The teen interpreter A guide to the challenges and joys of raising adolescents

T. E. Apter

Book - 2022

"An insightful, revealing, and practical guide to adolescents' inner world, from a renowned psychologist. Once children hit adolescence, it seems as if overnight "I love you" becomes "leave me alone," and any question from a parent can be dismissed with one word: "fine." But while they may not show it, teens benefit from their parents' curiosity, delight, and connection. In The Teen Interpreter, psychologist Terri Apter looks inside teens' minds-...minds that are experiencing powerful new emotions and awareness of the world around them-to show how parents can revitalize their relationship. She illuminates the rapid neurological developments of a teen's brain, explains the power of teenage friendships, and explores the positives and pitfalls of social media. With perceptive conversation exercises that synthesize research from more than thirty years in the field, Apter illustrates how teens signal their changing needs and identities-and how parents can interpret these signals and see the world through their teen's eyes. The Teen Interpreter is a generous roadmap for enjoying the most challenging, and rewarding, parenting years"--

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Subjects
Published
New York, NY : W.W. Norton & Company [2022]
Edition
First edition
Language
English
Physical Description
x, 292 pages ; 22 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references (pages 259-278) and index.
ISBN
9781324006510
132400651X
Main Author
T. E. Apter (author)
  • Introduction
  • "You don't know who I am (but I don't either)." : teen's alien self
  • "I feel like my mind is exploding." : the astonishing teenage brain
  • "You don't have any idea what I feel." : the teen's new language of emotions
  • "Only my friends understand me." : are parents really replaced by teens' friends?
  • "I just did it. Stop asking me why." : hot zones and pressure points
  • "No one's every felt this before!" : teen love and teen sex
  • "You always say the wrong thing." : the real aim of teen criticism
  • "I don't think I'll get through this." : vulnerability and resilience
  • "I can't talk to you, but listen to my body." : mind and body puzzles
  • "You're not so perfect, either." : parents make mistakes, too
  • "I'm grown up now (and it's scary)." : when does adolescence really end?
  • Conclusion.
Review by Booklist Reviews

Raising a teen can feel like navigating a minefield. A fun family day at the beach can be followed by slammed doors and tears. The brain works differently in the years between childhood and adulthood, according to psychologist Apter. Instead of reacting to the teen's emotional outbursts, she asks parents to step into the teenage mind. Relying on years of studies and experience, Apter explains teens' struggles to control emotions, find a place among friends, and strive for independence. She gives parents solid suggestions on ways they can keep their composure and let their kids know that they are trying to understand their point of view. The author affirms that teens still need their parents' support and guidance and that parents need to remember that beneath the rough exterior lies the same child just trying to find their way. Apter addresses concerns including social media, risky behaviors, and teen sex as well as behaviors that require outside help, such as self-harming and eating disorders. Parents can't be perfect, but Apter offers welcome insights and strategies for living through these stressful years. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Booklist Reviews

Raising a teen can feel like navigating a minefield. A fun family day at the beach can be followed by slammed doors and tears. The brain works differently in the years between childhood and adulthood, according to psychologist Apter. Instead of reacting to the teen's emotional outbursts, she asks parents to step into the teenage mind. Relying on years of studies and experience, Apter explains teens' struggles to control emotions, find a place among friends, and strive for independence. She gives parents solid suggestions on ways they can keep their composure and let their kids know that they are trying to understand their point of view. The author affirms that teens still need their parents' support and guidance and that parents need to remember that beneath the rough exterior lies the same child just trying to find their way. Apter addresses concerns including social media, risky behaviors, and teen sex as well as behaviors that require outside help, such as self-harming and eating disorders. Parents can't be perfect, but Apter offers welcome insights and strategies for living through these stressful years. Copyright 2022 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Rapid neurological changes combine with changing needs and identities, so it's no surprise adults might need a roadmap to navigate communication with teenagers. Psychologist Apter (Passing Judgment: Praise and Blame in Everyday Life) provides a lens for examining teenage minds and the often intense and confusing emotions they experience. Apter blames her own profession—psychologists have long claimed that adolescence is a time of separation and rebellion—as the source of some societal misinterpretations of teen behavior and the relationship problems that occur as a result. This viewpoint has led to a model of adolescent rebellion and rejection rather than making adults empathetic to teenagers, which further chills their relationships, Apter writes. The book addresses autism, gender identity, sexual orientation, and the varying needs of adolescents due to racial and economic disparities. VERDICT A practical, informative guide to communicating with and understanding adolescents. Copyright 2022 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Rapid neurological changes combine with changing needs and identities, so it's no surprise adults might need a roadmap to navigate communication with teenagers. Psychologist Apter (Passing Judgment: Praise and Blame in Everyday Life) provides a lens for examining teenage minds and the often intense and confusing emotions they experience. Apter blames her own profession—psychologists have long claimed that adolescence is a time of separation and rebellion—as the source of some societal misinterpretations of teen behavior and the relationship problems that occur as a result. This viewpoint has led to a model of adolescent rebellion and rejection rather than making adults empathetic to teenagers, which further chills their relationships, Apter writes. The book addresses autism, gender identity, sexual orientation, and the varying needs of adolescents due to racial and economic disparities. VERDICT A practical, informative guide to communicating with and understanding adolescents. Copyright 2022 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Psychologist Apter (Passing Judgment) brings some needed clarity to the oft-baffling teenage years in this eye-opening parenting guide. As she writes, teenagers "want to feel understood," and to that end she explores the rocky terrain of adolescence, debunking the myth of "teen as alien" and making a strong case for the importance of listening to and engaging with one's kid. Apter covers such topics as "the teenage brain" (which "barely registers small familiar pleasures. It requires novelty and excitement"), romance (which offers "both mystery and self-discovery"), and the end of teen years (21-year-olds are still adolescents, in terms of brain development), and offers concise advice: conversations with teens require a "watch-and-wait approach" and a willingness to back away when they're "too anxious to talk, or need time to organize thoughts in private." And there are plenty of concrete steps for parents to take­­—one can blunt negative aspects of social media by encouraging teens to follow positive accounts, and allowing children the ability to tell their stories can help them "put painful experiences into a broad context." Apter's reassuring tone and ability to cut through the chaos give her advice weight. This is a must-read for parents navigating their children's tumultuous teenage years. (Mar.) Copyright 2022 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

"An insightful, revealing, and practical guide to adolescents' inner world, from a renowned psychologist. Once children hit adolescence, it seems as if overnight "I love you" becomes "leave me alone," and any question from a parent can be dismissed with one word: "fine." But while they may not show it, teens benefit from their parents' curiosity, delight, and connection. In The Teen Interpreter, psychologist Terri Apter looks inside teens' minds-minds that are experiencing powerful new emotions and awareness of the world around them-to show how parents can revitalize their relationship. She illuminates the rapid neurological developments of a teen's brain, explains the power of teenage friendships, and explores the positives and pitfalls of social media.With perceptive conversation exercises that synthesize research from more than thirty years in the field, Apter illustrates how teens signal their changing needs and identities-and how parents can interpret these signals and see the world through their teen's eyes. The Teen Interpreter is a generous roadmap for enjoying the most challenging, and rewarding, parenting years"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

Once children hit adolescence, it seems as if overnight “I love you” becomes “leave me alone,” and any question from a parent can be dismissed with one word: “fine.” But while they may not show it, teenagers rely on their parents’ curiosity, delight, and connection to guide them through this period of exuberant growth as they navigate complex changes to their bodies, their thought processes, their social world, and their self-image.The Teen InterpreterThe Teen Interpreter