Rescuing Adolescence from the Myths of the Storm and Stress Years
On Sale: October 9, 2007
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For many parents the thought of the teen years holds more
dread than all the sleepless nights of infancy and scraped
knees of childhood combined. After all, teens are obstinate,
inconsiderate, and defiant; they sulk and stress; they are
prone to bad decisions and unreasonable behavior.
Given the option, most parents would happily skip
the storms of adolescence and move right in to the relative
calm of young adulthood if they could. Who can blame them
when popular wisdom tells them that their lovable
twelve-year-old will be replaced by an unpredictable,
emotional volcano at the age of thirteen?
the word teenager has become synonymous with trouble, the
evidence is clear: Adolescents have a bad rap—and according
to groundbreaking new research, it’s an undeserved one. In
The Good Teen, Richard Lerner lays bare compelling
new data on the lives of teens today, dismantling old myths
and redefining normal adolescence.
Time and again his
work reveals that in spite of the stereotypes, today’s teens
are basically good kids who maintain healthy relationships
with their families. Overflowing with real-life anecdotes
and cutting-edge science, The Good Teen encourages
new thinking, new public policies, and new programs that
focus on teens’ strengths.
Every teen, whatever their
ability or background, has the same potential for healthy
and successful development. In The Good Teen, Lerner
presents the five personality characteristics, called the 5
Cs, that are proven to fuel positive development:
Competence, Confidence, Connection, Character, and Caring.
When the 5 Cs coalesce, a sixth emerges, Contribution: where
young people contribute to their own development in an
energetic and optimistic way. He also prescribes specific
ways parents can foster the 5 Cs at home and in their
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