Midwest Book Review, James A. Cox, Editor-in Chief
"Give Teens a Break! is a psychological self help book guide for both teens and adults, based on the premise that many adult perceptions of teens and teen behavior are warped by myths of teen irresponsibility. Offering solutions or problem approaches based on educating both adults and teens, Give Teens a Break! offers some new tools and information about teen-parent-adult communication and learning. Give Teens a Break! is both a scholarly psychological text and a personal journal of family experiences with adolescence. It offers facts, data and statistics but also presents individual experiences as a touchstone or marker. Practical approaches win out and and the clinical experience of the author’s adolescent counseling services add to the appeal and attractiveness of Give Teens a Break!" After chapters on historical perspectives on adolescence, debunking myths and stereotypes about teens, teen alcohol and drug use and sexuality, and parent-teen conflict, there are a few final chapters on messages to teens, odds and ends, and conclusions. Chapter 11 lists web site resources for information and assistance with many problems encountered by teens, including National Suicide Prevention Hotline, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Boys Town, Alcoholics Anonymous for Teens, Teen screen, Child and Adolescent Bipolar Foundation, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays, and many more similar sites. Give Teens a Break! is a helpful, positive handbook for teens and adults who are involved with them"
Book Reviews By Alan Caruba
"Give Teens A Break: A Positive Look at Teens by John R. Morella, Ph.D. takes note of the fact that there are thirty million teenagers in America who are our children, our students, and our neighbors. They are not aliens and should not be viewed as troublesome and dysfunctional entities, says the author. He thinks we often provide teens with a "a negative prophesy" as opposed to a positive self-fulfilling road-map. Dr. Morella maintains that most teens traverse to adulthood without the "storm and stress" predicted and that puberty is not a negative event for teens, nor are the majority of teens in conflict with their parents. For anyone who deals with teens, this book provides a host of insights and good advice that can make those years a rational transition to being an adult"
Library Journal Website
"Psychologist Morella thinks teens are getting a bad rap and that adults perceptions of them are becoming self-fulfilling prophecies. Subscribing to the inventionist theory that adolescence, as we know it, was created in the early 20th century in response to the industrial revolution. He gives good historical synopses of adolescence theories. He goes on to discuss myths about teens, dispelling some better than others with a combination of published research, his own survey of teens, and his experience as a practicing psychologist. Ultimately, the target audience is academic but somewhat unclear"
Renowned Youth Motivational Speaker, MTV MADE Teen Life Coach, Teen Author. Jeff has addressed youth representing over 48 countries, more than 3,500 middle schools, high schools, leadership/youth conferences, colleges and universities.
"GIVE TEENS A BREAK! is a real wake-up call for parents, teachers, coaches and counselors who may have unconsciouly fallen into mediocrity. Understanding and knowing how to relate to today's teens is a challenge and a question often asked. This book gives great pointers and tips that I think every adult role model that works with youth needs to read. Perfect 10!"
Dr. Joseph Guarisco, M.D.
Hero of Hurricane Katrina, has been interviewed on CNN, Today Show, Larry King Live and several other national TV programs, as well as quoted in the New York Time and Wall Street Journal.
"What a unique and refreshing look at teenagers. Dr. Morella does not perpetuate the worn-out myths that negatively stereotype our teens. This is a book with an optimistic and positive perspective on teenager and debunks the conventional thinking that adolescence is a troubled, dysfunctional and conflicted age. Contrary to the media’s skewed perception of teens, a case is made to provide teens a positive self-fulfilling prophecy. The book is written in a conversational style and offers both the layperson and the professional something to ‘chew on.’"
Dr. Maureen Brennan, Ph.D.
"A refreshing and realistic view of adolescence in today’s society. Dr. Morella presents a balance of personal and professional experience, backed by research findings and pragmatic reflections that will both challenge and reassure parents (and teachers, coaches, etc.) as they interact with teens in their world."
Dr. Aline M. Garrett, Ph.D.
Retired Professor & Psychology Department Head, University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana.
"This is must reading for parents, teens and professionals who interact with adolescents. This book clearly and consistently proffers the thesis that teenagers are not the monsters that we think they are. In fact, ‘they deserve a break.’ Through published studies and direct responses from the teens, we are presented with a different picture of adolescents. In addition, the author presents his own personal family history, as well as data from his clinical practice, and anecdotal information from his direct interactions with teens that support his thesis. An important and unique feature of this book is selected listing of internet websites. These resources should prove to be very informative and helpful to those who are truly interested in making a difference in the lives and well-being of teens and their families."
Editor, American Book Company
"This book stands alone in contemporary literature by offering a revitalizing look at today’s teens. John Morella uses research and his own experiences as a family psychologist to present the myriad ways in which teens offer a positive contribution to society. He explains how adults can be overly critical, which creates a negative ‘self-fulfilling prophecy’ and poor adult-teen relationships. He then outlines ways that teens, parents, teachers, and society as a whole can address this important issue. Both teenagers and adults can benefit from the wonderful advice sprinkled throughout the research on how to interact and build positive, lasting relationships."
Marcia S. Freespirit
CEO, JimSam Inc., Publishing
""Give Teens a Break!" is a refreshing look at our teens, how we approach them, how we misunderstand them and what we can do to improve relationships. Morella has provided us a roadmap into the mindset of teens and has also thrown a lifeline for strugging parents. This wonderful resource addresses numerous myths about teenagers, parents-teenage conflict, substance abuse, sexuality and much, much more. This the most comprehensive, realistic and understandable resource I have found on raising teens.
After reading this book, parents will see their teen for the first time through new eyes. Morella offers us hope and a path to improve family relationships and understand our teens!"
Social Science Chair and Criminal Program Coordinator
South Louisiana Community College
""Give Teens a Break!",a new book by Dr. John Morella, is an interdisciplinary approach to teenagers that is sorely missing in the contemporary literature. As a teacher of Juvenile Justice, this book includes much of the information of other texts in the field but includes one important aspect often lacking: the perspective of the juvenile. The work has wide appeal, from the social scientist and scholar to the parent or policy-maker, and should be easily understood by all. Every generation looks at the "teens" amongst them as they grow older and somehow seem to forget how it was when they were that age. This book has the ablility to bring them back while understanding the teenager of present, a feat so difficult to accomplish that few others have tried. What results from Dr. Morella's work is the picture of teens many of us avoid viewing: an honest and holistic one as much about us as it is about them."
This book is amazingly appropriate for parents, teens, teachers, counselors, or anyone seeking to understand teen relationships. It not only gives good advice if you are needing specific answers about behavior and relationshipships, but also gives plans and wonderful resources for parents, counselors and teens. What I liked most about the book is that the author talks specifically to teens relationship-specific steps to take. In addition, this author speaks to specifics for anyone working with or living with teens. A great refreshing hand-tool and resource guide. Teens and adults will love it!"
CEO, Helm Publishing, Inc., & Parent
"Give Teens a Break! by John Morella, Ph.D., was the best book I ever read about raising children through their teenage years. Emotional overload, hormonal rage and anxiety are just some of the topics that I experienced and watched my kids go through. I love Chapter 7...Parent and Teen Conflict...As a single parent, just to know someone who wrote about it, along with sensible advice, this book is perfect, as a gift for my friends, parents and schools.
Treaure Island, Florida
"It's About Time!
Our media and culture often cast teens in a sometimes undeserving, unfavorable light. Give Teens a Break! shows a positive, balanced perspective on the typical line of thinking that teens are dysfunctional nuisances in society, and it's about time someone did.
As a psychologist, Dr.Morella gives solid information based on statistics as well as his own practice that debunks some common myths about the negative characteristics often attributed to teenagers. These myths cover issues such as drug abuse, sexuality, unmanaged emotions, and so on. What he's trying to get you to see is that teens are not all that bad, and certainly not to be avoided!
Reading this book was encouraging to me. for example, one of the chapters gives parenting tips about discipline, and points out the importance of communication, and recognizing the differences between assertiveness and anger. The book also touches on an array of things for parents to consider about themselves(not just looking at teens but looking at ourselves as parents). such as parenting styles (how teens see and respond to them differently), and the effect of birth order.
I requested this book form the author to review because I am a single parent with a girl in elementary school, but I have a heart to mentor teens. So oten people tell me not to complain about my daughter's behavior now with comments like, "Just wait until she's a teenager!" Now i have a more balanced view of what's coming, instead of dreading the unknow.
D. A. Allen, Atlanta, GA"
Parent and professional single mother
"I took a Child Psychology class with Dr. Morella over 30 years ago. His passion for child development is still evident in Give Teens a Break! I highly recommend this book to all parents. Dr. Spock will help you through the "terrible twos," but Dr. Morella will guide you in your journey through the 'terrific teens." Great book! Favorite chapter: 6"