say: "Probably
the most important thing to consider before you start having sex is how to avoid
unwanted pregnancy." (Pg. 135 in a section intended for