Kids Are All Right
Yes, Your Teen is Crazy!: Loving Your Kid Without Losing Your Mind is the new book by psychologist Dr. Michael Bradley that has exactly the type of title that any teen-ager is going to hate.
Further aggravating any young person is Bradley's assertion that there is actually something physically wrong with teen-agers. "Science has come up with the answer," the book's press release says. "YES! Your teen is certifiably crazy."
We can't remember doing anything specific that could be classified as certifiably loony, but our view is inherently biased. Therefore, we called an authority: Mom. Armed with topics from Bradley's book, we checked his research against our own case study.
Soon the conversation took a weird turn: After a discussion about Bradley's point about a teen's need for privacy, things turned ugly. "Kids are great at hiding things," she says. "You started lying when you were 2-and-a-half, and you kept working on it. It was a challenge to you to become a great liar."
A quick change of subject was in order.
We brought up the issue of brain rewiring and asked if it's different for boys and girls. "Well," she says, "boys are driven by what's below their belt, and girls are driven by the colors pink and purple."
"What do you mean by that?" we asked. Her response: "Let's not go there."
Er, OK, moving on. Bradley calls for parents to be patient through the teen years. Parents must know that their hard work will pay off and their kids will grow to be just fine. Mom tended to agree, saying, "By the time you guys are 18 years old, we don't have to worry about you anymore." She follows with, "Then it's up to the cops."
Bradley then warns that confiscating a teen's music is a mistake and that attempting to censor their exposure to the media is ultimately self-defeating. "I like Eminem," she says. "I like it all. I'm the wrong person to talk to about this."
Yeah, tell us about it. Maybe Dr. Bradley's findings are wrong: The kids are all right, and, like most teen-agers already know, it's the parents who are crazy.
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