|Basic InformationMore InformationLatest NewsQuestions and AnswersBlog EntriesVideosLinksBook Reviews|100 Things Guys Need to Know3 NBS of Julian DrewA Guide to Asperger SyndromeA Tribe ApartA User Guide to the GF/CF Diet for Autism, Asperger Syndrome and AD/HDA Walk in the Rain With a BrainAdolescence and Body ImageAdolescent DepressionAfterAggression and Antisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsAll Alone in the UniverseAmelia RulesAmericaAnother PlanetAntisocial Behavior in Children and AdolescentsArtemis FowlAssessment and Treatment of Childhood Problems, Second EditionAutistic Spectrum DisordersBad GirlBetween Two WorldsBeyond AppearanceBeyond Diversity DayBig Mouth & Ugly GirlBill HensonBipolar DisordersBody Image, Eating Disorders, and ObesityBody Image, Eating Disorders, and Obesity in YouthBoyBoysBrandedBreaking PointBreathing UnderwaterBringing Up ParentsBullying and TeasingCan't Eat, Won't EatCatalystChild and Adolescent Psychological DisordersChildren Changed by TraumaChildren with Emerald EyesChildren’s Dreaming and the Development of Consciousness City of OneConcise Guide to Child and Adolescent PsychiatryConquering the Beast WithinContentious IssuesCrackedCutDancing in My NuddypantsDemystifying the Autistic ExperienceDescartes' BabyDilemmas of DesireDirtyDoing ItDoing SchoolDying to Be ThinEating an ArtichokeEducating Children With AutismElijah's CupEllison the ElephantEmerald City BluesEmotional and Behavioral Problems of Young ChildrenEvery Girl Tells a StoryFast GirlsFeather BoyFiregirlForever YoungFreaks, Geeks and Asperger SyndromeFreewillGeography ClubGeorgia Under WaterGirl in the MirrorGirlfightingGirlsourceGirlWiseGLBTQGood GirlsGoodbye RuneGranny Torrelli Makes SoupGrowing Up GirlHandbook for BoysHealing ADDHeartbeatHelping Children Cope With Disasters and TerrorismHelping Parents, Youth, and Teachers Understand Medications for Behavioral and Emotional ProblemsHollow KidsHow Children Learn the Meanings of WordsHow to Keep Your Teenager Out of Trouble and What to Do If You Can'tHug MeIntrusive ParentingIt's Me!It's Perfectly NormalJake RileyJoey Pigza Swallowed the KeyJuvenile-Onset SchizophreniaKeeping the MoonKilling MonstersKim: Empty InsideKnocked Out by My Nunga-NungasLaura Numeroff's 10-Step Guide to Living with Your MonsterLearning About School ViolenceLeo the Lightning BugLet Kids Be KidsLiberation's ChildrenLife As We Know ItLisa, Bright and DarkLittle ChicagoLord of the FliesLoserLove and SexLove That DogManicMastering Anger and AggressionMind FieldsMiss American PieMom, Dad, I'm Gay.MonsterMore Than a LabelMyths of ChildhoodNew Hope for Children and Teens with Bipolar DisorderNo Two AlikeNot Much Just Chillin'Odd Girl OutOdd Girl Speaks OutOn the Frontier of AdulthoodOne Hot SecondOne in ThirteenOphelia SpeaksOphelia's MomOur Journey Through High Functioning Autism and Asperger SyndromeOut of the DustOvercoming School AnxietyParenting and the Child's WorldParenting Your Out-Of-Control TeenagerPediatric PsychopharmacologyPeriod PiecesPhobic and Anxiety Disorders in Children and AdolescentsPINSPraising Boys WellPraising Girls WellPretty in PunkPrincess in the SpotlightProblem Child or Quirky Kid?Psychotherapy As PraxisPsychotherapy for Children and AdolescentsRaising a Self-StarterRaising BlazeRaising Resilient ChildrenReclaiming Our ChildrenRedressing the EmperorReducing Adolescent RiskRethinking ADHDReweaving the Autistic TapestryRineke DijkstraRitalin is Not the Answer Action GuideRunning on RitalinSay YesSexual Teens, Sexual MediaSexuality in AdolescenceShooterShort PeopleShould I Medicate My Child?Skin GameSmackSmashedStaying Connected to Your TeenagerStick FigureStoner & SpazStop Arguing with Your KidsStraight Talk about Your Child's Mental HealthStrong, Smart, & BoldStudent DepressionSurvival Strategies for Parenting Children with Bipolar DisorderSurviving OpheliaTaking Charge of ADHD, Revised EditionTaming the Troublesome ChildTargeting AutismTeaching Problems and the Problems of TeachingTeen Angst? NaaahThat SummerThe American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook Of Child And Adolescent PsychiatryThe Arctic IncidentThe Bipolar ChildThe Buffalo TreeThe Bully, the Bullied, and the BystanderThe Carnivorous CarnivalThe Depressed ChildThe Developing MindThe Dragons of AutismThe Dream BearerThe Dulcimer Boy The Einstein SyndromeThe EpidemicThe Eternity CubeThe Explosive ChildThe Field of the DogsThe First IdeaThe Identity TrapThe Inside Story on Teen GirlsThe Little TernThe Mean Girl MotiveThe Men They Will BecomeThe Myth of LazinessThe New Gay TeenagerThe Notebook GirlsThe Nurture AssumptionThe Opposite of InvisibleThe Order of the Poison OakThe Other ParentThe Present Moment in Psychotherapy and Everyday LifeThe Real Truth About Teens and SexThe Rise and Fall of the American TeenagerThe Secret Lives of GirlsThe Sex Lives of TeenagersThe Shared HeartThe Spider and the BeeThe StepsThe Thought that CountsThe Unhappy ChildThe Vile VillageThe Whole ChildThen Again, Maybe I Won'tTherapy with ChildrenThings I Have to Tell YouTouching Spirit BearTrauma in the Lives of ChildrenTreacherous LoveTrue BelieverTwistedUnhappy TeenagersWay to Be!We're Not MonstersWhat about the KidsWhat Would Joey Do?What's Happening to My Body? Book for BoysWhat's Happening to My Body? Book for GirlsWhen Nothing Matters AnymoreWhen Sex Goes to SchoolWhen Your Child Has an Eating DisorderWhere The Kissing Never StopsWhose America?Why Are You So Sad?WinnicottWorried All the TimeYes, Your Teen Is Crazy!You Hear MeYoung People and Mental HealthYour Child, Bully or Victim?
by Alex J. Packer Ph.D.
Free Spirit Publishing, 1992
Review by Lizzie Perring on Jul 30th 2004
can I say? I have tried to imagine the kind of teenager who will really engage
with this text. To do so I have to imagine a teenager who would find the book
very funny; like the pictures; understand the arse on its head concept it is
preaching; get the jokes; and feel able to work with it's advice. I tried and
tried to imagine this child. I currently work with about 40 children aged 7-15
with a wide range of ability, from all manner of backgrounds and I can't locate
that child. I sifted through my family and friends and can't locate it. So I
thought back to my own childhood and tried to imagine myself finding this book
in my garden one day. In this time traveling exploration I open the book,
feeling quite puzzled and get to the Contents Page. There I find the exciting
phrase: "Parents: Can't live with 'Em. Can't live Without 'Em."
This, I think, sounds interesting. Yet it is followed by a list of jokey
phrases and I instantly feel out of that club. My eyes fall on the mention of
"Ear Wax" and "Nose Hairs "and I look for
those in the book: Page 31 and I can't locate the "Ear Wax "
section, instead I notice that lots of the text is in rhymes like "tell,
yell, preach, teach," and I consider yelling that back to my parents
one day. I then start rambling through the book. I see some wacky illustrations
and look through all of those. Occasionally I stop at a catchy phrase "Don't
call your father a Butthead" and I realize (cleverly I think) that
this is an American book from the future and can't be any use to me in my
garden with my dressing up clothes and imaginary friend.
sorry to be so dismissive of this utterly well intentioned epistle, but really!
It is so full of what an adult thinks teenagers will find funny that it swiftly
becomes very patronizing. I leant this book to a friend, mother of two boys,
hoping for a more positive spin and she said the same. I despair when adults don't
take the time to actually listen to what children say. Please, Mr. Packer,
please just be quiet and sit in a corner sometime or invite some teenagers to
tell you how it really is, without interrupting. If you want to help them,
please find ideas that open them up to find their own possibilities and
solutions. Even the most suffering of teenager has this potential. These may
not be your or my ideas of progress, but if we always invent crafty strategies
for them, how will they mature? What teenagers say more than often say is that
life is boring and things are unfair. They want their privacy and freedom.
Unhappy teenagers are often the victims of some form of bullying and some
teenagers can be very self-harming by amongst other things, provoking the
bullies. They often hold school and home in completely separate domains.
Ambivalent adult behavior confuses them deeply. What is needed is to help them
make sense of these feelings by understanding themselves. Then they may make
the next step in understanding others.
think this book may have been written for the author and his own inner child. I
hope it helped him, but I don't know any teenager I would give it to. If this
it is true that this is a document about an adult reflecting back then reframe
the whole book in a more honest way. Trendy language becomes obsolete so
quickly. Why not just address things in a direct way? I think teenagers would
like to read a first hand account of someone making sense of life through these
strategies, but as a fiction, not a handbook. If however, you want to create a
useful handbook for teenagers then drop the trendy language cut the jokes and
strip the text out to its basics. Then employ a group of teenagers to re-write
it, adding in their own illustrations, jokes and catch phrases. Be prepared to
re-write it with this process every two or three years, or publish it on the
Internet instead with a chat room to catch new ideas.
© 2004 Lizzie Perring
Lizzie Perring, Cert Ed., Dip Mus., MA, Dip
Counselling and Psychotherapy is now working as a Behavior Support Teacher in Coventry, UK.