The Fight of Your Life by Jeffrey Dean
|The Fight of Your Life by Jeffrey Dean|
|Category: Home and Family|
|Reviewer: Wheldon Curzon-Hobson|
|Summary: A hard-hitting, no holds-barred description of the modern teen's life and how parents are needed more than ever.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 224||Date: February 2009|
|Publisher: Multnomah Publishers|
This book is a wake-up call. Jeffrey Dean wrote it so that parents can understand the difficult world that their teens may have to face everyday, and through this understanding, they will be motivated to help their teens to survive.
Reading Dean's book it made we wonder if there was anything new under the sun. And then I sat down at my computer and I realised that there is one thing that has changed the world irrevocably. The computer and the internet are new to this generation of teenagers, with their immediate access to all sorts of experiences and communication. The speed at which things are experienced, and the two dimensional, inhuman way in which they are experienced, is completely different. So it is not the experiences in themselves that have changed, but the way in which they are experienced.
Looking back at my study of 20th century history, I remember studying the 1920s and discovering how prevalent and accessible were drug use, drink abuse and pornography, among other social problems. I had grown up thinking that the sixties was the generation of excess and illicit drugs and music etc., but no, it was no worse or better than the 1920s. Then the 1980's came along, and then the 1990's, and each generation through that they were worse, or better, depending on how they looked at it, than the previous generation. But in fact, every generation has been just the same. There is nothing new under the sun; people forget how the Romans were so similar to the people of today. However, the Romans didn't have the internet, and this is where there is a difference.
Nothing in this book shocks me, and there is nothing revealed in the book that wasn't discussed by my friends before I was ten years old. However, teenagers nowadays have both a sadness and an intensity about them that we didn't experience as greatly. The difference is that the internet is forcing them into an intense, deeply personal isolation, in tiny little rooms with flickering screens, just as Orwell had predicted.
Sex is no longer interesting, it has become scary. Because teens are spending more time online and less with their friends outside of the classroom, there is less chance to express their feelings and work through the issues and so they are building up inside them like volcanoes looking for a release valve. Drugs have been with humanity throughout the cultures almost since the beginning of time, but now there are such pressures on young people that it is more difficult to cope with the influences of drugs or with alcohol or sex.
The world, for many children, has become so pressurised that they need an escape route and the consequences of choosing the wrong route are both sad and tragic.
Dean argues that parents can make an immediate and positive impact, by helping their teens understand and define their world, and by being there for them all the time, both when things are good and when things are ugly.
He explains in explicit detail the pressures teens are under and why parents are needed and are so important in their lives. He writes like a teen, and gives his answers as a teen would. It makes for compelling and disturbing reading. However, just be aware that although what he advocates has worked for many teens and their parents, it may not necessarily work for yours. There are some generalisations in this book that you may do well to be wary of. It may be a good idea, therefore, to also read and discuss some literature on psychological and sociological best practice before leaping in with too much gusto.
The book makes for powerful and necessary reading in today's society. It may be the fight of your teen's life, but remember, one shoe does not fit all, and there are many excellent ways of helping your teen depending on where they are at, depending on their genetic and environmental influences, and perhaps it would also be worthwhile to just check if there are any mental health issues that might be best handled by a professional before leaping in, boots and all.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Fight of Your Life by Jeffrey Dean at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Fight of Your Life by Jeffrey Dean at Amazon.com.
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