The most trying times in a child’s life are during their pre-teen and teen years. Even the most well-meaning and engaged parents and teachers are often ill equipped to deal effectively with adolescents and their remarkable yet confounding social and emotional changes.
Surviving Adolescence follows the roller coaster ride parents with teenagers experience, stages that author Michael Gilbert calls Ratcheting Up, the First Drop, Loop-de-Loop, Climbing, the Steep Drop, In the Tunnel, Into the Daylight, and Leveling Off. These stages cover issues such as preparing for adolescence, the reality of confronting puberty, the family unit, and how to help teens confront a new social environment, including cyberspace. Additional areas covered are recognizing the need for productive activities, discussing burgeoning sexual issues, bullying, and substance abuse. Suggestions for communicating effectively and taking care of yourself are included, too, making this a well-rounded and valuable resource for parents and educators alike.
Michael Gilbert, EdD, is the father of four children and seven grandchildren. He is also a former guardian ad litem, advocating for children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect.
Roller coaster ride may seem like an apt metaphor for those navigating the junior high and high school years. Gilbert, a professor, guardian ad litem for children in abused and neglected situations, and a father and grandfather himself, stresses how important it is for parents to help their child develop a sense of worth. Parents must start by looking inward, as remembering their own adolescence is crucial in understanding their child. Next, he encourages the development of a strong partnership between parents working as a team, discussing expectations and consulting each other before decision-making. Gilbert doesn’t leave out single or divorced parents, or stepparents. He then moves further outside the circle to discuss the family as a unit and the importance of good friendships. Sex, cyberspace, substance abuse, and other common topics of concern during the teen years each has a dedicated chapter. The chapter on communication may provide an especially helpful framework for conversations as it explores the personality type of your teen and how that can affect how to best proceed in having discussions. Straight-talking and practical, this book is a quick read with guidance on many of the topics parents “google.”
Parents, teachers, and anyone that has an adolescent in their life will appreciate Dr. Michael Gilbert’s latest informative book, “Surviving Adolescence!” Having experienced first-hand Dr. Gilbert’s expertise in identifying different types of learners for classroom teachers, I can unequivocally attest to his knowledge and skill addressed in “Surviving Adolescence.” I highly recommend reading this book to enhance your knowledge as well as your success in interacting with those that we identify as adolescents!
If you have ever worked with adolescents, tried to raise them or simply reflected on adolescent behavior in this day and time, read this work by Michael Gilbert. He is a former teacher, higher educator, parent, and consummate observer of human nature. Not only is the book insightful, the key discussion points listed at the end of each chapter are worth rereading and potentially posting for consultation when and if any questions about adolescent behaviors, personality traits or perspectives cause tension or dissension within your home or, for educators, within your classrooms.
The book is strengthened not only by experience but also by a robust understanding of ways to work with individuals with different personalities, based on their needs, concerns and receptiveness to guidance, advice or correction. When the moment comes to send burgeoning adults on to the next steps in their lives, the lessons that can be gleaned from Surviving Adolescence: Helping Teens Endure The Roller Coaster Ride will be of great value not only to the parent or educator but also to the adolescents who are transitioning into adulthood under your aegis.
Adolescence can be the most difficult time in a person’s life. From the puberty, to social dynamics and peer pressure, and the shifting relationship with our parents and teachers, adolescents are exposed to some of the most unique challenges we will encounter in our lives. Surviving Adolescence is a timely book that explores the challenges of today’s youth who are caught between childhood and adulthood. It sheds light into this unique time in the human developmental process, from pre-adolescence, adolescence and the teenage years, into early adulthood, what these individuals are experiencing, and how the contemporary environment presents new challenges of growing up in the connected word. It also offers great insight into the relationship among children and their parents, teachers and peers. Dr. Gilbert has provided a thorough review of not only the uniqueness of these individuals as children and students, but the context of their social, emotional, physical, and cognitive realities. This is a much-needed resource for parents and educators as they work with and guide this population in this unique phase of life.
Anyone who has or may have any dealings with an adolescent child needs this book! Dr. Michael Gilbert shares his considerable professional and personal wisdom to unlock the mystery of adolescent metamorphosis. Gilbert acknowledges his own experiences as a professional educator and parent with insight and humility. His intelligent and comprehensive discussion can benefit both parents and professionals. Without being condescending or judgmental, he invites the reader to consider how to navigate this most poignant time in a child’s life. His approach to the most daunting subjects is even-handed and optimistic. The reader can easily access the information and leave feeling encouraged and hopeful. Dr. Gilbert masterfully reminds us all of the importance of being the caring adult to a child undergoing this amazing transformation. The joys and benefits of making this journey are well-worth the “roller coaster ride”. This book should be required reading for every adult making the trip!
In experiencing the adolescence of my own son and daughter, I found relevance in Dr. Michael Gilbert’s book from start to finish. As I teach and train in the field of leadership, I share that leaders do not need to have all the right answers, yet must be comfortable embracing tough questions and circumstance. The same could be said for parents and caregivers of adolescents. This book makes that connection! Gilbert’s chapters are straightforward, practical, and timely – thoughtfully written with respect to challenges of adolescent identity and what we can do to celebrate it. I recommend this book to all who appreciate helpful straight talk, delivered sensitively. A very good read!