Scott P. Sells, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of Social Work at Savannah State University and the executive director of the Savannah Family Institute in Georgia. Over the past fourteen years, Dr. Sells has personally treated more than three hundred difficult children and has served as a consultant for the Department of Juvenile Justice. In addition, he has spent the past three years conducting seminars in which he has spoken to over four thousand professional counselors and parents about the material found in his book Treating the Tough Adolescent: A Family-Based, Step-by-Step Guide. Dr. Sells has recently launched a three-week parenting education program, "Parenting the Out-of-Control Teenager," for parents and their teenagers, and he is currently in the process of developing parent support groups and counselor certification training throughout the country.
For parents who have tried everything but still have teens who are out of control, Bradley's Yes, Your Teen Is Crazy! is a funny, blunt, and reassuring book. Philadelphia psychologist Bradley approaches the subject from the viewpoint that teens are, well, a little nuts; using current brain research, he points out that the most sophisticated parts of the mind are not developed until the end of adolescence ergo, the acting out, mood swings, ADHD, depression, suicide, anorexia, etc. The basic premise is that parents are still the most influential force in their kids' lives and that the old rules of parenting are not only unhelpful but destructive. Adults must take the blame for ignoring rampant alcohol addictions among teens, allowing sex to saturate culture so much that kids don't even know what intimacy and commitment are, and believing that raising children in 2001 can be easy. Rejecting peer pressure as an excuse for unacceptable behaviors, Bradley distinguishes between "normal" and "insane." One chapter describes negotiation, decision-making, and the enforcement of rules; another deals with the new phenomenon of teen rage and how to survive it. Overall, the message is that kids can become fine people even if they screw up a lot, and you need to play the parent, not the cool confidante. Therapist and professor Sells (Savannah State Univ.; Treating the Tough Adolescent) deals with teens whose behavior falls into the realm of "insanity": kids who are enraged, push buttons endlessly, steal, ditch school, use drugs or get pregnant, and defy authority in general. Good, well-meaning parents, he notes, are worn out, and these families need immediate help. Sells's approach is all "how-to": he provides seven basic steps, backed up with lists of strategies in the "What do I do if..." mode. These steps will empower parents to regain authority, bring families out of deep trouble, and begin to restore the love parents and teens once held for each other. Sells's extensive work and research with teens and parents is evident. Both books are excellent choices for public libraries. Linda Beck, Indian Valley P.L., Telford, PA Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
"For all parents who want good, immediately applicable ideas that are effective with acting-out teenagers, this is the book for you!" --John Gray, Ph.D., author of Men Are from Mars, Women Are from Venus and Children Are from Heaven
"An excellent combination of research and practice-with a difficult population! Good practical ideas that help parents answer hard questions." --Thomas W. Phelan, Ph.D., author of 1-2-3 Magic and Surviving Your Adolescents
"Parents of problematic teens will find Parenting Your Out-of-Control Teenager to be an easy-to-read book filled with practical solutions for difficult problems." --Rex Forehand, Ph.D., author of Parenting the Strong-Willed Child
"A standout among the multitude of parenting books. Dr. Sells has a rare combination of practical experience coupled with an academician's need for researched and effective answers for responding to very difficult teens. For all those parents who want good, immediately applicable ideas that are effective with a severely acting-out adolescent, I can say, without reservations, this is the book for you!" --Foster W. Cline, M.D., author of Parenting with Love and Logic
"Sells' approach is all 'how-to': he provides seven basic steps, backed up with lists of strategies in the 'What do I do if...' mode. These steps will empower parents to regain authority, bring families out of deep trouble, and begin to restore the love parents and teens once held for each other." --Library Journal
"I found Scott Sells' new book to be amazingly helpful. He really does go to exactly those most difficult places where teenagers step over the line, and where there seem to be few effective answers. Dr. Sells gives answers, they are very specific, and they are vry practical - real-world answers for real parents and real teenagers." --Anthony E. Wolf, Ph.D., author of Get Out of My Life, but First Could You Drive Me and Cheryl to the Mall?