The author examined myths associated with the adolescent stage. Among the many myths
- Normal adolescent development is tumultuous. Not true. Most teens traverse to adulthood
without the “storm and stress” predicted, and turbulent is not the normal status
of the vast majority of teens.
- Puberty is a negative event for teens. Not true. Dr. Morella’s teen surveys and
other research findings do not support this assumption.
- The majority of teens are in conflict with their parents. Again, not true. Significant
high percentage of teens and their parents report a positive relationship.
Dr. Morella examines teen alcohol and drug use and abuse, and you might be surprised
that in spite of experimentation, teen use is not "out of control" and
when compared to adult use, they fare better.
Sexual development and sexual activity of teens are surveyed. Factors that influence
teen sexual behaviors are examined as well as variables that effect sexual behaviors.
Sexual identity confusion and homosexuality are discussed. Suggestions are offered
to parents on how to talk to their teens about their sexual development.
Two chapters give direct counsel to parents and teens respectively. One of the issues
pinpointed for parents is how to discipline their teens, "without anger,"
and how parents can use written behavioral contracts when chronic conflict presents
itself. Teens are asked to recognize that their narcissism is expected and natural;
yet teens should be assisted in developing a healthy self-esteem that is realistic.
With so many teens experiencing divorce of their parents, teens are guided to understand
and cope with their behaviors and emotions, and learn to gain self-awareness from
this life stressor. Specific guidelines are given for both the teen and their parents
during a divorce.
Numerous topics are presented that further factor into adolescent development; such
as spiritual values of teens, coping with parenting styles, the myth of birth-order
and the negative influence of the media on the perception of teens by our society.
Lastly, many websites are provided for teens and their parents to gain information
on a large variety of teen issues. Knowledge is indeed, power.
The reader will come away with a more comprehensive understanding of our millions
of teens, void of myths and misconceptions. Our teens need to be understood, and
valued for the complexities in their contemporary Zeitgeist. We should not lose
sight that teens are “a work in progress.” This book makes a compelling case for
giving our teens a break from the negativity we mistakenly afford them. There is
much to “chew on” in this unique view of teens.