28 February 2010

Before Your Teenagers Drive You Crazy Read This

Battlefield Wisdom for Stressed out Parents

By Nigel Latta

Harper Collins Publishers. Adult Non-Fiction. Paperback rrp $26.95

Guest Reviewer - Jo Burnell

The title says it all. This book lives up to its name. I love my teenage kids, but there are days when I feel I’ve lost all control. Nigel Latta not only rescued me, but provided plenty of belly laughs along the way.

He’s a Psychologist working with difficult teenagers in New Zealand because he loves it. You can tell by the way he writes. He actually has fun getting round seemingly insurmountable odds.

Not only that, he shares his secrets through easy-to-read frameworks, basic principles and simple plans, but there’s nothing dry between these pages. The Weapons of Mass Disruption that teenagers use to confound their unsuspecting parents were so familiar, I wondered if Nigel had been spying through our kitchen window.

With chapter headings like: The teenage brain: not the whole walnut and Mad Uncle Jack, I knew I was in for an entertaining time. Real kids and families were described to explain concepts, then I was invited to the use the principals and frameworks to solve the described problems. Before reading this book, I would have shrugged and had no clue where to start, but towards the end everything was starting to make sense.

When I now turn to my own kids, life seems so simple. Don’t get me wrong. There are still days when I wonder who stole my kids and replaced them with Mad Uncle Jack and his Crazy Side-Kick. However, I now have a trusty reference guide that hasn’t failed me yet.


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