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Untangled: Guiding Teenage Girls Through the Seven Transitions into…
by Lisa Damour
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This took me a while to finish, but was interesting and I think will be helpful. I was also reading the book Wildhood: The Astounding Connections between Human and Animal Adolescents and it was fascinating to see the overlaps between the two books. ( )
Excellent book. Gives superb perspective and a framework for understanding what teenage girls are going through. Required reading that should help both parents and teenagers.
"Untangled" features seven strands of development which adolescent and teen girls should progress through to become healthy adult women. HOWEVER, this work is fraught with organizational problems. The seven strands, initially put forth by Anna Freud, get knotted up in way too much case study citation (which is often the problem with books written by therapists). One can't even read chapter titles strategically to discern or name the seven actual strands of development simply because some of the chapters expand, then further expound upon the strand leaving it something like a split in. There are some good takeaways from this work though: a mini course in brain development and how it relates to the prickly state of adolescent emergence and teen transitioning; some great practice speeches and conversation starters to share with one's offspring; lastly, the significance of why lecturing and binding rules aren't effective and letting one's offspring process outcomes as their ability to reason abstractly drives their independent decision-making. I'd appreciate this work more if there was the occasional diagram or other organizational technique. "Untangled" needs a little more untangling.
Useful bookâ€”at least, I hope so, though Iâ€™m not quite there yet with my daughter. â€ś[G]irlsâ€™ bodies part with childhood at a moment girls donâ€™t select and may not likeâ€ť and advances at a speed they canâ€™t controlâ€”that did seem familiar. Damour suggests that teens donâ€™t ignore rules; they just think about not getting caught rather than about why the rules might exist. Struggles can be beneficial for building girlsâ€™ emotional intelligence, as long as parents handle them correctly, framing consequences as the result of choices made by the teen herself. Iâ€™d seen this before, but Damour points out that teen births dropped most where 16 and Pregnant was the most popular show; she concludes that â€śteenage girls arenâ€™t dumb. Given a relatively objective picture of the consequences of unprotected sex, girls changed their behavior.â€ť A lot of advice about taking a deep breath and thinking through how you approach a volatile teen; I will probably revisit the book.
In Untangled, Damour, obviously an advocate for teens, offers advice in a supportive and nonjudgmental tone that rejuvenates parents and reinstates their ability to be reasonable, calm, and loving in the face of a rapidly changing and volatile relationship with their daughter. Working within the framework of seven distinct strands of development a girl travels through (parting with childhood, joining a tribe, harnessing emotions, contending with adult authority, planning for the future, entering the romantic world, caring for herself), Damour walks us through common, culturally relevant situations, providing perspective changing insight and grounding guidance on reasonable techniques to grow through them.
With her confident advice, what was once full-blown conflict between parent and teen about explosive and painful topics (such as technology use, social troubles, anxiety, suffering schoolwork, sexual pressure, and so forth) becomes a valuable moment when a parent helps their child progress in their healthy development.
This is a book that I will return to when I get frustrated and need reminding of the specific role I play as a loving parent of a strong and independent developing teen. Every parent of a girl should read it!
This review copy was provided for free from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This review and others at annevolmering.com.
Family & Relationships. Nonfiction. HTML:NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER â?˘ An award-winning guide to the sometimes erratic and confusing behavior of teenage girls that explains whatâ??s going on, prepares parents for whatâ??s to come, and lets them know when itâ??s time to worry.
Look for Under Pressure, the companion guide to coping with stress and anxiety among girls, available now.
In this sane, highly engaging, and informed guide for parents of daughters, Dr. Damour draws on decades of experience and the latest research to reveal the seven distinctâ??and absolutely normalâ??developmental transitions that turn girls into grown-ups, including Parting with Childhood, Contending with Adult Authority, Entering the Romantic World, and Caring for Herself. Providing realistic scenarios and welcome advice on how to engage daughters in smart, constructive ways, Untangled gives parents a broad framework for understanding their daughters while addressing their most common questions, including
â?˘ My thirteen-year-old rolls her eyes when I try to talk to her, and only does it more when I get angry with her about it. How should I respond?
â?˘ Do I tell my teen daughter that Iâ??m checking her phone?
â?˘ My daughter suffers from test anxiety. What can I do to help her?
â?˘ Whereâ??s the line between healthy eating and having an eating disorder?
â?˘ My teenage daughter wants to know why Iâ??m against pot when itâ??s legal in some states. What should I say?
â?˘ My daughterâ??s friend is cutting herself. Do I call the girlâ??s mother to let her know?
Perhaps most important, Untangled helps mothers and fathers understand, connect, and grow with their daughters. When parents know what makes their daughter tick, they can embrace and enjoy the challenge of raising a healthy, happy young woman.
BOOKS FOR A BETTER LIFE AWARD WINNER
â??Finally, thereâ??s some good news for puzzled parents of adolescent girls, and psychologist Lisa Damour is the bearer of that happy news. [Untangled] is the most down-to-earth, readable parenting book Iâ??ve come across in a long time.â?ťâ??The Washington Post
â??Anna Freud wrote in 1958, â??There are few situations in life which are more difficult to cope with than an adolescent son or daughter during the attempt to liberate themselves.â?? In the intervening decades, the transition doesnâ??t appear to have gotten any easier which makes
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Melvil Decimal System (DDC)305.235Social sciences Social Sciences Groups of people Age groups Adolescents
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